For dog owners who plan to train their pup for competition, correct measurements are hugely important. Understanding a dog’s withers makes the measurement calculations process a lot simpler.
What is a Dog’s Withers?
Dog withers are the tallest point on a dog’s body, aside from the neck and head and they are found between your dog’s shoulder blades and at the back of the neck. It’s this area where the dog’s height is measured.
For accuracy’s sake, the measurement should be taken while the dog is standing, regardless of breed.
While shorter coat dogs make the withers easier to find, it’s still possible to find them on a long-haired dog if you get the right spot.
Withers are a muscle band that enables movement in the animal’s shoulders and spine area. It’s not simply a means to measure them, there’s an actual function at play.
How are Withers Measured to Ensure Accuracy
The key for measuring withers is that it’s done accurately. Dog shows are the most common environment for this, and the process involves using a “wicket” which is a U-shaped device place on the ground.
These devices are pricey so most normal dog owners won’t have them. Although you can shimmy a wither-like device together with items at home, the end-measurement likely won’t be as accurate.
Why Measure a Dog’s Withers?
Measuring a dog’s withers can help owners predict the size and strength of the dog. In the case of sled dogs, you will be able to determine if the dog can pull a sled or perform typical farm-related tasks.
Dog wither measurements are also used to identify negatives with the puppy from its early stages of life. It can be used to determine the breeding quality of a litter based on the averages for that breed.
Withers are also useful if your dog is experiencing a medical issue and needs veterinary assistance. You can articulate your dog’s exact sizes in a timely manner to ensure you’re getting the best possible care. This may even include determining the appropriate level of anesthetics or medications to give your puppy. One example is taller dogs which tend to have more pronounced leg problems over their shorter counterparts.
Finally, you may want to measure your dog for the purpose of getting them certain accessories, i.e. collars or outerwear. Especially when buying things online, it makes the process a lot easier when you know your dog’s measurements quickly.
Crate Training Help
Fitting your dog into the right size crate can be difficult. When it comes to crate training your dog, you have to start with something that allows your dog a tiny bit of movement. Obviously not to much space or your dog will feel enabled to have accidents, but enough space that it can comfortably sleep.
How to Measure a Dog’s Withers
Measuring a dog’s withers at home goes like this:
Have your dog stand up against a wall for accuracy’s sake, then locate its withers.
Using a leveling device, go across your dog’s withers while they continue to stand against the wall. The bottom portion of that level should touch the wall which will deliver the most accurate measurement.
Then with a tape measure, go from the ground up to the spot that you marked and that will give you your dog’s ‘official’ height.