GO!

Something to engage a dog with luxating patellas?

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!

  
Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 11:09pm PST 
Hi Dogster!

Jasper's knees have been going downhill in the last year or so. His patellas are luxating on both sides...grade 1 on the right and 1-2 on the left, so in theory it's not too bad, but it's making him very uncomfortable. He's taking a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement, and he's at a good weight.

In the past we've done a lot of running and biking together, but now he's getting to the point where he is obviously in pain the day after even moderate execise. For example; on Thanksgiving he came with me to visit the in-laws and spent a few hours running around with his best dog-friend...the next day he was limping. We tried a short round of Rimadyl, which sent him to the emergency clinic with severe vomiting/diarrhea. Not going there ever again.

So we've been walking a lot. He gets out and about every day and we walk or go for a slow jog to keep him fit. The problem is, he's BORED. I think we'd have to walk all day to get him tired like we did with an hour long run or ride.

Now I'm looking for a sport or activity to get his brain engaged without aggravating his knees. A customer suggested nose work, so I've sent off an email to a dog daycare in my area that offers nose work classes. I've also been teaching him new tricks, which we're both enjoying. We have a myriad of puzzle toys, and I'm not sure whether Jasper or the cats have more fun with them!

Does anyone have any more suggestions for engaging the brain of a VERY smart dog whose mind is in better shape than his body?
[notify]


Member Since
06/03/2012
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 2:25am PST 
Jasper would LOVE nosework. In typical classes, dogs each do 3 runs of 3 hides and are mentally exhausted by the end of class.
[notify]
Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 8:33am PST 
Take a look at the rally obedience signs and incorporate them into your walk after training them. Or train them on your walk.

I know tons of non-competing dog owners that take a rally class and then practice on walks. Makes walks more exciting than a straight line.
[notify]

ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 9:24am PST 
Nosework. We love it. A lot of my students tell me their dogs are exhausted after class.
[notify]
Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 11:23am PST 
Oooh, excellent! I heard back from the facility that offers the nosework class, they're booked through January, but I'm going to put a deposit on the January class. big grin I'm so excited!

I'll poke around and see who has Rally classes too. The great thing about living in the SF bay area is that you can find...pretty much anything if you look a bit! So I'm sure finding instructors we can work with won't be a problem. smile

Edited by author Thu Nov 29, '12 11:24am PST

[notify]


Member Since
12/31/1969
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 12:17pm PST 
have you thought about getting his knees fixed too? surgery is quite successful, even if he's an older dog..
[notify]
Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 1:16pm PST 
Our vet feels that surgery would be overkill for Jasper. She said approximately 1 in 10 dogs don't show much improvement after surgery, and even though he's uncomfortable after exercise, if we can get him used to a lighter workout with more brain work and keep him nice and slim, he will do well for the rest of his life. We have walked for up to two hours without Jasper showing any discomfort the next day, so I'm 100% comfortable with the vet's assessment of his condition.

I've always been lax about letting him jump around, so we're working on eliminating the jumping to take a lot of strain off of his knees. We're both adjusting to this "new normal", and I think in the long run he'll be pretty much pain-free.
[notify]
Fritz

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 3:33am PST 
I would check with a board certified orthopedic specialist before deciding about surgery. In the meantime, any chance you'all could swim?

It is recommended for people with joint problems, most likely it would be good for dogs too.

Good Luck
[notify]
Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 7:49am PST 
Swimming would probably be great for Jasper, and we certainly could, but he hates hates hates water!
[notify]