How to measure your dog correctly,

was the name of this article but it's changed to:

Stupid things people say about their dog's (and horse's) weight and height.

by Sonya Worley

You should, however, find some helpful info should you be looking for it.


Here is a good link with a nice diagram of How to Measure Your Dog and it shows where to measure to on a dog's back. You don't measure up on their neck but at the tip of withers.

The instrument you use to measure is called a Wicket.

Here is a link, “How to build your own Wicket”. Here is a link to build a WICKET from PVC pipe. And of course eHow has a page, "How to wicket your dog ”, and a good blog about “To wicket or not to wicket in the ring”. Personally I have never been in a ring where this has happened. Some breeds call for it more than others. I have friend that shows small dogs and has been in the ring when someone called for a wicket. The thing is it takes time and usually judges have to stay on time to get the groups done at end of day so they can go on with Best in Show. Personally I don't think I would make an enemy for life by calling another dog to short or to tall and have them thrown out of ring, and the word from AKC (if only judge were not human and could do all things correctly when under pressure).

A few of MY words about height and weight of dogs (and horses)

I've given up getting upset when people exaggerate about weight, height etc. of their dog, horse (fish) etc. I've found some people like to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth. I'm amused as I type this because I have had total strangers come up to me and begin telling me how much their _______________ weighs. So when people do this I just smile and realize they have no idea how foolishly they are presenting themselves. One example that stands out is when I had Simba, a large champion red Bullmastiff male, with me in a feed store, now mind you we had JUST left the vets office where Simba weighted in at 141lbs. He is a tall boy and carries that weight very well with ribs slightly showing. This guy says, "I have a boxer that big". I said, "Really?" I mean HELLO people. What do you say to that kind of statement?? Another time I had a client fly in from South America, we were at the airport hotel outside on the lawn and I had Champion Kasius with me. He is an extremely nice Bordeaux male that was sire to the puppy this man was picking up. This stranger walks up and says, "I have a 200 pound Bullmastiff female at home", then quickly adds, "and she is NOT fat". Okay what do you say to that? "Shut up stupid"?? Or maybe "you have STUPID stamped on your forehead"?? But he will not shut up or leave us alone. He goes on and on and on. Neither I, nor the gentleman that is playing with his new puppy after traveling all day wanted to hear anything this man had to say about his "200 pound bullmastiff" at home. I should carry my Flip Video with me at all time and video these strange people. They could find themselves on America's Funniest Home Videos or You Tube!! Here is video done by Purina about an over weight bullmastiff. The bullmastiff weighted in at 135 and the vets all agreed she was 30% over weight. She wasn't a small frame girl at all.

So as I type I'm thinking about meeting people and when they find out I have horses they proceed to tell me about their 17 or 18 hand horse. Now are these people ignorant of what constitutes a "hand" in a horse (4 inches) or were they riding a Percheron or a Clydesdale (in their childhood daydreams)? You see VERY few horses are this large (some warm blooded do get large). I'm 5 foot 4 inches tall (with my tennis shoes on, and who's outside barefoot with the horses?). If a horse were 16 hands tall their withers would be at the top of my head. That is a HUGE horse. I couldn't jump on a horse this size, and would need a mounting block to get on. My point being very few people have even been in the same pasture with an 18 hand horse let alone ridden or owned one. If you have ever been to Bush Garden in FL you can stand by a statue of a Clydesdale and that gives you more of a feel for how truly large these guys are! Here is link to a site that list all the horse breeds and little about them. Here is another site that talks about measuring your horse., and the "Cowboy Way" to measure your horse. I like this site as there is nice gray mare in pix that is a nice size and she is 14.2 hands.

If you are jumping off after you rope a calf you will need to get back on in the pasture. A horse that is 15.2 is all I can do to swing up bare back and I usually have to put them down hill and NOT have chaps on. It's nice when they just come running to me when I call and snug up against the pipe fence for me to mount. :) That's my kind of horse. So here again is my point, if you clicked into the link the "Cowboy Way" and you saw that nice size horse why would anyone open their mouth and let something come out as stupid as, "I used to have a horse and he/she/it was 17/18 hands tall", Really?

Okay I'm on roll. So let's talk about small dogs. How many of you have heard people brag about how small their dog is. "My dog only weighs 2 pounds" Really??? How healthy can a 2 pound dog be? Just get around some Chihuahua enthusiast and they like to brag how small their dog is. They are small! I'm just not sure that's a great thing.

Maybe I could just sum it up to say, "People like to brag"!! But bragging can turn into lying and when breeders lie about how big their dogs are it does get under my skin at times. I was just at a Bullmastiff site and the people say "______" is 29 inches tall. I can tell from the pix he is about 25 inches. I'm thinking, "Are you measuring at the top of his neck"? At least they didn't lie (I don't think) about his weight and had him at 130 lbs. And they have a female that is 27 inches tall. Yes, I could paste their link in here I'm telling the truth! People are really this uneducated or willing to lie to make their dog appear "better". Things that make you go "hummmm".

Now I'm not saying there has never been a 28 or 29 inch Bullmastiff. I saw a Blazin dog at a KC show and this boy was the biggest Bullmastiff I have ever seen! His feet looked like small dinner plates!!! But it's rare, rare, rare and outside of the breed standard and often at the cost of health issues. So, now having said that a bullmastiff neck should be almost as big around as they are tall, if your little girl wears a 22 inch collar she is probably not much taller than 22 inches. My Megan was about 22 inches tall. Very bulldog and wide as she was tall! Well okay, almost. I could set a dinner plate on her back and it wouldn't fall off! She weighed 120 pounds. She was every bit of 20 pounds overweight. But if someone asked how much does she weigh and I said 120 pounds they probably would get a different mental picture than what the reality is. Link to view Megan. (I loved this girl!) When you view her picture, just look at the amount of day light under the dog from belly to ground. Here is your first clue. There is a bullmastiff web site out their where they have a child holding their stud dog that obviously has abnormally short legs (this can be a throwback to a dwarf gene). Just check out the distance from the hock to the ground. This isn't rocket science just simple dog structure.

One thing I like about international shows, (most shows held in other countries) they usually weigh the dog and wicket them AT THE SHOW. So if someone goes around bragging (lying) about what their dog weighs every one finds out at the dog show. Just talking weight does not give accurate picture of what a dog is. Now having said that bone does weigh! And I like a heavy boned dog but I do NOT like a fat dog. Here are some links. This boy CH Lakeview's OutCast came to me and my sister for the price of $10,000.00 (YES I'm bragging!) weighing 121 pounds. He stayed at that weight the whole time we owned him. Very active athletic male and he was HUGE. He never carried any extra weight, always very hard bodied. Take a look at him. When people saw him they would say, "I'll bet he weighs 150 pounds!" But the truth is he did not. Now here is Bordeaux "Ovado” that is every bit of 27 inches tall and weighed 142 in these pictures. I just had him to vet to ship sperm a few days before these pictures were taken. In the show picture of this boy taken a year later he has put on weight and is pushing over 150.... But it takes a tall dog with huge bone to carry that weight well.

So on the topic of your dog's weight it's a good thing to take them to the vet's office (take your left foot off the scale) and get an accurate weight and have the vet record it so if someone calls they can call your vet to verify (means establish the truth) the dog's weight and NOT what you think they weigh or what they look like they weigh. There is a big difference.

I'm not done with this article but that's enough for one night!

P.S. My husband read this said I sound like a woman with raging PMS. Okay I can see that. Perhaps I'm just raging against BS or Stupidity!

So YOU have a story someone stood flat footed and told you. Please share and if you wish i'll post ONLY if you are willing to sign your name. You are welcome to change names in story to protect the guilty, the stupid and the ignorant.

This says "JUST.... JUST STOP

Because the more you talk the stupider you sound"

Sonya Worley
P O BOX 106
Goshen AR 72735