Jumping an old dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Jumping an old dog

Quick review for those who don't know. My female GSD is 10 years old, she was OFA'ed excellent at age 2. She has had joint manipulation exams by vets semi recently who said her joints are still in pretty good shape. She had creaky times from playing too hard but mostly she is pretty darn athletic for her age.

So that is who she is, here is my question: she has her Rally 1 title and Level 2 has a jump or jumps in it. I am torn whether I should compete her in L2, I can also skip straight to veterans because of her age. Or I can do L2 and ask for an exercise modification and ask them to lower the jump because of her age.

One of my concerns is training for it because I don't think she ought to be training jumps at her age, but we have played at this stuff most of her life and she does know how to run to a jump I point to and jump it, so I don't have to train hard. Plus I could train over a 4" jump and just have her jump the real one at competition. she LOVES jumping, they had one set at a run thru we went to last summer and I told her to jump it for fun and she went sailing over it happy as could be.

Dogs 20 inches and over jump 16" in competition. So what do you guys think....

no jumps...skip to veteran level
train low jumps and jump the regular one at competition
train low jumps and ask for her jump lowered at competition

I don't know what's really okay for a dog her age in pretty good shape
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 08:53 PM
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If she loves it and it does not cause her pain, let her jump. Practice at 1/2 height and compete and full height.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 09:31 PM
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I agree with sam above - two jumps won't break her! Practice on a low jump, she doesn't have to jump every training session. If she understands the exercise, and loves to jump, she'll do it no problem.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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OK cool. I forgot to mention I am planning to compete here in CDSP too and we were practicing for their Novice which requires a stay then recall over a jump. I set it about as low as it goes although I would say she jumped it bigger than needed. I let her jump it maybe 3 times in a training session and could not notice her seeming sore or creaky that night or the next day. I have Great Mats Agility Mats down stairs or she would be practicing on grass.

Maybe practice low jumps once a week? luckily it's something she probably needs the least amount of practice of any of the L2 exercises...except I do have to send her from 6' away and that might be a little more than she is used to be I think her enjoyment of jumping will help again here
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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this is my training jump, as low as it goes....I would guess 6", but I could also remove that top bar
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 02:15 PM
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I'd also say, just let your dog tell you--not during the exercise (they never know when to quit), but in the evenings, or after a long lie down, that's when their real age will show.

I'd choose the lowest jump height that keeps your dog engaged and excited. (without challenge, there is no fun).
And Awesome to your fit 10 year old.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Islanddog I agree...

I let her jump it 3 times in practice today, just like it is in the picture. I am going to pay close attention to how she moves tonight and tomorrow.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 08:08 PM
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I disagree. There are more than joints that have trouble with age. If she tears an ACL, will you put her through surgery or will you just wait for it to heal on its own? Surgery is hard on an old lady, but it takes longer to heal when you are old too. I know the 7 years in dog years is not necessarily so, for big dogs, later in life it could even be longer. Would you have your grandmother at 70 going over jumps?

Heidi was a little over weight and almost 8 years old when I ran her second leg for her excellent title. She injured a tendon. It has healed. Took a long time. I wouldn't jump a 10 year old even if she was fit.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Jeez...tear an acl jumping a little jump? I was never thinking anything like that. I was thinking like increasing wear and tear on her.

She has always been active and fit her whole life. She has never been overweight. I can tell she has lost muscle mass in the past year which is sad to see but I don't know what I can really do about it.

I mean on the other hand, I sometimes let her jump in and out of the cab of my truck if I forget her ramp. That's a way higher jump than the training jump although my truck is not high as far as they go. She can still leap up to my truck tailgate with ease! I never ask her to but she has done it a few times before I got the ramp ready. We often hike up our land and she jumps little logs and things. She walks 1-2 miles a day. @selzer was your dog active daily when she got hurt?

Mine did pull a muscle 2 years ago when we moved here. There was deep snow and we mistakenly thought we could throw her toys into the snow and she would not get hurt. She did get hurt, and would try to jump onto the couch and whine in pain. She could suddenly not get in and out of my truck (that's when I bought the ramp), she could not get in and out of our bed. The vet said it was a muscle or something in her inner thigh area, and it was a few weeks before she got over it. I got steps for the bed and a ramp for the truck so that she could carry on her life without jumping and she eventually healed. That was the last time I threw a toy for her

Maybe I will ask her vet what he thinks. She can always just go straight to veterans which is designed for the old dogs
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 10:07 PM
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Ya know, I thought Heidi was fit and active. But when I looked at her, and had to lift her into the vehicle afterward, I realized she had packed in a few pounds. Not that much though.

We can't stop our dogs from living life. But we don't have to ask them to do things like jumping. Novice Obedience has no jumps. It's another possibility. Maybe it is just because I am getting old. When I was young the idea of falling off a horse didn't worry me. Now I look at those mammoth beings and say, yeah maybe not. I don't heal so quick anymore either. I got dogs that would jump off a cliff for me. I have to be careful how I use that power. 6 of my dogs will be 9 or over this year. I want to keep them as healthy and fit as possible for as long as possible. I retired Heidi after her tendon tear.

Babsy is 11.5 years. She hurt her muscle or tendon a couple of times. Jumping up on the bed, she would cry. She prefers her own bed now. It sucks them getting older.

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