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Old 11-25-2012, 07:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Grim is 9.5. Operational/Certified Cadaver dog who was retired due to a back injury. The biggest change in his life (other than not working) is a lot of leash walking** instead of chasing balls for excercise. The injury (we think it was an injury-never put him through the myelogram because he slowly improved during the time we were dealing with this at the vet -but I have a whole long *other* thread about that .

I made the change because a lot of running does cause his rear wobbliness to increase, and I am now able to go more than a mile without a toe scrape..so low key excercise is really what he needs. He has always completely ignored other dogs and shown only slight interest in cats. Normally, if he sees a strange adult human, he changes to a more alert status but, once again, nothing profound. Never had an issue with this dog and he had his fair share of stupid human things thrown at him. [yapper dogs on flexi leads, an adult "hugging" him, even encountering loose dogs on searchings and working past lunging pits on chains, banging into fences, etc. ..... ok .....so generally great temperament.

RECENTLY he has started stalking everything he sees. Looks like a darned border collie. Ears forward just locks eye, drops low, etc. I just tell him to knock it off and he is still just fine when I stand and talk with neighbors and their dogs etc.

Not sure what to make with it though maybe because I can't let him chase balls and hunting for them (which is what I do so he won't go running and twisting) is not satisfying his prey drive? Poochie Psychobabble........thought it would be interesting to dissect.

**Up and down hills to maintain muscle mass on the back legs...plus I need the walk too
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I know that if Delgado doesn't have enough mental exercise he makes his own trouble.

I think you're right and this is his way of making his own fun
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Poor guy, not being able to chase balls. I'm also thinking he's making up a new game, but maybe there's some frustration behind it too. How much can he do without hurting his back? Obviously no running after balls, but can he lay on the bed while you toss them at him? Or something easier, bigger, softer - if he's not a good catch? My puppy thinks this is a fun game. It's not flirt pole, lol, but he enjoys it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Perhaps he feels more vunerable right now putting him on the defense.

Complete guess...
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know. He does not seem on the defense. I thought the stalk and eye lock was the first part of the predatory sequence though I am open. Certainly no hackles and ears forward. ..........
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think your are right on - I think he needs an outlet for his prey drive.

I'm of the belief that you can't surpress drives, they need to be channeled into activity.

Maybe the occasional game of fetch (like, once a week?) can help expend some of that prey drive without causing any more issues with his back?

One way I play fetch with Gryffon to minimize the sudden stops and to let him stretch out and run for a longer distance is to be in a large open area, and have two balls and a chuckit - he brings back one ball and as he approaches, I tell him to drop it and chuck the other ball in the other direction, so he continues running in a straight line chasing the second ball - then I pick up the one he dropped and do the same as he comes back towards me. Runs twice as far, twice as hard, with a fraction of the sudden stops that a game of fetch with one ball would need.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Jocoyn I don't see this as a problem . Look at human behaviour for your template and you'll be laughing .
How many wives have husbands who have retired after years of being managerial . Suddenly the old boy has no staff to organize , but the skills and need to are still there , so all of a sudden , the dear man sort of bleeds over into the ladies realm that she has just managed oh so well . Now , since he is retired , she is getting advice in the kitchen , in the grocery , maybe even how to drive !!
I see the poor beleagured ladies , husbands hands firmly on the shopping carts , or wandering away with them -- its out of control I tell you. Ah retirement .

So your good dog who was chosen because he has focus and drive is retired . He has lost the structure and purpose of his routine . So his natural talent which is to find and focus become this prey - locate and fix , behaviour.
When I was a kid my mum had a clothes line and I had a dog and I had a few puncture balls . Put the three together . Take a cord and run through the deflated ball , make loop , attach to laundry line , add dog, who was a fiend for balls . The dog would stare at the ball , stalk it , grab it and run to one end , have a shake up with the ball and trot to the other end . Sometimes she would do the zoomies around the bushes and start the stalking behaviour all over .

It was better than fetch , which we did . I would jump on my Raleigh bicycle to the school yard and use the solid brick wall and the hard surface to have an exciting and explosive game of fetch with an india rubber , supper bouncer, whamed against the building . It would ricochet with great speed in unknown directions , or that ball would be rolled down the length of the paved area .

Last edited by carmspack; 11-25-2012 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Idea: Can you play find it games in the house? That's what I do with Rafi on days when I can't get him enough exercise. He loves it. I'm sure you could make it super challenging for Grim.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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LOL you just described my father, after he retired as an aerospace engineer! Guess that is where I got my safety focus from (he tried to stop the launch of Apollo 13 - he was one of the signoffs - and his boss yanked his stamp from his hand and stamped the paperwork anyway-and Apollo 13 is old history....but I remember when they launched it he would not watch it go up and got very angry (we normally watched the start on TV and walked out back to see it go up.)

He drove my poor mother looney tunes. All of a sudden he had to micromanage everything she had done on her own (and quite well) for years.

I guess we are just going to have to find the outlet that does not re-injure that back. .......... Guess we need to just work more HRD problems again even though he won't be deployed. (His certification expires in January and some of the cert problems are physically too much anyway..the boat, inside vehicles, high hides in buildings, the rubble pile)

He can work Beau's stuff (the ones that don't require any agility)
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Beau -NAPWDA Certified Cadaver Dog
Waiting at the Bridge (italics=GSDs) (hemangiosarcoma=blue):Grim , Cyra, Toby, Rainbow, Linus, Oscar, Arlo & Waggles
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I can hide stuff inside........but his deal is the first few minutes of searching for anything he goes into kamikaze mode and slams into walls etc THEN settles down. We actually called him kamikaze Grim.........Maybe I walk him to take some edge off THEN hide things........I had been hiding balls in the back yard but he figured out and started going crazy hunting for them the minute I opened the door......
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Beau -NAPWDA Certified Cadaver Dog
Waiting at the Bridge (italics=GSDs) (hemangiosarcoma=blue):Grim , Cyra, Toby, Rainbow, Linus, Oscar, Arlo & Waggles
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