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    Pitbull won't gain weight! Ribs show!

    Asked Nov 20, 2007, 06:49 PM 14 Answers
    I have 2 pitbulls, a male (Tyson- almost 2 years old) & a female (Sasha- about 2 1/2 yrs old)... The female brindle is a very healthy weight! Actually, my dogs bred & had 11 puppies their first litter & all the puppies lived w/ no complications (and the male was under a year old)!! But the problem is him.. His ribs show!! We feed him a lot & he always has food to eat! Also, we feed him a lot of people food- everything from pizza to steaks (mostly steak fat-- when we eat steak, we cut all the fat off & give it to them)!

    Tyson's main diet consists of "large breed puppy" hard food. But he will NOT gain weight! His bone structure is large & broad & he is VERY muscular! He's 80lbs of solid muscle, no fat, but like I said, his ribs show! We don't train him or work him... He goes swimming every once in a while, but he's very hyperactive! We give our 60lb female everything he gets & she's completely healthy! Her stomach is bigger than his & she's a lot shorter & no where near as wide as him or as muscular as him!!

    We took him to the vet.. He had worms & we treated them. But our female never had them & they both go potty in the same yard, share food, etc... The vet didn't offer any suggestions after we treated the worms about him gaining weight!

    So basically, I'm trying to ask if anyone can recommend an effective way for my rednose pit to gain weight because I feel like he resembles a greyhound on steroids (as proportionalized because his stomach is so small)!

    Pics:
    * * Tyson (male)-- (one of their puppies is in the background)

    SEE HIS RIBS! In person, you can count them all!

    Tyson is the one on the FAR LEFT (rednose puppy & Sasha):




    He has a NICE FRAME:


    Sasha:


    Ty & Sasha:

    Last edited by flcutiepye; Nov 20, 2007 at 06:54 PM.
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    14 Answers
    froggy7's Avatar
    froggy7 Posts: 1,801, Reputation: 242
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    #2

    Nov 20, 2007, 07:57 PM
    Looking at those pictures, I'd say that he's at a healthy weight and not bother about it. I would suggest cutting out some of the junk food, just to be healthier. And PLEASE get your dogs spayed and neutered! There are many pitbulls already looking for homes and most likely getting euthanized. And they are, unfortunately, a breed that is likely to attract owners who will not treat them well. Can you guarantee that all your puppies will wind up in good homes for the rest of their lives?
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    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #3

    Nov 20, 2007, 08:25 PM
    He does look a little thin. I would push the vet for answers.

    I also suggest reading some of this material and to ask yourself if you measure up, Articles
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    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #4

    Nov 21, 2007, 06:26 AM
    He may be slightly on the thin side but he looks perfectly healthy to me. Did he pick up the worms after the pups were born? That would explain how he got them. I am sure that you had to deworm the pups, right? If not, the people who now own the pups probably had to deworm them. Most pups are born with worms. How long has Ty been worm free? If it is only recently, then what he is going through is normal and his system will rebound. But, seeing every rib is not a bad thing. He does seem healthy. Do you have all the dogs on heartworm meds? That is important in Florida.

    flcutiepie, because you helped out Macksmom in such a great way when she was stressing, I am not going to come down too hard on you here. But, you know that you live in an area where you have to be careful if you are a pitbull owner. Not only because the next county over, Dade County bans them but because the amount of dogfighting that goes on in the general area in which you live. Were you able to do full home checks on the people that bought your pups? Can you see them and check on them anytime you want to ensure that they are safe? Can you be 100% positive that the people you sold them to won't use them for fighting, or will take the time to train them properly so that the dogs don't pose a threat to anyone. Improper training is the number one reason why people get bitten by a dog. This is also important: There are no guarantees that one of the pups from your Sasha's litter won't be stolen from their homes to be used as bait dogs. It is very normal for people who breed and keep pitbulls for fighting to steal other people's dogs out of their yards for this purpose. If you don't know what a bait dog is, they are the ones thrown in with the fighters so the owners fighters can practice and stay at the top of their "game". The bait dog is torn to pieces and killed by the fighters. The more dogs that can be listed as kills for the fighter, the higher the value of the fighter.

    As an owner of this breed, the first thing I did was have her spayed. Dogs don't need to experience pregnancy. They don't have the mothering instinct in the same way humans do. The Pitbull is the number one breed found in shelters and rescues. My pitbull (you can see her pic in my avitar) is a rescue who was scheduled to be euthanized. These dogs are the first in line for euthanization due to the negative publicity and the overpopulation problem. As of this writing, there are 2882 American Staffordshire Terriers and 8283 Pitbull Terriers that are sitting and waiting to be adopted throughout the United States that are listed on petfinders. Here is a link so that you know I am not creating figures just to upset you: Petfinder.com
    Those two figures translates to over 11,000 pitbulls & pitbull mixes THAT WE KNOW OF, that need homes. Not every shelter and rescue lists their dogs looking for homes on petfinder. So, we know that the number is actually much higher. The Pitbull is the most abused of all the breeds by humans. PLEASE, now that you have had one litter, PLEASE, do the responsible thing by your dogs and have your female spayed and your male neutered. Fix any of the puppies that you have decided to keep. You sound like a responsible and loving owner. Please do the responsible thing. We have enough irresponsible people breeding these poor dogs for all the wrong reasons.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #5

    Nov 21, 2007, 06:43 AM
    Flcutie, please do some research on choke chains, prong colllars. They can damage the throat, neck if improperly used as well as be a choking hazard if left on while not being supervised.
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    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #6

    Nov 21, 2007, 06:59 AM
    Good call bushg. I didn't even notice the prong collar. I hate those things. Flcutie, if Ty requires one because you are having trouble controlling him, that isn't good. At his age, he should be responding to your direction. If he is hyper and difficult to control, although he may be sweet as honey, he is not considered good breeding stock.
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    flcutiepye's Avatar
    flcutiepye Posts: 26, Reputation: 0
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    #7

    Nov 21, 2007, 11:35 PM
    I just read your reply about his collar. It's not a "choke chain". The prongs are completely dull & not sharp at all! Also, we ONLY use it when we are walking him.
    That pic was the first time he ever had that collar tied to something. It was at a park & we had to tie him up because there were a lot of horses walking around there & we didn't want him to go near them! But we NEVER EVER leave him unattended!

    The thing is that he is hardly ever on a leash. When the dogs go to the bathroom, we let them out back. They have those stakes that stick into the ground & we attach their collars to that (not that one, a regular one). But, when we take him out, he's very strong & likes to pull. He does listen to my commands, but sometimes when he gets excited, he likes to try to walk fast. So we tug on it lightly & he backs off. The only time he's on a leash is when I take him running or to the park.
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    flcutiepye's Avatar
    flcutiepye Posts: 26, Reputation: 0
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    #8

    Nov 21, 2007, 11:56 PM
    About the worms, Tyson had worms before the puppies. Ty has been worm free since Juneish. We had to deworm the puppies. VERY expensive vet bill! The vet said that most pups are born w/ worms. And we do have both dogs on heartworm medication.

    About the spaying & neuturing, we will spay her after she has her next litter. She's pregos again. The first time was an accident (back in June). Before Tyson, we adopted a German Shephard/Chow mix from the Humane Society & he was neutured, so we didn't have to worry about Sasha... A friend of ours actually found Tyson in the middle of the ghetto, almost got hit by a car! So we rescued him & took him home! He was extremely food aggressive when we first got him! We let the dogs outside to go to the bathroom, like usual. I ran inside for 1 minute to answer the phone & that's all it took! I had even taken a day off to spay her (the place was discounted, so had to make the appt months in advanced), but she was in heat the time of the appt (they said they wouldn't spay her when she was in heat. Don't know if I was misinformed?)!
    She had 11 puppies. We sold 7 of them to friends & see 6 regularly (the other person moved away). Actually, one guy was interested in buying a puppy, but he was way too interested in watching the puppies play fight & was egging them on. I refused to sell him a puppy. And some a-hole actually had the audacity to offer me $5000 to sell him a puppy to fight. I wouldn't sell one to fight for a $million! No way! EVER!!

    I know for 100% sure that none of the 6 puppies are being used for fighting. And the owners keep the dogs inside at all times, unless they are with them outside. The other 4 puppies we sold to a petstore & he sold them all. I can't be 100% sure that they won't be used for fighting, but I pray that they won't!

    We planned her pregnancy this time because the puppy store asked us to & wanted to sign a contact to buy the whole litter. After this time, I am doing breeding. I would NOT give them the puppies to the humane society because I know that they are the first breed to be euthanized. I am just praying that this puppy store checks its buyers out before selling them the puppies.
    About the puppies owners, all of them have either raised pitbulls before & are experienced or they took the puppy to training classes. We see the puppies on a regular basis & they are all completely healthy. I know the people very well & know they wouldn't fight them. They are 100000% against fighting dogs!! I know that the puppies have the best homes! I LOVE that I am able to see the puppies regularly & they all play together! =o)
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #9

    Nov 22, 2007, 06:41 AM
    After this time, I am doing breeding. You are done breeding or you are doing breeding?

    Glad to hear that you don't leave your dogs with the prong collar on unattended. But sadly many people do.

    As for the puppy store, All I can say is the one in my area that sells puppys doesn't give a hoot who gets those puppys as long as they get their money. They stand in little cages with wire under their feet and are never taken out unless a customer wants to play with them. I have never seen the employees walking or interacting with them. I just think it is a crappy situation for puppys esp. the ones that take the longest to sell. I hope the one in your area is different.
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    froggy7's Avatar
    froggy7 Posts: 1,801, Reputation: 242
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    #10

    Nov 22, 2007, 08:08 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by flcutiepye
    The thing is that he is hardly ever on a leash. When the dogs go to the bathroom, we let them out back. They have those stakes that stick into the ground & we attach their collars to that (not that one, a regular one). But, when we take him out, he's very strong & likes to pull. He does listen to my commands, but sometimes when he gets excited, he likes to try to walk fast. So we tug on it lightly & he backs off. The only time he's on a leash is when I take him running or to the park.
    Have you tried the Easy Walk harness on him? That is a harness that has the leash attach to the front of the chest. I've heard that they work, but haven't had to try it myself.

    I'd rather see you try something like that than the prong collar. If the dog is mostly trained, it should work as well, I think. But also, prong collars make people think "Oh look... it's one of those viscious pit bulls. The owner can't even control it without having to make the dog hurt. Really, why do we let people continue to own those types of dogs?" You have to be aware of the image that you are sending more than owners of other breeds do.

    And yep, from my experience all pet stores care about is whether you have the money to buy the dog. They don't even ask about what the home situation is. The dog is merchandise, and the faster they sell it the sooner they can make a profit.
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    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #11

    Nov 22, 2007, 09:03 AM
    I have had very good results with head collars. The leading brands are Promise, Haltie, and Gentle Leader. They have a strap going around the dogs nose looking something like a muzzle. They work by pulling the dogs head around. No other way gives you such great control with so little force.

    The downside to them is people thinking it is a muzzle. I was actually questioned last summer when I put one on my Lab at a festival I was working at. ''Why are you allowing him in with a dog that has to be muzzled.'' Maybe the best solution would be the Martingale type. They are fabric, but work much like the prong collar. They do not give as good of control as the head collar. I had Holly in one the first day of the festival, and she took advantage of me being distracted and pulled. She did much better in the head collar the second day.

    A big difference between a real trainer and most dog owners is that when the trainer is training the dog, the trainer is training the dog, not trying to do something else. Since I take the dog everywhere, I sometimes struggle with divided attention.
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    flcutiepye's Avatar
    flcutiepye Posts: 26, Reputation: 0
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    #12

    Nov 22, 2007, 09:28 PM
    Sorry! I meant that I am DONE breeding them after this. I know that the puppies were taken out very often! I work in the same plaza as the place, so I would stop by for 2 hours a day to play w/ all of them! And I had seen some of the girls who work there playing with them when I walked in on several occasions. They said that they regularly take them out of the cages. I wouldn't really believe their words unless I saw them out, which I did a lot. And 3 of the 4 were sold within a few days. The last was sold before he was even there for a week!

    I will look into head collars. It sucks that people are so ignorant & judge based on something like a collar, especially when it's not a "choke collar". It's a training collar! Tyson does listen to my command, but he also gets very excited! He's extremely hyperactive. He is very determined at times, especially when he's around water! His favorite thing to do in the whole world is swim! He actually broke through my mom's screen to get into the pool! And then he put his big head through a 3" picket aluminum fence to swim! I really think he would swim until he drowns if we didn't make him get out! So when we're around the lake, I do have to "choke up" on him a few times. And then I make him stop & listen. But if he were to try to pull me, he probably could! He listens out of respect & obedience.
    When I take them to the dog parks, I let them off the leashes when I get there. But it's very hard to walk both dogs at the same time when Tyson is exicted, unless I have that leash. He's not used to walking on a leash, our fault. I take him running, but like to have that extra control if I need it. We take him to my parents a lot & he's allowed to run around in their backyard freely.
    Are the prong collars really bad for them or just the image of them is bad? It really sucks also that we can't take them to as many places as I'd like to (not because of the breed, but so many places now do not allow dogs at all!) =o( If we could, we would take both dogs everywhere!! We mostly just take them to my parents (they have a bigger backyard, a pool & 3 dogs to play with), the dog park (I don't like going when there are a lot of dogs there because I got bit by a dog one time there), or to a city park. We take them to the beach on occasions also, but they are only allowed there from 5-9pm Fri-Sun. All of those places except for the city park, they are not on the leash/collar.

    SO YOU ALL THINK THAT HIS WEIGHT IS HEALTHY!?!??!
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    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #13

    Nov 23, 2007, 05:37 AM
    While the image is a problem, I have heard that a poorly fitted prong collar can kill a dog by puncturing the aorta, and it seems likely. Like many other ''facts'', I have not been able to document it. I still usually advise against their use. With abusive corrections, you can injure a dog with almost any collar. The searches I have done on the net mostly turn up information on choke collar injuries. With their wide spread use and even a book suggesting corrections where you jerk the dog off the ground, I am sure there are injuries. I am not going to quit using them, crates, or anything else due to others' abuse.

    As for his weight, I would talk to your vet. I do think he looks a little thin, but some dogs insist on keeping themselves thin. I often suggest letting well enough alone. Overfeeding is the most common form of abuse. Even many vets are too tolerant of it. I was horrified to find a question on another site where a vet told a Lab owner ''You can't feed a puppy too much.'' Too much of too rich of a diet is the worst thing you can do for a large breed puppy. You may find this thread interesting, https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/dogs/b...ghlight=Saluki
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    flcutiepye's Avatar
    flcutiepye Posts: 26, Reputation: 0
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    #14

    Nov 23, 2007, 09:46 PM
    I made a mistake about his age... I looked on the pics from the day we got him & he's only around 14 months old! It seems like we've had him for so much longer! And he's a "big puppy"! Lol.. Do you still think that he is too old for that type of collar, considering his correct age?
    It's not a "choke collar" & will only constrict so much. It will not choke him. If I do put him on a regular collar, he will keep the leash tight the entire time. He won't drag me, but he winds up choking himself w/ the regular collar. You can hear it in his breathing. But the prong collar, with blunt prongs, make it uncomfortable for him to pull, which slows him down. We use the prong collar so he doesn't choke himself on the regular one.. The prong collar will only constrict an inch & 1/2 at its tightest point (& it's adjustable, you can add or remove links), I can still stick all 4 of my fingers in between the prongs & his neck. When I tell him to stop or sit down, he does listen to my voice alone (without tugging on the collar). The collar is used to make absolutely sure that he isn't going to try his hardest to chase a lizard, try to go play w/ a horse or go swimming when we don't want him to! He is a very high strung dog, but is attentative & responsive to where we are & what we are saying. Sometimes he gets excited, like every other animal does, so this collar is a reinforcer that he won't try to choke himself or snap whatever he's attached to. It makes it uncomfortable for him to try that hard. In that split second after he reacts, the collar serves as a reinforcer before I can verbally command him. I can't predict everything he's going to do, just like we can't predict anyone/anything. Also, when the collar is loose, I can fit my whole hand in between it.

    I hate how people have already deemed him to be a "vicious pitbull that I cannot control" because of his collar! He is 85lbs of pure muscle (less than 2% body fat) & I'm only 120! So it's hard for me to walk both him & our 65lb female when he gets excited. Of course, once he tries to do something, I simply verbally respond & he listens. But I cannot stop him from trying the behavior until he does it. Most of the time, I can predict when he's going to try to do something (especially around the lake because I KNOW he's a water FREAK) & I prevent him from even trying to go near the lake. It's those other unpredictable actions, like trying to chase a plane in the sky, or a lizard in the bushes that I don't see! I am a very responsible pet owner & can control both dogs by command! The collar is just an assistant! Sasha doesn't need one because she's the laziest dog in the world! She has only tried to pull me one time to play w/ a puppy! Other than that, I have to tell her to keep moving because she wants to lay down & sunbathe or smell the roses!

    I appreciate everyone's input on the collar, but I just wanted to know about his weight! We've had him dewormed from the vet 3x within a year!! HOW CAN I PREVENT HIM FROM GETTING WORMS AGAIN?!!? The vet told me that there was NOTHING I could do to prevent him from getting them again! I could only treat them once he has them & he will get them again & again!!!
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    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #15

    Nov 23, 2007, 10:28 PM
    Best way to keep a dog from getting worms is to keep it away from other dogs feces. I also give my dogs Heartgard+, or in the flea season, Revolution every month. They kill other common worms besides the heart worm.

    One of the best ways to deal with pulling on lead is to pull the dog backwards as soon as the leash tightens. Once the dog realizes it gets pulled backwards every time it tightens the lead, it give up. Reversing direction works too. Holly was smart enough to realize when I was distracted at the crowded festival, I couldn't correct her that way, so I had to go to the head collar.
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