Heavy basenji!

I got some new scales yesterday so I weighed my 16 month old Jessie, and she was nearly 35 pounds (just under 15 kilos)! I knew she was heavy but that seems a bit excessive. She is huge for a basenji, 17.5 to 18 inches high, but I think she's about to go on a new eating and exercise programme! She doesn't look fat to look at, but she certainly doesn't have that lean look that a basenji should have.
What weight do people think I should aim for, considering that she is bigger than average? Should the amount of food I give her be relative to the weight I am aiming for her to be, or somewhere in between the aimed for weight and the existing weight? I am going to try switching to a raw food diet, I have read that it is so much better for their teeth and associated health. I suppose it will all become obvious as I go, but if anyone has any suggestions that would be great.
Jessie scavenges a lot, she's always trying to steal food from the table, my two year old delights in giving her food behind my back, and she certainly cleans up anything that falls on the floor. I didn't think it was that bad though!

I would still say no more than 25-27 lbs! Griffin (a big boy) is about 19 inches and he only weighs in at about 25 lbs. I would say she is probably very heavy-without you really seeing it as you see her all the time. Can you post a pic? It's very easy to let the weight get away from you.

Also depends on her build, if she is bigger boned, she will weigh more, if just tall and lightly build, she will weigh less. My OJ was 18 1/2 and at good show weight was 28lbs, regular weight, 25lbs… and he was bigger boned.

Bitches typically even if tall or big should still be less then males. But you really need to look at the dog, not the scale. You should be able to see a "waist" if looking down at her.. she should have a "tuck-up" from from the rib cage through the loins (underline). You should be able to feel the ribs lightly under the coat and you should see a "hint" of rib outline when they are gaiting.

Let's have a look. Take some pics from above her and the side too and post. The 2 females I had topped out at 26lbs. But like Pat said depends on the build.

I have opposite extremes of the spectrum. My little Lexi is a petite 18lb female at age 8. Miles is a HUGE male at 37lbs… I think he's about 10 but since he's a rescue, don't know for sure. He was picked up running in a field starving to death. I think that has something to do with the way he eats now and his opportunistic attitude towards food.

Wow, so it looks like I should aim for 28 pounds as a maximum.

I am attempting to upload some photos for you to look at. She still doesn't look that overweight to me, looking at these photos. But then I look at the photos in my Basenji book and they do look a bit leaner! I think she might be big boned. Her mother was an average female I think, but her father was quite big around the chest, very male looking. We think she takes after the father in temperament as well (unfortunately, the mother seemed so sweet!)
Thanks for all the advice.
Sheree
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@tanza:

You should be able to see a "waist" if looking down at her.. she should have a "tuck-up" from from the rib cage through the loins (underline). You should be able to feel the ribs lightly under the coat and you should see a "hint" of rib outline when they are gaiting.

Hmm, looking at this comment again, no, I don't think she has a 'tuck up'!

From the pictures she looks like she has some weight to lose. You should be able to see a waist in the overhead shot. She also doesn't have a visible tuck up and I would guess her ribs are not easily palpable.

She does look fairly heavy, I would also trim her down. I don't see a tuckup, or a waist. Sorry! Maybe if you take a look at some of the other pics on here and compare, you should see a difference.

I'd agree - she does seem a little chunky past the ribcage. How much does she get fed?

Miles is built the same way– Looks like maybe losing a few pounds would be good. Especially since she's so young. Is she active? Do you take her jogging or anything?

I would say she has a few lbs to lose…

She looks more muscular to me, pretty powerful shoulders/upper leg area…muscle does weigh more than fat. Hard to tell without actually feeling the dog. Go for a lot of walks/hiking on steep/varied ground etc could cause that.

But hey, what do I know. 🙂

Her tail is just like my Zak's. 🙂 Zak was kind of a big boy too at one time weighing as much as 31 pounds. He has been 26 for years now but still looks a little big - but then it could be all his fatty lumps! 😃

I can certainly feel ribs if I rub her firmly along her ribcage, but she doesn't get that much exercise. I had this wonderful vision of taking my dog for lots of walks by myself and with the kids before we got Jessie. But she's turned out to be a real headstrong dog to take walking (just like her dad!). Most of the time she's either pulling ahead or I'm pulling her to keep going. I'm sure she is utterly contemptuous of my walking skills, I just don't get it right! I've tried various methods, none of which have worked, but that's beside the point. I was pretty patchy for a while, but I've reestablished regular walks and I'll just have to put up with her. She does love to chase (along the fence) the motorbikes and dogs that pass by so she runs very fast to do that, but I suspect the weight probably isn't all muscle. I'll probably aim for 28 pounds,and then see how she looks as I go. Any extra weight can't be good for her joints.
Thanks for your comments!

SNA - my female looks about the same. She was found wandering the streets, starving, and her fur was almost gone from sores on her body. Cami hasn't stopped eating since she came here to live. She can't jump up on the bed and expects me to pick her up, and put her in bed…all the while she is grumbling at me. Cami is now eating away from the others, but isn't happy about it. She weighs 35#. The other Basenji is just the opposite - too skinny and could care less if she eats or not.

Yes, the extra weight is not good for her joints-or her feet. I find B's have delicate feet as they are meant for running and any extra weight is not good for them, tends to flatten them out as well. If you have to press firmly to feel her ribs she's heavy IMO. You should be able to just run your hand down her side to feel her ribs.

You should be able to feel ribs easily without having to press too firmly to find them.

If she has difficulty maintaining correct weight, you may want to test her thyroid.

Houston

She is still a beautiful dog, but I really don't know much about the weight thing. I just wanted to tell you she is great and I think I would love to hug her! Sorry, just love dogs!

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