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Alright, so I know it seems like it is a silly question to ask, but I thought I would run it by. I have been feeding my Elkhound 1 cup of food for breakfast and 1 cup of food for dinner (for a total of 2 cups a day). I thought this was a normal, conservative amount for a medium dog.

I feed him Taste of the Wild, which I know can be pretty high in protein.

I take him for a brisk 15-20 minute walk in the morning and a second one after dinner every day. Sometimes we jog a little bit, but he has never been a high energy dog (he seems to prefer gnawing on bones over running around). Sometimes we go to the dog park, I try to get him to run around, but he usually seems to lose interest unless there is another dog he can chase. We do not have a yard at the moment (and even if we did, I doubt he would run around like a nut anyway).

He is 60 lbs. He is twice the size of most females his age and is about 21 inches tall. His thick hair seems to make him look bigger than he is....I can feel his ribs when I feel his chest, etc. There is no fat there, but he seems to carry a lot in his neck and shoulders. I get paranoid because people who have never seen Elkhounds before automatically say "Oh, he's so cute, he looks like a fat Husky" and at first it made me mad, but now I'm getting worried that he shouldn't be so hefty.

I don't know what the culprit is because I don't think I overfeed him, I take brisk walks with him twice every day and he isn't high energy in the first place. Should I be feeding him less? I am leery about going to the vet because I have a feeling they will just try to put me on some fancy diet for him.

Does he need more exercise? He doesn't exhibit any signs of being anxious or needing to release energy. He is generally a calm dog. Is there a chance he is just built this way? The hair on his shoulders and neck is about 3.5 inches long (which can make him look more beefy).

I know Elkhounds have a tendency to gain weight, so this is why I am concerned. I know he won't be scrawny like some of the Dobermans I've owned, but I want him to be healthy!

Here is a recent picture of him from a few days ago: http://www.dogforum.com/members/133242/album/elkhound-baby-7393/1-5-years-old-smelling-flowers-44281.jpg
It is the same as my avatar photo...but you can see a little bit on his shape and such.
 

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The Elkhounds I've met have all had that thickness in the neck and shoulders that makes them look fat, even when they aren't. As long as the rest of him seems a good weight, I would think it's just his build.
 

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It's hard to tell from pictures just how in shape a long haired, double coated, dog is. Even in person it's hard to tell by simply looking, you really need to either get them wet, or get your hands on them. Back when I had my terrier his coat made him look twice his size, he "shrank" when I wet down his coat. He was underweight at the end of his life (slowly stopped eating) and I couldn't tell until I felt him.

Your boy is gorgeous! Is he missing a front leg? If he is you definitely want to keep him on the lean side, so if you do think he's gained to much weight, and he doesn't care to exercise more, then cutting back on his food by maybe 1/8 to 1/4 a cup should help.

You should be able to feel your boy's ribs when you press along his side, don't press hard, just enough to feel his body under his coat. Your boy's abdomen should tuck up and not hang even with his chest, if he's starting to resemble a sausage he's getting fat. When you run your hands along his sides he should tuck in a bit right behind the ribs, in other words he should have a waist.
 
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