May 5


How To Measure A Dog’s Height

How To Measure A Dog's Height

There are lots of reasons for doing this. It's fun to start when your puppy is a small wriggly thing that won't stay still. A measurement chart will show you how well he is growing.

Why Do We Need To Measure A Dog's Height?

You will need the dog's height measurement if you want to build a dog door or crate for traveling or build a kennel. The door needs to be at least two inches taller than the dog. When you have learned how to measure a dog, make sure you measure the height of the door from the floor. When building the kennel, remember to allow for the door frame to be high enough to allow the dog's head to pass out the door at a comfortable height. Often they like to poke their head out through the door and have a look around and also lay down with their head at the entrance of the kennel because they need to make sure all is well.

A comfortable dog crate should allow him to lie down, stretch, and stand up. They also need to turn around easily. Puppies need a bigger kennel; they are more restless and playful than adult dogs.

Some people like to build their very tall dogs, an elevated feeder. This has the benefit of improving the dog's body posture, improving his swallowing, and slowing down the eating pace. This also promotes cleanliness and hygiene. Measure your dog's height and subtract six inches. This is the ideal height for his feed and water bowls.

People also want to measure their dog's height when he gets older, to make sure that he isn't losing height due to arthritic changes bones.

What do you need to measure your dog's height?

  • Carpenter's level.
  • A wall. Maybe the side of the fridge.
  • Measuring tape or long ruler. 
  • Yardstick for measuring bigger dogs.
  • Patience and perhaps a treat.

Ensuring An Accurate Measurement.

Measure the height of the dog from the withers to the floor. The withers is where the neck and shoulders meet, and this is the tallest part of the body, excluding the neck and head. The withers on a dog is the highest point of its shoulder blades. It is located behind the base of the dog's neck.

 Many people get inaccurate measurements because they don't know exactly where the withers are, and they can't accurately measure while trying to keep the dog still. Have another person help you to make sure the dog remains calm while you are using the measuring stick. The best way is to use a carpenter's level with the dog placed against the wall or a door, and place the level at the lowest part of the shoulders, when it is level make a mark on the wall or door, and then move the dog and measure the wall. If you don't want to put a mark on your wall, use some easy to remove tape. You could make a growth chart for your dog as a puppy and measure his growth over time. Perhaps you could measure your dog's height against the fridge, use a magnet to mark the spot, thereby avoiding putting an unwanted mark on the wall. 

It's important to ensure the dog is standing tall on all four feet. The correct term is square. If he is standing square, you can imagine a square drawing from the withers to the tail, down the back leg, and across the floor to the front leg and up to the withers again. This should be a square shape. 

The Show Dog.

Showing is also a fun reason for having an accurate record of your dog's height. If you are going into the show ring seriously, you will need to know how to measure dog height officially. Many people love showing their dogs, and this sport is very competitive. Each class is for different characteristics of the dog, its breed, color, abilities, etc. Most classes at the show are divided by breed and age group. If you want the dog to qualify for a breed class, he must conform to the height specified in the official breeder's description of the breed.

 Dogs that fail to meet the dog height requirements of their breed for the show ring are disqualified. Also, taking your dog's height measurement teaches him about the procedure, reducing instances of discomfort or anxiety when it is done at show time.

A wicket is a U-shaped measuring tool with two legs that stand firmly on the ground. This device is used within the show ring for measuring and verifying the dog's right to be there. A tape measure will not be sufficiently accurate in the show ring. The wicket has a centrally placed movable bar that is adjusted to fit firmly on top of your dog's withers. Show judges are allowed to wicket your dog only once. This is one of the reasons you should teach your dog to become comfortable with this measuring procedure.

Ultimately, the goal of showing for conformation is to maintain the highest standards of the breed so that future progeny remain of the highest quality and inherited health issues are reduced. During these events, show dogs are judged by knowledgeable and experienced experts who assess the dogs' physical characteristics, gait, and temperament.

 All show dogs must learn to "stack," or stand squarely and still. In hand stacking, you use your hand to manually place each leg in position while standing or kneeling close to the dog.

Your dogs will have to stack several times during a show. Many people let dogs "free stack" most of the time, but you should hand stack right before the judge looks at you. This makes certain of the best possible stance for your dog.

The specific position your dog should be in will vary according to the expectations of the breed. You will know what is required if you join a breeders club.

When training for hand stacking, keep a good-sized treat in your right hand. Have it partially covered so the dog can only nibble on it as you adjust the positions of his feet.

Adjust the dog's front legs first, moving them at the elbow. Then, keeping your left hand on the dog at all times, move to the back legs and adjust them at the hock. Never stack by touching the dog's feet, as this might make him shift his whole body. 

Activity Dogs.

 If your dog is a performance dog, you can join a club and participate in sporting events. There are many interesting and fun activities that you could do with your dog. 

Canine agility is a competitive sport for dogs. They are trained to jump, travel through tunnels, and cross through obstacle courses. All the way the dogs are listening to their handlers. This sport requires very good communication between the dog and the handler.

Agility is an excellent form of exercise and mental stimulation, making it ideal for high-energy dogs like Border Collies Shepherds, and Kelpies. Just about any healthy dog can participate in agility. The intensity and difficulty of the course can be altered to accommodate dogs with limitations or special needs. Teamwork and communication are vital. The height of the dog will be a factor in traversing the course through tunnels, etc.

Most dogs that possess the instinct to herd absolutely love it. Training and trials are great ways to let them act on this instinct. Trials involve the dog, a group of animals (often sheep or cattle), handlers, and judges. The handlers give commands, and the dogs demonstrate their patience and agility in moving the herd into a specified area, or yard.

Many dogs built for activity love herding, and there are probably herding groups in your area to contact regarding training and competitions.

If you are breeding or selling dogs, you will be required to give information, which includes his height. This information is included in a dog bill of sale form. It helps the buyer to plan in advance and judge if the dog is suitable for the home and family. A description of the dog's physical characteristics will be on any identity passports and breeders' certificates. The vet will also take measurements of weight and height and other things when you bring him in. Watch carefully when the vet or the vet nurse weighs and measures your dog. They might even have brochures or printouts that describe how to measure a dog's height. Maybe they use a carpenter's level or a measuring tape. Perhaps they have a chart already on the wall.

There are many clubs and associations. When you join a club, you will meet many knowledgeable people who will also be willing to share with you their advice on how to measure a dog; where exactly his shoulder blades and withers are; they will probably have a tape measure to use for the job as well.  

It's important to know about the breed of the dog when you buy your puppy. Knowing his breed will allow you to make accurate assumptions about how big he will get, and what kind of facilities he will need as an adult.

Dogs are subject to many problems related to their hips, shoulders and legs. Some of these diseases and conditions are an outcome of old age. The actual height of the dog doesn't really have a bearing on whether he will get any of these problems. His weight, on the other hand, might have a role to play.

Many of the orthopedic problems that dogs face can have an effect on the dog's height. Many of these disorders have a genetic component; disorders such as dysplasia and osteochondritis are more common in large dog breeds, and luxating patella has a tendency to strike small breeds. Obesity can trigger or worsen many disorders of the bones and joints due to the additional pressure placed on them; disorders such as arthritis and ligament tears are more common and more severe in overweight and obese animals. 

Always be guided by the vet. The amount of exercise that the patient will require will vary from situation to situation, and these recommendations should be followed for your pet. Too much exercise or exercise that is too intense can lead to further damage to the bones and joints, and a lack of exercise can lead to overall poor health and muscle wasting. 

About the author 

Stan Jones

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