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Thread: Backseat Dog Mum

  1. #1
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    Default Backseat Dog Mum

    Ok so since I'm still waiting for my first puppy I am super sensitive to any dog activity around me and am becoming a backseat driver as far as being a dog mum is concerned. I'm turning into one of those single ppl who give everyone parenting advice

    So out with OH on the weekend having a lovely breakfast at a cafe and a woman rocks up to meet her friends for coffee and she has obviously run to the cafe (all in fitness gear obviously a fitness freak), so that's fine except she has with her an obviously very old dog (white muzzle) who has been forced to run the entire way with her. The poor thing collapses to the ground panting it's heart out. The cafe staff bring it some water and it drinks so much so fast I think its going to throw up. 20 minutes later I've finished my breakfast and the poor dog is still panting heavily. Now I may be getting a bit judgemental but honestly this poor darling looked like it had reached the 'sleeping in front of the fire' stage of its life and I felt really sorry that it had been pushed so hard that it was obviously in distress for a long time.

  2. #2
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    Panting isn't usually a sign of distress in dogs. It is their alternative to sweating. I don't know how warm it is there at the moment, but it may not have been just the running that made the dog hot.

    Hard to know if he overexerted himself. Some dogs look older than they are too and age isn't always a good indicator of what they are capable of. My previous dog could easily run a few kilometers without any issues when she was 10. And a human jogging is usually only a light trot for a medium sized dog.

    And from the dog's point of view, having to run a distance might have been a price he was willing to pay to not be left at home alone.

  3. #3
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    Hard to say. Dogs can and do suffer and sometimes die from heatstroke because panting and sweating from their feet is the only way of cooling them down and it can happen very quickly. A very fit friend of mine lost her older dog very quickly to heatstroke after a long run on a warm day, she wasnt aware of the risk and pushed the dog a little too far. She had water with her for herself but didnt think about the dog. I have had an older dog start to stagger after hyperventilating. With my young working dogs I always make sure they have a trough available to cool off in at regular intervals when they are working hard and panting very hard.

    Old dogs do need exercise to keep them strong but it depends on the dog. I take my older dog on long walks but I wouldnt make her run. I take the trouble to take her on separate walks if I am going to be running or cycling with my youngsters.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 04-22-2014 at 12:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    white muzzle. quite common on a cattle dog that is still young.

    My dog is quite definite about when she doesn't want to go somewhere. But some dogs (mostly kelpies or BC) will run till they collapse and then you have to hose them off or bath them with cold water until they recover. It is possible to over do it but hard to tell if you're just looking at panting and a white muzzle and a dog that will get up when the owner moves off again.

    I think I would ask how old the dog was and comment on how hard it seems to be working for its age or something - without making direct accusations.

    I was a bit unable to hold my tongue the other day when I noticed a dog with extremely long claws that were interfering with its walking gait and comfort. And I said something to the owner's friend. Who repeated it to the owner. Erm.

    So I said I get my dog's claws trimmed at... and the owner - far from getting mad at me for criticising her dog's feet - was really excited to find someone (a professional groomer) who might be able to trim the claws of a dog that hated getting its claws trimmed so bad that the vets wouldn't do it.

    I'd had this discussion because my dog won't let me do it - which doesn't do my confidence any good and she's got black claws so I can't see what needs trimming anyway and I've stuffed it up at least once... Our professional groomer friend - can trim all her claws while I feed her treats and even cut the quick on one or two and she doesn't complain because she's eating treats... Evil hound won't do that for me alone. And we talked about how vets don't get the same kind of regular practice at it that the groomer does.

    It's a bit like experienced nurses being better at giving injections than resident doctors (emergency wards in January).

    So here's hoping my friends dog gets his claws sorted tho it may take more than one visit to get him used to the idea.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, I hope it was that, but from what I saw the dog didn't look very happy, it wasn't a warm day and it was only 8am, the owner was also very flushed and sweaty so I could tell they had run. The dog looked very old to me in general not just the white muzzle and the panting was full on chest heaving which hadn't eased at all about 1/2 hour later when we were getting ready to leave. I would like to think that if a dog had just had a normal run that they wouldn't have to pant that hard for so long afterwards. Anyway I'm just a sook when it comes to dogs and just want them to be happy and not get stressed. or maybe its just that I'm fat and lazy and I'd bite anyone who made me run that hard

  6. #6
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    I dont blame you for feeling that way. I think its pretty easy to see when a dogs stressed ... and totally knackered. Sounds like the owner needs to be tied to a motorbike and see how she likes it.


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  7. #7

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    It's a hard one, when Jack was fully fit he'd chase a ball for 2 hours non stop and would still be panting 20 minutes later after driving home ... but when he got crook on bad days he would walk to the end of the street and then just drop and refuse to move any further(actually had to carry him the 100m or so home a few times) .. basically I reckon most dogs will let your know when they're done, although I do remember an oldish sheep dog of ours collapsing on a hot day after working for a while - but he kept going until he collapsed because he loved what he was doing .. and a quick dunking in a nearby trough got him going again soon enough. So basically I'd say that there is every chance that even if that dog was buggered he/she loved the run and was probably looking forward to the run home

  8. #8
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    I do sometimes feel a bit sorry for dogs on leads with joggers. Their bodies aren't built for constant speeds. I take my dog out with the bike or scooter frequently, but always off lead, so she can stop or slow down whenever she wants and then do a bit of a sprint to catch up. Sometimes she'll trot next to me for a while, but most of the time she meanders and rarely keeps a constant speed. And I also go pretty slow most of the time.

    I'll sometimes let my dogs run until they go lie down on the path in front of me, totally buggered. They always get up again and as long as they can drink somewhere before the drive home, they're fine. I would never do that on a hot day though.

  9. #9
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    If I've been running hard, I go an interesting shade of explosive beetroot. To the point where hockey coaches will pull me off the field. Right now I'd be grateful but back when I was riding a bike 30km a day up and down hills, and training three nights a week and playing and umpiring up to 6 games a weekend - I was extremely fit and beetroot face just meant I'd been running, not that I was tired at all.

    I can't say for sure about the dog in the opening post, the only way you'd know or get the owner to think about it, is to talk to them. I like to hose my dog off when she's hot. At the beach she will fetch a ball three times and then run into the water - tho I think that's more habit than tiredness because she doesn't feel the need to jump in the water after sprinting a kilometre up the beach to see the chicken treat lady.

  10. #10
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    Trouble is that many dogs will keep going past the point that it is good for them. As humans we have to be aware of that. My sheepdogs will die working sheep if I let them and we once had a poodle that would have died playing ball and in fact did once faint which was a wakeup call.

    I monitor my dogs when I am working them and make sure they dont become dehydrated or over heated. I still work them hard but I make sure they have access to water to drink and to lie in especially if it is hot.

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