What to Read Next

70-lb. Dachshund put on Biggest Loser-style program

Sarah Bunting
Animal Nation
September 10, 2012

Cue up the "pig in a blanket" jokes – a 70-pound wiener dog, a Dachshund named Obie, is going on a major diet to try to slim down.

The average Dachshund has a maximum weight of 32 pounds; five-year-old Obie (who used to be called AJ; we assume the "Obie" nickname is short for "obese" – aw, poor guy) weighs more than twice that, topping out at 77 pounds when new owner Nora Vanatta met him last month. (That's seven times what a Miniature Dachshund would weigh.)

His previous owners, an older couple, had to give Obie up because of their own declining health, but thanks to what must have been expert begging by the dog, they'd managed to feed him almost to death in the meantime.

VIDEO: Halloween comes early as bat annoys Omaha newsroom

Vanatta first heard about Obie because she follows Oregon Dachshund Rescue on Facebook, but when she read his weight, she assumed they'd gotten confused about the breed. Nope: he's a purebred. He's also really lucky; Vanatta already owns a couple of dogs (a Labrador and another Dachshund), so she's experienced with canine care in general, and Obie's breed in particular. And she has a degree in animal science, and worked for eight years as a veterinary technician, so she's more qualified than most to supervise a wiener weight-loss regime.

Vanatta is trying to keep Obie's diet mission fun and optimistic; she's started a "Biggest Loser Doxie [Dachshund] Edition" on Facebook, so that fans can track Obie's progress (and maybe get help for their own portly pooches). The goal is for Obie to drop 40 pounds. It's tough sledding to start out with, however. Because he's so round, Vanatta can't take him out for walks, so for now she's got him on a special diet (a Purina rep helped formulate a low-fat, high-protein meal plan for Obie) and hydrotherapy to start melting the pounds away. Vanatta might incorporate a treadmill later on, once there's less stress on Obie's joints and bones. (All this stuff isn't cheap, as you pet owners can imagine; if you'd like to help out, Vanatta has a PayPal account to raise money for Obie's care. She's been quite touched by the support they've gotten so far.)

It's a job almost as big as Obie himself – but Vanatta thinks he's worth it. "He is extremely sweet and loving," she told the UK's Daily Mail, calling him "a joy to work with." And while she doesn't judge his previous owners for overfeeding the plump pup – "[they] just couldn't say no to those big brown eyes," she commented – she's hoping that her other dogs will lead Obie by example, and that Obie in turn "can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight."

Obie's aiming for a weight between 30 and 40 pounds.

What's the biggest Dachshund you've ever seen? Have you had any doggie-diet success with hydrotherapy or a treadmill? What's your secret to keeping your hounds at a healthy weight? Let's discuss in the comments.

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.

Elsewhere on Shine Pets:
Kitten's 100-mile journey ends in new home
Signs and solutions for senility in older pets
5 tips for finding the right kennel

Get paid to E*TRADE

Sign up today and claim your reward.

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Missed Open Enrollment? You can still buy Medigap!

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period isn't the only time to buy Medigap coverage. You can actually buy at any time of the year.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Reconnect With Your High School Friends

Classmates® has the largest directory of high school class lists. Remember the good times and reconnect to create new memories.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Flirt with local singles near you

Meet someone new. Click to see photos!

"Brightest Flashlight Ever" Selling Like Crazy

This new military grade tactical flashlight is selling out like crazy. Limited supplies left - Act Fast!

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Do NOT pay your insurance until you try this.

If you drive less than 55 miles/day OR have no DUI's you can get auto insurance for as low as $29/ Month! See if you qualify.

Attn Home Owners Who Never Miss a Payment.

Home Owners who have not missed a payment in 3 years or more need to read this. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home there is a solution.

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Dealing With Pregnancy is Hard Enough. Getting Heartburn While Pregnant is a Pain. Learn What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.