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Vet Rec. 2015 Aug 1;177(5):125. doi: 10.1136/vr.103093. Epub 2015 Jul 13.

Best in show but not best shape: a photographic assessment of show dog body condition.

Author information

1
School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TE, UK.
2
School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TE, UK Department of Obesity and Endocrinology, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TE, UK.

Abstract

Previous studies suggest that owners often wrongly perceive overweight dogs to be in normal condition. The body shape of dogs attending shows might influence owners' perceptions, with online images of overweight show winners having a negative effect. This was an observational in silico study of canine body condition. 14 obese-prone breeds and 14 matched non-obese-probe breeds were first selected, and one operator then used an online search engine to identify 40 images, per breed, of dogs that had appeared at a major national UK show (Crufts). After images were anonymised and coded, a second observer subjectively assessed body condition, in a single sitting, using a previously validated method. Of 1120 photographs initially identified, 960 were suitable for assessing body condition, with all unsuitable images being from longhaired breeds. None of the dogs (0 per cent) were underweight, 708 (74 per cent) were in ideal condition and 252 (26 per cent) were overweight. Pugs, basset hounds and Labrador retrievers were most likely to be overweight, while standard poodles, Rhodesian ridgebacks, Hungarian vizslas and Dobermanns were least likely to be overweight. Given the proportion of show dogs from some breeds that are overweight, breed standards should be redefined to be consistent with a dog in optimal body condition.

KEYWORDS:

Obesity; body composition; canine; overweight; pedigree dog

PMID:
26169655
DOI:
10.1136/vr.103093
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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