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Thread: Bernie is to be retired, strictly. How do you tell a working dog this?

  1. #11
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    Hiya Scottsmum, there is indeed a nicer middle ground. And it is what we have had for the past 2 yrs. Going for quality of life, not quantity in years lived. There is a price tag for that. Earlier break down of bone joint. So here we are, time to pay the ferry man so to speak.

    We are doing scent stuff with him, he loves that. But it is a rather fast game. or shall i say he thinks he only has a second to 'find' missing object, so runs at it.
    again, drive too high.

    I have 3 lame dogs right now.
    So i wonder, what am i doing wrong?
    2 with torn CL. One just limping for some reason for past week.

    Is this so called 'great' life i have my dogs living too rough? Are dogs unable to run for miles across any terrain anymore? Have they turned into pavement walkers only?

    I still have $1645 to pay off of Pohms CL reconstruction operation last year, that was a waste of 4.5k But pohm has always had a couch potatoe inside waiting to get out, if the GSD would just leave her be. She has retired nicely, with dignity. Happy to laze when we are inside, especially so now its cold outside.

    Are there any breeds left, that can run off leash in countryside rural lifestyle, without busting joints? Coz im over CL injuries and their legacy for the dogs who have them. This is a serious question. I know GSD's and Rotties especially are notorious for this. Anyone know a larger breed that doesnt get this sort of problem?
    I have to ask myself, if i live in too rough an area, mountainous, woodland, lakeside. No paths, pavements. Just bush. It seems too hard going on dogs to be offleash these days?.
    Even Brian started limping last week!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Are there any breeds left, that can run off leash in countryside rural lifestyle, without busting joints? Coz im over CL injuries and their legacy for the dogs who have them. This is a serious question. I know GSD's and Rotties especially are notorious for this. Anyone know a larger breed that doesnt get this sort of problem?
    I have to ask myself, if i live in too rough an area, mountainous, woodland, lakeside. No paths, pavements. Just bush. It seems too hard going on dogs to be offleash these days?.
    Even Brian started limping last week!
    I don't know heaps about what breeds are prone to what diseases, but i always thought Kelpies were pretty hardy dogs... they're probably too small for you though... Dodge spends hours running around our property, climbing over fallen trees, and searching through my dad's scrap metal (which involves climbing and weaving). She turns 10 this year and is still going strong. She has slowed down a little bit, but she still has 10X the energy of Koda. Being a light dog also i imagine there would be less pressure on their joints etc.

  3. #13
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    Dec 2009
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    Western Sydney
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    I've never let any of mine run around silly because of the fear something might happen as has happened to bernie's dogs. Yes I've been told by the GSDL instructors years ago..."you must let them run around it's good for them" but I didn't believe them.

    The vet where I go treats Grey Hounds and they have the same problems and worse...these dogs were bred to run (race) so if they have these problems it's only natural we'd get then too...so I'll keep mine in cotton wool...it's much cheaper.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Hiya Scottsmum, there is indeed a nicer middle ground. And it is what we have had for the past 2 yrs. Going for quality of life, not quantity in years lived. There is a price tag for that. Earlier break down of bone joint. So here we are, time to pay the ferry man so to speak.
    Oh dear. Well I suppose only you can make that call about when enough is enough. Last time I had a dog PTS I knew it was the right time. We'd "bought" her a few extra years with the help of a different lifestyle and medication and it was worth every cent and trip to the specialist and moment we got with her but it was so obvious when it was her time. I'm firmly believe the last great act of kindness we can show our pets is to PTS before "enough" becomes "too far".

    Take care, I'm sure you'll make the right decision at the right time for your family.

  5. #15
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    Geelong, Vic
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    We are doing scent stuff with him, he loves that. But it is a rather fast game. or shall i say he thinks he only has a second to 'find' missing object, so runs at it.
    again, drive too high.
    His drive is not too high he just thinks that is how to achieve drive satisfaction. So you take him back to square one and retrain him. Tiny steps, reward with a toy often and have him grip it hard, not shake it around. I saw a video from the netherlands, dogs were doing scent detection for the ultimate reward - a tiny piece of carbon fiber rod about 4 inches long. They gripped that rod for grim death when they found it, no jumping, thrashing, whining etc just sat there gripping it. We have an idea for some reason prey work has to be this manic explosion, but in fact it does not have to. You can have a super quiet, calm dog still working through prey - because thats how you set the rules for the game. The dog can still be satisfied.
    http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c11/Mali_nut/K9LOGO.jpg

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Are there any breeds left, that can run off leash in countryside rural lifestyle, without busting joints? Coz im over CL injuries and their legacy for the dogs who have them. This is a serious question. I know GSD's and Rotties especially are notorious for this. Anyone know a larger breed that doesnt get this sort of problem?
    I have to ask myself, if i live in too rough an area, mountainous, woodland, lakeside. No paths, pavements. Just bush. It seems too hard going on dogs to be offleash these days?.
    Even Brian started limping last week!
    Yes of course. A good structured working bred dog! Choose a light breed with a well angulated structure. Heavier breeds with straight stifles could get themselves into cruciate trouble. Having said that I have been realy fortunate with cruciate surgery. Worked an absolute treat and allowed me to continue working my cattle dog for quite a few extra years without any problem. Money very well spent for me.

    With larger breeds find a breeder who breeds dogs to work and has taken the issue of structure really seriously and also rigourously aware of HD nad ED issues as this can also make a dog more susebtible to cruciate injury because everything is out of whack.

    Then keep them very lean and well muscled and bring them on thoughtfully as youngsters. I would avoid the whole ball throwing thing with these types of dogs where they skitter to a stop with back legs flying.

    Lakes are great for burning energy as long as you dont let them ingest too much water as this can also kill them. I always use a flat floating object. Also be aware of hidden objects under the water.

  7. #17

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    I really feel for you about joint problems and your pups. I quite like what ‘Dogman’ said about ‘wrapping them in cotton wool’ – but not for their whole life – just probably the first 2 (?) years.

    I also like what 'Kalacreek' has said about breeders/breeds and types of exercise. Joint problems can be found in a lot of breeds and cross breeds of pups - though they seem to be more prevalent in the larger breeds.

    Large breed pups go through an amazing growth exercise, plus they are slow developing, maturing and need to be slowly grown.

    Know about the anatomy of dogs and how everything works and develops is a good place to start to stop problems with joints:

    Bones and Joints - Dog Health

    Now, a breeder can do everything correctly in producing sound puppies – health testing and so on – but sometimes there is a ‘crapshoot’ regarding genes/DNA. Even breeding the same 2 dogs each time will not guarantee clones of the first ‘perfect’ litter.

    Then we get these pups at 8 weeks of age. Now we are getting into the area that we are responsible for – under the titles of environment and nutrition. These are areas that we have control over.

    Dr. Karen Becker

    https://www.msu.edu/~silvar/hips.htm

    Extra Large Breed Dogs - An Owner's Guide To The 'Big 'Uns'

    Four Simple Reasons Your Pet Develops Joint Problems and Arthritis

    Just remember that:
    You were born to be real.jpg
    and

    We are not perfect.jpg

    So have a read of the above links and see what you think ! Don’t give up on the large breeds of pups because they are awesome pups.

    I know that with each new pup - I do things a bit differently and hopefully better than with the last one.

    One thing that I will never teach a pup now is to chase a ball - because of the repetition of movement and damage this can cause to a pup's bones and joints. Riley finds things from a sit/stay. He is still having fun, using his nose and brain - but without all the twists and turns in chasing after a ball.
    That is what it is all about ? smiley-eatdrink004.gif

  8. #18
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    Have nothing of value to add Bernie, just wanted to say how sad I was to read your post, and tell you that I'm thinking of you both.

  9. #19
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    So sad Bernie. It seems to be physical pain vs mental anguish.

    Some good advice on training here. But would it be worth getting a second opinion, in case there's drugs or equipment that may help?

    I personally like Kalacreek's attitude. I like the idea of letting the dog make the choice of how much exercise they can handle whilst making sure that you offer them an easy 'out'.

  10. #20
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    Oct 2009
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    I am so sorry to read about this and have no helpful suggestions.

    I wonder if a sighthound would fulfil you wishes on a larger breed of dogs but I know nothing about them.
    You may have to downsize your wants though to a medium sized breed. Heeler, kelpie, BC?

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

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