Some interesting and useful points there, particularly regarding weight control.
Russellterror - there is at least one thread on the forum about weight control so perhaps have a look in case they are helpful. As someone who has speyed bitches with a strong tendency to gain weight, I know how difficult this can be. If it is of any use to you, my experience is as follows:-
* I kept on cutting food down with minimal effect and the poor dogs were famished. I have read that if food is cut down too much the body goes into starvation mode, thus reducing the metabolic rate. This certainly happens in humans and if it happens in dogs then it is counter productive.
* All my three are at a nice weight now but I do keep a close eye on them. I found that higher protein but lower fat is the right way for them. Currently they are having cold pressed food at the top end of the RDA (1.2% of body weight) with a (lean) protein food top up. Protein is 27.8/fat is 11.8%. Quantity wise, this is more than they have had in the past with other products. If the dog is given higher protein it should prevent it from metabolising muscle.
* Before I went back to cold pressed food, I gave them a fish based kibble. Following the advice of Rodney Habib, I reduced the quantity and replaced a meal with home cooked food. It was just vegetables, sweet potato, blueberries and lean meat, chicken, egg, fish in rotation but it worked very well in terms of weight control and they absolutely loved it, especially as there was plenty of it. They love their food but the enthusiasm for this was really OTT.
* Exercise wise, I do what I can bearing in mind age, health and situation. I would hazard a guess that most dogs could happily use more exercise (including mine) but there are many factors that might limit the amount the owner can give.