To determine the height of some animals, such as dogs and horses, you need to measure their height at the withers. But, what are the dog withers, and where are they located on the dog’s body?
The withers are the highest point of the dog’s body, excluding the neck and the head. It’s an area, a ridge between the shoulder blades of a dog.
If your dog has a short coat, you will easily spot this point. However, if your dog’s coat is long, it will be more complicated.
Why Is Knowing Where The Dog’s Withers Are Important?
Well, as we said above, dog withers are the tallest point on the dog’s body. Since dogs, horses, and some other animals are measured at the withers, you need to find that point to properly measure your dog.
Knowing the dimensions of your dog such as weight, length, and height is very important. For example, you need to know your dog’s dimensions if you want to buy him a proper crate, bed, clothes, and accessories.
Regularly measuring your dog’s dimensions is also a great way to keep track of his development and general health.
Also, you need to know your dog’s exact dimensions if you want him to compete in competitive sports.
How To Measure A Dog At The Withers?
Ok, now that you know what the dog withers are, it’s time to measure your dog’s height. The most accurate way to measure your dog’s height is by using an instrument called a Wicket. However, this instrument is fairly expensive and it can cost a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, if you are skilled enough, you can make your Wicket following several tutorials you can find on the internet.
However, we won’t focus on the Wicket in this article. We will measure the dog’s height in several simple steps. The easiest way to measure your dog’s height is to “transfer” the dog’s weight onto the wall, door frame, fridge, etc.
Place your dog close to the wall or a door frame
You want to place your dog as close to the wall, the fridge, the door frame, or any other surface you want to transfer his height on. Make sure that the floor your dog stands on is flat. The dog’s posture should be normal with all four paws firmly on the floor.
Locate and feel your dog’s withers
As we have already said, dog’s withers are the ridge that is located between but rises above the shoulder blades. This is the highest point of the dog’s body when standing on all fours. Use your hand to feel and determine the highest point on the ridge.
Transfer the dog’s height to the surface
Now that you have located the tallest point of the dog’s body, it’s time to transfer it to whichever surface you have chosen. To properly transfer the height to the surface, you need to use the level.
Place the level across the withers, make sure that one end of the level is touching the surface you want to transfer the dog’s heigh to.
Check if the level is leveled and level it if it’s not the case. If you haven’t used the level before, this is what you need to do.
Every level has a small window in the middle where you can see a bubble inside the tube. You can also see the two rings inside that tube. These rings designate where the bubble should be if the surface is level.
When transferring your dog’s height to the surface, make sure that the bubble is between these two rings as close to the center as possible.
When the level is leveled, mark the point where the bottom of the level is touching the surface. This is your dog’s tallest point.
Measure the distance between the floor and the mark
This distance between the floor and the mark on the surface is your dog’s height at the withers. Use a tape measure or a yardstick to measure the height.
Dog withers are the tallest point on the dog’s body, excluding the neck and the head. They are located between but rise above the shoulder blades. Knowing where your dog’s withers are is very important since we use them to measure the dog’s height.