weight loss for retrievers

I am curious if any of you have ever successfully managed to get a significant amount of weight off an older Labrador retriever? My 8 year-old Lab, Lilly, and I used to live on the water. She hunted pretty much every day during the waterfowl season and swam year-round. We moved last fall and were only able to hunt a few times and swimming now requires a car ride. She put on 15 pounds over about nine months. I have taken her to the vet and there is nothing wrong with her. I understand that she needs to eat less and exercise more, and we are doing that. But she is heavy enough now that she becomes tired rather quickly in steep rough terrain. She is still very eager and intense but just can't carry all this weight. I know this is my fault but am eager for advice from any of you who have faced this situation.


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Both of my labs have gained weight since last winter/hunting season.

I have cut their rations some and worked more with the younger one (she is just 3). In about six weeks she is back in decent shape and weight - still a couple of pounds heavier than she needs to be but that will melt away with hunting seasons as the last two seasons she has lost weight.

The tougher case was the older dog - she is 13 and has many of the typical problems of older labs and not very active anymore - hunting career over. In her prime she weighted 52 pounds. Two months ago at her check-up she was up to 64 pounds and the vet said I needed to get some weight off her. Began cutting rations and was more careful in making sure that she could the pain medication she needed. Have been able to get about a pound a week off her. While she was not happy about the smaller rations she is looking and acting much better.

So yes it can be done - the thing that helped was carefully measuring the amount I was feeding and then cutting that about - in the old dog case cut the ration about 1/3.

Tight lines

My retriever was getting kinda pudgy and so was I for that matter.
We started getting up an hour earlier in the morning and we walk about 3 miles before breakfast.
She gets about a cup of lamb & rice kibble in the morning and the same at dinner time. I cut my rations back too. After 4 months of this she has lost about 10 lbs. and I'm down about 25 lbs.
She really looks forward to the morning walks and that makes it harder for me to weasel out of it.
The road where we walk is nice and flat and there's not much traffic at 5:00 AM.

Thanks Curt and Jon for your suggestions. We are adopting them. Even more importantly, thanks for giving us encouragement that this can be done. Our Lab, like most that I've known, likes eating just a little less than hunting, and it helps to know that this isn't a hopeless undertaking. All my best--Doug
I have Goldens and the girls really like to gain weight after being fixed.
I was feeding a little extra after her litter and during hunting season, but after the season was over she really puged up.
I have cut the ration over the last couple of months and she gets plenty of ex, and now I can find a dog under all that hair.