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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel kind of bad because in the year or so that I've had Brae he's been in a few scrapes already. He's a high drive, high impact kind of dog. So I'm not too surprised. And all in all, he is fine. But I can't help but wonder if I'm being careless, pushing too hard, or doing something wrong. "Live and learn", I know. But I don't want to accidentally mess up my dog either! Here's a list of injuries he's had so far over the course of a year (He'll be 1.5 years old on July 29th):

-Near blockage - did not see him eat a whole stick. Vomited, constipated, about to take him to the e-clinic but pooped out tons of wood chips.

-Near blockage again - did not remove teething toys from old crate. Same thing, about to take him in but he passed an entire rope knot.

-Carpal pad tear - playing fetch in the snow, suddenly his carpal pad is bleeding profusely and nearly came off.

-Subconjunctival hemorrhage - no idea how this happened. Maybe Soro got him or something while playing but imagine the entire white (sclera) of one eye being blood red. He looked like a demon. Basically, bruised eyeball.

-Injury to throat - he tried to grab a stick as it bounced on the ground and it jabbed him in the far back of the throat. It hurt enough that it stopped him for a minute or so. had to have him bite a stiff jolly ball to see it with a flashlight and it was bloody back there. Cleared up on its own in a few days.

-Limp tail - this one might not count, but he's definitely had limp tail once after swimming in cold water or being hosed off. It lasted a week.

-Chafed thighs - sorta embarrassing, but after our 19 mile hike (which was warm and wet) his testicles chafed his inner thighs so I'm keeping tabs on that.

-(a lot of minor scrapes, worn pads, etc. those are what I'd consider 'normal' through active lifestyle)
 

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Molly is like this - and it was a lot worse when she was younger.

What changed was not her suddenly becoming more careful. What changed was that I realized that she was never going to be careful with herself/exercise any sense/have a sense of self-preservation and send signals that things were uncomfortable or wrong, which meant that I *had* to do it for her.

What this translates to is just being a lot more conservative with her than I would a dog who acted like they had some sense (or nerve endings). It means frequent 'forced' rest breaks during high intensity exercise, conservative throws of toys, stopping and checking paw pads and feet when we're doing anything over a long distance, rough terrain or high speed direction changes.

And letting go of the idea of 'challenging' her to see what she can do or push the limits. Because she won't say 'nope, can't' like a dog with some sense would and bail if it's too much (or even indicate discomfort I can read). She'll do it and come up bloody and broken. She's broken all 4 canines off, broken off nails (this was after I got careful), torn paw pads COMPLETELY off, jumped over cliffs, run headlong into trees, done some really bad jumps that would get her killed if she'd come down even slightly worse, nearly drowned herself - you get the idea.

So, the trick with her is 'enough activity to stay conditioned and improve condition both physical and mental' and 'enough restraint on my end to not encourage or allow stupid stuff just because she's athletic and impressive' and still expect some injuries but hopefully not a seriously maimed dog who loses the ability to do ANYTHING Or a dead dog.

That said, crap happens and everything you've mentioned with him sounds pretty much like minor inattentiveness on your end and 'puppy' on his. Basically 'life'.

Kiran, thank god, is actually higher intensity and drive in some ways but he's never so aroused he stops thinking and one of the things he thinks about is apparently 'will I DIE?!?!'. I would not want two of those :p They're expensive! So, basically, long way around: *SYMPATHY*.
 

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Ember has been injured so much. Usually playing ball or frisbee.. her favorite things.

- Cracked teeth from running into things at high speeds.
- Ripped/sliced paw pads from hitting just the right spot on something.
- Sliced a toe open.. it bled soo much. Needed staples. Kept tearing the staples. -_-
- Gimpy rear end, pulled muscles multiple occasions.
- Ate a big thing of straight up fat/grease while I was in the other room. I cannot believe she didn't end up with pancreatitis.

There have also been soo many instances where she SHOULD have been seriously hurt but somehow was not. Flips, rolls, face plants. She just shakes it off and keeps going like a crazy dog. We try to be careful and not overdo things.. really. But things just happen. Life happens. We adjust and move on. I definitely don't fault you. You are only human after all.
 

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We can try as hard as we want, even become "helicopter" dog moms but, accidents will happen, they will get hurt. Mine rarely do but, it happens now and then. I let them be canines, like today Kaila, my 11 week old pup was out playing in the yard, chasing insects, butterflies, beetles and such. She went after a red wasp, caught it and got her tongue stung for it. After watching her for an allergic reaction for an hour and, seeing none, I fed her a meat snow cone for her dinner. (That's frozen raw meat whizzed in a Ninja food processor to make meat snow out of it. She was happy with that, made her tongue feel better and, that made me happy. Now she's got a rabbit bottle with ice water in it in her crate tonight, she can lick the cold water if she need to cool her tongue off again. (Yes she knows how to use a water bottle.)

Sometimes dogs will be dogs. Treat the injury and go on, and hope they learned a lesson from their mishap.
 

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Active dogs- just like active people- accident prone. Live and learn. I've had a few that sort of needed to be protected from themselves lol. Pretty common with dogs with drive in my experience. I'm way more careful about it now than I used to be though. A little older a little wiser.....all my injuries from my teens and twenties and early thirties caught up with me. Trying to avoid yhe same happening with my dogs, but yeah, its tough when you have enthusiastic dogs that just want to do everything and anything they can! My shepherd just discovered the joys of climbing fallen trees and jumping from a height of 5 or 6 six feet then racing around and doing it again. Ugh
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your experiences! Makes me relieved that we're not the only one :D
Gotta love the crazy dogs. Brae's just so much fun wherever we go...
 

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When Mesa was younger she was always limping on one foot or another because she'd jumped off of something before we could stop her, or she ran over a stick and got poked, or she just played too rough with another dog. She doesn't get hurt as much now. It's not because she's any less rough. It's because she's bigger and tougher and it takes more to faze her.

I don't think you're doing anything wrong. Those busy dogs will get injured just being busy.
 

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Sadie lost her toenail and some skin on her back left paw when she was around 5 months old. She kept trying to jump over this pile of cement stones in the back yard so that she could get to the front yard and she knocked over one of them and it landed on her toe. Cue a vet visit. The nail is growing back normally now, although it seemed to grow upside down for a while!

She picked up some sort of allergy from the garden in my mother's house when we stayed there for month or so. Her face suddenly started swelling up in places. Cue another vet visit.

She picks up the odd scrape and scratch here and there while on walks or just playing around in the yard. Nothing too serious apart from the above two incidents, but then we don't do much heavy duty hiking and the most running she does is when we go to the beach (we have an entire stretch all to ourselves nearby to where we stay).

Dogs certainly seem to be more accident prone than I expected them to be. Probably the more stuff they do, the more likely they are to meet with the odd accident or two.
 

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High Drive dogs can teach us a lot. They need to be handled differently. Truly they do.

Suggestions if you are open to them. If not that is OK.. just scroll on by. This is what I have learned watching and hearing the stories with friends with high drive dogs.

Stop using sticks. Those of us who have dogs like Brae (high drive.. all they see is the goal and damage themselves reaching it) do not play with certain things and sticks are off the list. We have had dogs injured and careers ended with sticks. We have had the same with tennis balls as they lodge in the throat and cannot be removed and the dog suffocates (there are other balls this cannot happen with.. usually larger and with a rope attached).

Blockages.. with high drive dogs you monitor all toys all the time. All. The. Time. Know of two world level dogs who had blockages from parts of toys. One would sort of bloat.. then be OK.. sort of.. and be OK. Finally bloated for real and they removed a part of a ball from his stomach. It had been in there over a year. I know of two of these part ball in stomach scenarios. The answer is to inventory toys. Every day. Every time outside. Toys that are breaking down get tossed.

The Eye issue. WVasko, who has passed away, had two national level Field Trial dogs. Dogs were best friends and played together all the time. One day, on the way out the door to a trial, the one dog came up to him with an eyeball hanging out of her head.. and so the trial did not happen and the Vet did. One dog hit the other dog (quite by accident) with a tooth and the eyeball got hooked and popped out of its socket. Vet put it back in and the dog recovered. He was the one who taught me to keep my dogs separated and take them out one at a time. So I do. No need to relearn that lesson.

Pad cuts happen. Ice can cut and these high drive active dogs tend to run and turn fast.. and they can do this on rocks, ice or anything else. The keep going!!
Miserable to heal up. Of course you do all you can but these are in the "stuff happens" category.

Chafing.. need to work up to those miles. We do an AD which is an endurance test where the dog trots next to a bike for 12 miles (do it for the breed survey). Need to work up to it. Recently someone I know took her unconditioned dog a bit too far and he developed a blister on his front foot pad. Moderation.. because (again) these high drive dogs won't tell us.

Handling them is different. More interesting and different!!
 

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Good advice. High energy and/or high drive dogs do need to be handled for what they are.

Many of these dogs will fixated on a goal, a target and, nothing else matters except getting to that target.

I've see them run straight through barbed wire and electric fences, head long into wooden and pipe fences, out in front of cars, right behind a horse or cow that kicked them for it, etc...

Think of it as if you were firing a gun when you set the dog on a target - the path the bullet (the dog) will travel must be 100% clear and safe and, you have to know where the bullet will stop, that has to be a safe stopping point. (The favorite toy thrown right next to a wall, fence or, other obstacle is going to result in the dog slamming into that obstacle at a dead run.) Don't do that to them.

Many of them will also try to dig, climb and/or jump to get to the target - make sure it's safe and, possible for them if you ask them to do that.

Don't call the high drive puppy for dinner when he's upstairs, you may just get a puppy rolling down the stairs which he has barely learned to navigate slowly. Be aware of your dog's drive and, handle him accordingly.
 
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