Sooner or later, any owner is faced with the question: how to measure the height of a dog at the withers? And if experienced dog breeders know how to do it correctly, beginners often don’t even know where this wither is located, where the dog begins, and where it ends. Of course, such a formulation may cause a smile, but it will not help solve the problem. It is better to get acquainted with the canine anatomy and the very procedure of correct measurement.
In search of withers
Withers – the part of the body that begins immediately after the neck. These are the first 5 vertebrae of the back, which are located at its beginning, just between the shoulder blades. It is advisable for a dog owner to master a skill that helps determine the location of withers and skin folds covering it. It is considered basic. It is required in the following cases:
- When treating a pet with insecticides, most often drops from parasites must be applied to the area of the withers, since their active ingredients are slowly absorbed into the skin and do not flow sharply into the bloodstream. In some preparations, the active substances tend to accumulate in the skin cells, and in the area of the withers it is less sensitive.
- With the introduction of subcutaneous injections, the withers are the most suitable place for administering medicinal preparations for several reasons: this area is less sensitive to damage, moreover, it has a cavity into which the entire dose falls at once, and there is no need to divide it into several steps.
- To control the growth and development of the puppy – this especially applies to pedigree individuals, whose parameters are specified in the standard, and the owner can periodically weigh and measure the growth of the pet to make sure that he does not go beyond the norm.
- When selecting ammunition and accessories – the girth of withers in this aspect is a fundamental characteristic.
- For choosing a suitable wardrobe, if the pet needs special clothes.
Finding withers is a simple task if the owner has the experience and the pet has a standard build. But even otherwise, you can use a special method that allows you to accurately detect the necessary skin folds:
- put your hands on the shoulders of the dog and press them to the body;
- you need to move your hands up, collecting skin until it is gathered by a fold;
- arms down until they rest on the shoulder blades;
- the skin in the hands is the scruff of the skin, it is the crease at the withers.
In addition, you can detect the withers of a dog with a flat object, for example, a book. It is placed on the withers, and when it lies parallel to the floor – the desired point is found. It is worth noting that the first one who finds the withers of a puppy is his mother. It is for her that she keeps the little ones when she moves them. In common people, this area is called skirt.
How to make the right measurement
There are rules that should be followed if you need to get the most accurate data:
- The most suitable measurement tool is a stiff measuring stick, a tape measure or a tailoring meter gives distorted results, usually the dog is 1-3 cm higher.
- Three measurements should be taken with an interval of 30 seconds-1 minute. Taking all the results, you need to calculate the average value, it will be the final result.
- The adoption of the rack – a prerequisite.
- Measuring devices are applied in such a way that they fit snugly to the body of the animal, pressing the coat, but not pressed into the skin. Owners of dogs with long hair are advised to disassemble wool in the area where the tool is applied.
The owners of the exhibition individuals are aware that their pet should be able to take a special rack in which it is measured. But why measurements are not made from the head or nose? And the thing is that even among representatives of the same breed, the head of the head can be different, which will lead to distorted data when measuring.
The height at the withers is the gap from the support to the point of convergence of the neck and shoulder blades. In addition, the withers is the highest point on the body of the animal. A dog of any breed or having no "sheepskin" consists of five vertebrae, which are located between the shoulder blades.
To measure a dog, it must be rack mounted. Show class dogs are taught to take it according to a certain team – no one will wait at the exhibition until the participant gets up properly. If the pet does not have such a skill, the owner only needs to watch him – the dog takes such a stand when he is interested in something and closely follows the object. It does not matter what position his head and neck are in.
The dog should stand on a flat surface (a small four-legged can be put on the table), not be distracted by external stimuli. You can attract her attention with a treat or a toy. Best of all, if the event will be attended by two people. Next, you should focus on the behavior of the dog:
- if the dog stands still, you can make measurements using a tape measure or 2 long lines – one is placed on the back of the dog, the other is measured from the floor to the ruler located on the back;
- you cannot measure a restless pet in this way – in this case it is better to make marks on the wall – the dog should be placed against the wall and made a mark on the shoulder blades.
The first method is good for measuring small and medium-sized individuals, the second one is for dogs with impressive size. Growing and developing pets need to be measured regularly. The best time for such a procedure is the period before the meal – the animal reacts more actively to snacks.
There are a number of statistical tables with standards of height and weight, and they are for each registered and officially adopted breed. If the owner finds out that his puppy is stunted in height, he should consult a veterinarian. In most cases, such deviations are amenable to correction, especially if identified at an early stage. Most often they are associated with malnutrition.
An adult dog can be measured once every 8-12 weeks, this is especially important if the pet has a tendency to pathology of the spine and pelvic bones. With the development of the disease in the dog occurs "subsidence" of the withers.
How to measure a dog to pick up the harness
In this case, it is best to use a tailoring meter, which is used by tailors. With it, you can measure not only the girth of the neck of the animal, but also other parts of the body. To acquire the most suitable ammunition, the meter should be applied in such a way that it fits snugly, without sagging. A harness for dogs not used as sled dogs requires three measurements:
- from withers (skirts) to the base of the tail;
- the volume of the sternum at its widest point, immediately behind the front paws;
- neck volume
To pick a harness for a working riding dog, 2 measurements are required:
- the size of the area from the highest point of the neck to the base of the chest between the front legs;
- length from base of sternum to base of tail.
In the case of the acquisition of working ammunition requires the most accurate measurements, as during the ride the dog should not feel discomfort, pain or feel that something is stopping him. The palm of a person should be placed between the tapes of the harness and the body of the dog. This will help to avoid inconvenience and constraint during movement. If the ammunition is too loose or cramped, it will not only be inconvenient for the dog, but in the future may cause a violation in the spine and lead to the deformation of the ridge.
Preference should be given to high-quality products, durable, with sturdy fittings. If, during the activity of the animal, the riveting or other part of the girdle comes off, it can stick into the dog’s skin, causing soreness and leaving wounds, which are the gateway to the pathogens.
Proper Pet Measurements to Purchase Carry
If the dog is small in size, then the owners can successfully use a special carrying – an excellent device for transporting a four-legged friend. It is convenient to take it on a trip, to apply for the delivery of a pet to the exhibition, to a veterinary clinic, etc.
Being in the carrier, the dog is less stressful and does not stain the paws. Naturally, it is much more convenient and humane to carry a sick dog in just such an adaptation, which reduces pain from shaking or contact with human hands.
But before purchasing a suitable carrying one should measure the four-pawed friend, otherwise too tight construction may cause discomfort to the pet or not at all suitable for its transportation. It is important that the dog has the opportunity to change the position of the body, if the need arises. In addition, the material must withstand the mass of four-legged. The owner must measure the growth of the dog at the withers, as well as the length of his body from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.
Watch the video how to measure a dog at the withers
Why the dog begins to fall behind in growth
Measurements puppy showed, that he ceased to grow or lags behind indicators normal? In this case, the owner is advisable to consult with a veterinarian. This phenomenon is often observed in puppies 4-6 months of age, which is associated with the natural change of teeth.
During this period, the body can spend all the resources to strengthen the molars, and these very trace elements are part of the bone and joint structures. In some dogs with standing ears, during the replacement of teeth, the cartilage of the ears is softened.
The second most common cause is infection with worms. Even if the baby has never been on the run, there is no 100% guarantee that there are no parasites in his body. It can become infected by other pets, while eating raw foods, or by licking dirty shoes.
In fact, there are many reasons why a dog’s growth has stalled. But the regular measurement of the pet allows you to identify the problem at the initial stage of development. And even if we are talking about an adult pet, the owner should know how to measure it – this skill will definitely come in handy in the future.