Limit...

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by FG167, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    Some of you may have seen this on FB....I have/had been getting a lot of comments lately on Limit in agility. I mostly blew them off because he's so young and sometimes puppies are ugly...Everything from he has bad hips, to he holds his back funny, to knees etc etc. The consensus was that structurally, he may not be good for agility.

    So, I recently had him more officially evaluated by a close friend who has done very well in the agility world and also is familiar with working line Australian Kelpies (in Australia), who do agility. His structure is not so good :( Rear end assembly is not conducive to continued training in agility. He doesn't push off his rear, or use his rear to land, or stop - he depends solely on his front. I thought he was lazy, but she (and now I), could see his left knee specifically, give out at random on turns and hard pushes while running. She equated it to the way that some badly bred show line GSDs look - sort of loose, and unsupported in the rear, without the angulation of course. He also has little to no muscle low on his back legs (stifle area) - which for the amount of exercise he gets, is sort of odd. He also has very thin, sort of stringy muscle in his upper back legs. Once the weather is nice, hoping a lot of swimming will help that without causing issues.

    I do not believe him to be in pain (which is where x-rays come in), but I am not one to train my dog in a sport that may or may not later cause serious physical damage. Luckily (or not), he doesn't care. He is a happy boy and is not one that "needs" to train every day or even every other day. He's very content rough housing with the other dogs, racing around the yard, and chewing on his toys in the living room, in the evenings. I am, of course, super sad that he is not going to be able to continue forward as my next performance dog.

    I have been asked about rehoming him and...I do not know. In the past, when I've rehomed a dog, I've known beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this was best for the dog. Currently, this is so fresh, and I adore this dog so much, his issues are not "dangerous" to others (I've placed aggressive dogs in the past), or difficult to deal with myself (or dogs miserable in the multi-dog household), I am not able to objectively consider it at this time. I can't honestly say if he'd be better in an active pet home, because my heart is screaming "no, he's mine!". So, for the forseeable future, unless the perfect home is begging for him, or I can say clearly that he would be happier elsewhere, I am not listing him anywhere and he will continue to be my silly, spazzy, crazy little Kelpie.

    He turned 10 months old on Saturday and we went for a romp at a friend's field. He's not grown much since about 6 months so I think his growth plates are probably about closed. I am going to neuter him soon, and have his hips, elbows, knees x-rayed.

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    Weirdest little dog - he can always make me laugh
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    If you read all of that, thanks :) He's my special little guy <3
     
  2. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    I wouldn't rush into neutering him. A specialized vet/ortho person can feel if the last growth plate (on the sternum) has closed or not, without taking an x-ray. Possibly dysplastic dogs are the one specific area I am really opposed to neutering young. Let those hormones see what they can do, especially in regards to muscle development.
     
  3. GatorDog

    GatorDog Member

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    This just plain stinks. I'm sorry Falon. :(
     
  4. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    Wow, I was not aware of that. Do you think there is a benefit to waiting to have his x-rays done? I suppose I could do the x-rays first and then neuter later and then I'll know about his growth plates. I just do not like putting my dogs under multiple times if I can squeeze everything into one. I am completely ok with keeping him intact until later - I had planned to originally show him so that was the plan anyway.
     
  5. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    Thank you, really. 2013 so far has been rather a rough ride and this hit me very hard. It makes me feel a ton better that he is happy even without doing performance sports. Kastle would not be as happy I do not think. Of course having the support of numerous friends has made everything as easy as it can be under the circumstances.
     
  6. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    No advice or anything, but I'm really sorry as well. :-(
     
  7. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

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    I'm sorry to, but I also agree I'd wait, he's only 10 months old, from what I've been told, and I could be wrong, but I thought growth plates aren't really closed until around 16-18 months..

    I wouldn't count him out just yet, he may be in a funky growth spurt..Just my opinion:))
    Diane
     
  8. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    No real benefit to waiting on x-rays I'd say, but if you're just looking at growth plates... then you wouldn't need to? I'm fairly certain the chiro/rehab person we see "knows how."
     
  9. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    It sucks when your plans don't pan out. My agility pup has bad knees. Sucks bad.

    I would recommend looking into vets and sports vets though. Getting a few opinions on things. When I first found out Mia had knee problems, I jumped to conclusions that she'd never be able to do what I wanted her to do. Luckily some people on here helped me step back and re-evaluate. With 2 vets' approval and the instructor we decided to start up. She's been fine so far but it is in the back of my mind that we may have to stop at any time.

    Dogs don't know their structure isn't the best. Mia does so much worse to herself in every day life. It's not fair to stop her from doing that, she's so active.

    I'm not saying jump the dog no matter what, I'm just saying I would hold off a while. Think things through. Get other opinions. And don't make any rash decisions right away. It HURTS a lot at first.

    There's always the option of less taxing sports too. Nosework, obedience, rally, etc. You have Kastle to work at least (that's more than I have, my other dog is old lol). Agility is just a game though. I think it's important to remember that sometimes. I'm very guilty of thinking more of agility than it's worth. I have to remember agility is for the dogs, not the dogs for agility. Mia doesn't care if we do agility or if we don't. She just cares that we do things together. She likes nosework just as much (even if I don't).

    People suggested I rehome one of mine. Sports has been a big deal for me and it's been a long journey to get involved in. I get frustrated sometimes because other people seem to get it a lot easier. But it's all about a journey. Rehoming a dog I adore over a game is not something I could do.

    anyways, it sucks bad. I've been there.
     
  10. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    So much this. This this and this again.
     
  11. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    :hail::hail:

    Awesome, awesome post.
     
  12. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Awww :( I'm sorry agility won't work out. Laurelin has a great point about less physically demanding sports, seems to me (with Kastle) you have a knack for obedience. And there's no reason why you couldn't do some light agility for fun if he isn't dysplastic! Just being a 'pet' and hanging out with you all day is probably just fine with him too.
     
  13. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    I'm so sorry, Falon :(

    I agree with what Laurelin said about exploring less physically demanding sports!
     
  14. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    I agree. He has no idea. He flings himself about outside with no obstacles. I see his knee give out when he turns...I won't stop him from it. He is happy and he loves to hike and play fetch etc etc so those are simple things that require no extra strain beyond what he would do on his own.

    I am considering nosework depending on availability. He is started in detection - I started him on explosives odor - and he took to that really quickly so I think he'd enjoy it a lot. His temperament is not going to enjoy obedience/rally - he despises being stared at in a group, and he's really spazzy/fidgety in his positions. Which is actually one of the things I think is endearing about him :) He liked swimming last summer so I'm hoping dock jumping in the future. I got him primarily for flyball and agility and while agility may be possible, I really don't want to do flyball anymore with him. He also really enjoys frisbee, which is Jason's current passion to learn about so if we can do some flat work with that - or I know there is some agility with just hoops and tunnels?

    It really does suck bad. BUT, I am in a position in life where I can add another dog - a large dog - and continue on with that dog AND keep Limit. IF he is every rehomed, it will be because it was in his best interest, not because I got another sport dog to "replace" him. He's a happy pet as of right now - he travels fine, he loves our pet sitter when he doesn't come with, he is good in the house, loves yard and mommy time - he's really a VERY easy keeper in terms of neediness.

    My plan right now in terms of sports is to let him grow up and see what happens. I'm going to say he's my "pet" dog so that I don't put pressure on myself to put any foundation on him and just let him be him and see. It's a personal issue, a personal hang up, that I feel guilty when I decide one of my dogs is better as a pet than a performance prospect. The DOG doesn't care, I don't know why I get so hung up. I am soooo not against pet homes in any way, I just feel like I'm letting them (my dogs) down. Stupid, I know.

    Thanks everyone so much for being so nice and supportive. My biggest problem is all in my head. These last couple of weeks of time "off" from training, Limit has not even noticed LOL so it's not like he cares! Jason adores him as well and loves him as a house pet so it's not like there's any conflict about it. JUST. In. My. Head. I need to keep reminding myself that it's not my fault and I am not letting him down!
     
  15. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Get multiple opinions. I would never end the career of a dog based on one persons evaluation, even if they were by best friend and the most accomplished person in the world.
     
  16. Cali Mae

    Cali Mae Little dog, big voice

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    No super great advice, but I think Limit is incredibly lucky to have ended up in such a great home, whether or not he's structurally sound enough to do agility/etc.

    He always looks so incredibly happy in your pictures and as long as he's happy and comfortable, there's no point in holding him back from high speed runs around the yard or not trying out lower impact dog sports.

    Back at Cali's annual exam last year, the vet said it felt as though she had grade two luxating patellas. I worry quite a bit about it, and it was a huge bummer for me since I wanted to eventually get into a bunch of sports with her, but she has another exam coming up and I'll be asking about flyball. I'm also going to get her patellas x-rayed hopefully just to confirm what grade it truly is and how bad they really are. If not, we're going to either go into rally-o or nosework. She hasn't ever shown pain and is as crazy as ever, jumping off the bed and getting 100km/h zoomies after a bath.
     
  17. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    The reason I took the opinion so seriously was due to the number of people that have made the statement. BUT, that being said, I am thinking of waiting until he turns 1 (in May), and having the x-rays done, send them to OFA for prelims and such. That gives him a few more months to develop and me a definite time to let him be and check into things. More time for growth plates too and I'll reconsider when I want to neuter him at that time.

    Thank you, that was a very kind hearted thing to say :) He is a super happy little guy! I can't even imagine what it would take to slow him down in the yard. I also believe in quality vs quantity. I'd rather he be SUPER happy, running around and then perhaps not being able to do that in middle age than be held back and live to an old age not as happy. If that makes sense.

    Stupid knees! Well, I guess this is a lesson - I gambled on an unpopular breed from un-health tested parents.
     
  18. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Good posts Laurelin and Sara.

    Rehoming him because he didn't pan out at 10 months is jumping the gun. He's a baby. Also do not rush to neuter him. Keep up with fun, lower impact, and enjoy him for what he is.

    You may learn a lot with him, you may find your soulmate in him. You may decide rehoming is the right choice but until then keep an open mind and let him mature.

    Politely tell the person preemptively culling him you plan to wait and get yourself to a sports vet.
     
  19. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Additionally, I recommend doing Pennhip and OFA, you can even Pennhip now but I would wait until you can do both.
     
  20. GatorDog

    GatorDog Member

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    This! You are one of the best dog moms/handlers out there. Limit is a lucky guy to even have you in his life and if he's happy just being in it then you will both be just fine.
     

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