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How to measure your dog's height and weight

 Reviewed 28 October 2017 share-a-picture Or go to discussion?join-the-discussion
Sep 212012
dog measurements

See this illustrated brief explanation how you can accurately measure your dog's or puppy's height, chestsize perimeter, front leg length, and weight with ease.

While measuring weight is probably obvious (we describe it last), many dog owners struggle how to measure their dog's height, chestsize perimeter, and front leg length precisely and nonetheless easily. This also is a fun experience for you and your dog!

Precisely measure your dog's HEIGHT:

Dog height measurementYou need a folding rule/yardstick and, if you have, really better use a carpenter's level too. If you don't have a folding rule, you may want to borrow one from someone else. If you don't have a carpenter's level, use a broom and a family member, friend or neighbor. wink

1 Lead your dog next to a door frame, and make your dog stand upright on all four paws.

2 Place the carpenter's level exactly on the position you see in this image, ie on the top of the shoulder blade (you can feel it under the skin). Don't place it up the neck (that's how some people get the exaggerated heights for their beloved dogs). Let one end of the level touch the door frame and level it until the bubbles are within their markings.

If you don't have a carpenter's level, decide between yourself and a family member (or friend or neighbor) who has the better eyesight/judgement. Whoever this is will have the responsibility to observe from a distance that the other person holds the broom level against the door frame, ie exactly horizontal (that's what a carpenter's level does: it perfectly judges the leveling).

3 Now simply mark the lower end of the broom or carpenter's level with a pencil on the door frame, and then measure the height with a folding rule/yardstick from the ground. So, you measure the height on the door frame (or wall), not in thin air next to your dog. Again, that's how some people get the exaggerated heights for their dog. wink

Please note: If you have a small GSD puppy, you must not stretch your dog's legs in order to stand upright (hurts and is cheating). Just hold a treat in your closed hand in front of and above your puppy's head, and wait for the moment when your pups stands normal and comfortably.

When the measurement is done: Give your dog the treat. smile


Precisely measure your dog's CHESTSIZE PERIMETER:

Dog chestsize measurementYou need a measuring tape. If you don't have it, forget it. Leave this measurement until you can borrow one from someone.

1 Make your dog stand upright on all four paws.

2Tightly wrap the measuring tape (skin contact, not loosely on coat) all around your dog's chest right behind the front legs and vertically upright (see the image).

3 Where both ends of the measuring tape meet, take the reading. smile


Precisely measure your dog's FRONT LEG LENGTH:

Dog front leg length measurementYou need a folding rule/yardstick. You will have it by now, because you also used it to measure your dog's height (see above). wink

1 Make your dog stand upright on all four paws.

2Hold the folding rule right behind and close to the inside of a front leg, and vertically upright (see the image).

3Take the measurement from the ground to the skin (not coat) of the front leg 'armpit' (where the folding rule can't reach any higher because you measure on the inside of a front leg).


Precisely measure your dog's WEIGHT:

Dog weight measurementIf you have, use a precise bathroom scale. If you don't have it, why not ask your neighbor if you can borrow one? A great reason for a friendly chat. :-0

1 Lead your dog with all four paws onto the scale. Yes, it is an awkward position, but I have yet to meet a German Shepherd who can't do this! GSDs can do almost anything, it seems. (Well, actually every dog breed can do this.)

2 Read the scale. - The reading will be as exact as it is for yourself. That is, if the scale is calibrated, this procedure will give an exact measurement of your dog's weight. - You can find out, if you also take a measurement on the day your dog sees the vet. Simply compare the two readings.

No "3" here, no, not needed.

Please note: If you have a small GSD puppy, you can alternatively simply hold your pups in your arms and measure the weight of both of you together. Then measure just yourself, and deduct this amount from the prior. The difference is your pup's weight! It can't get any more precise than this.

When all measurements are done: Yes, why not, award your dog a treat again if you like. smile

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