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I have a pretty nasty shoulder injury that has left me in extreme pain for a few weeks. The steroid shot has relieved the pain and I am taking PT. There is no guarantee that pain wil not come back and I am looking at least at 6 months of intense PT, even up to a year without being 100% sure of recovery to the point to be able to handle two strong GSDs. Deja (5 years), by herself, is no problem at all but I am at a loss about Griff. He is 11 months old and has been boarded at the breeder now for a week to prevent me from aggravating the injury due to his exuberance, unexpected movements, dynamics beween the two etc. He has also taken advantage of my disabled shoulder by becoming disobedient as illustrated by: refusal to give up a toy, the leave it command, leaving Deja alone etc. When I noticed this, my heart sank as he has always been so awesome in his obedience (besides his adolescent quirks) I cant keep him on leash as well. And we boarded him right away. There is nothing wrong with this beautiful strong boy. My heart is breaking in pieces as it comes down to the following; I cannot handle both anymore for this unpredictable length time. I don't want to board him indefinitely as he need much more than that at this young age and I am worried sick. I can't put an Ecollar on him all day to remain in control of him. My husband is worried about me and my health but would not prevent me from doing so when I were to take Griff back home. If a client of mine had presented me with this dilemma I probably would have advised to take care of herself first and re-home the young dog but this is about my own Griff! He is gorgeous, stable, healthy, funny, creative, intense and all over awesome.
Being just with Deja is easy and relaxed, besides the stress of missing Griff, and it keeps me physically safer. But still... the thought of having to give him up.... :crying:
 

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I know how you feel. I had a 15 mo old WL male had since he was a pup. Put all his training on him and did get his BH almost ready for the 1 but then I had back surgery. Mind you I was single back then. I had my older female and I knew I could handle her but to leave a young male cooped up not good for the dog. I made a very hard decision to re home him but to only the heat situation. I did find a very reputable wonderful husband wife both sheriffs and train police K9. Well it has been 8 plus yrs and Kai is still on the force and will retire next year. He got the best a family and a job. So if that is what you gave to do for your fur friend then you gave to do it. It sucks it hurts and you never forgot but we as owners need to put the dog first what’s best for him not you. Wish you both the best
 

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You definitely can figure out how to work around your physical issues.We have to find ways to manage everything differently than in the past.PM @Hineni7 and maybe talk strategies with her.Arthritis is my issue that robbed me of strength and mobility.With three dogs to manage they need to respond to my verbal instructions because I am simply not able to physically manipulate them in any meaningful way.Do whatever it takes to get Griff to respond to you.Use the e collar.
Samson gets pretty headstrong at times and all I have to do is say firmly "I mean NOW!".Praise!Then I immediately put a collar(any collar) on him for a few days.It reminds him that I mean business.He's usually "naked" so it just feels different to him and keeps him more attentive.Then we just practice periodically whatever thing he wasn't responding to.Loads of praise.
 

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You are a trainer, right? Can you take an apprentice , some twenty something and let them use Griff as a training project? Have them work him and compete him in AKC events, he is old enough to train for spring trials and then he is with you but he has an outlet with an able bodied person? But can still live with you?

Train him to assist you more and maybe the job would help him settle? I'm sure you know what's possible with a smart young shepherd and a clicker!

Hire a dog walker?

I guess I am lucky, my dogs are pretty easy to handle. Twice this summer I got hurt and had no use of my right hand and I had more trouble opening pill bottles and showering than taking care of my dogs.
 

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I have a now permanent shoulder injury that causes almost constant pain. The level varies but it is always there. The first few months were tough, and I was really at a loss but I made the adjustments I needed to.
Ultimately it is your decision but if it was me I would rotate the dogs to minimize your risk and use a belt when walking him. Dogs have adapted to far more restrictive environments. Use the ecollar as needed to reinforce.
 

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Wolfy dog, I'm very sorry to hear this. I can't imagine the dilemma you're going through. Some of us here has given you some positive suggestions. Do you have a relative or anyone who could take care of your dog? If possible, you can try and give yourself a timeline for example, maximum 6 months and if God forbid your situation doesn't get better, it's time to re-home? So then you'll know for sure what to do with Griff.

And Ozzy, I'd have to disagree with you. People especially people with experience don't just zap and zap to keep their dog. They zap for a reason and I personally use e collar too, and it's been working wonderfully. E collars are created for many reasons and training purposes, doesn't make us bad people to train and control our dog using e collar as a tool.
 

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I don’t get everyone saying use ecollar. How is that living a good life. Oh wait, we humans are selfish and will do anything to keep our fur friend never mind think of a way to make sure he is happy so we will zap him over and over. Unbelievable

So sorry you are having a bad day.
E collars are a tool and all tools are good tools. Sometimes in order to make things work we need to think outside the box, leave the comfort zone and learn new tricks.

Personally I would never rehome a dog unless I had exhausted every possible solution, but that's me and I am not you, and you are not the OP.
 

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I don’t get everyone saying use ecollar. How is that living a good life. Oh wait, we humans are selfish and will do anything to keep our fur friend never mind think of a way to make sure he is happy so we will zap him over and over. Unbelievable
We are not debating which training tools each of us prefers.
Any helpful suggestions for Wolfy will be welcomed.
 

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I was born with a disability that effects one side of the body. An op last year made the bad arm a whole lot worse. However years ago someone said to me 'do it your way, they will adapt. (That was about my new baby, she survived her cack handed mum, she's now 22) The same has always applied to my dogs as well. I can't clicker train, am hopeless with a long line, can't use an e collar because I have no hope of getting my timing right. My disability and age has left me unsteady on my feet going down steep hills. Now my girl slows up and looks to see how i am doing. (I appreciate the gesture even though it makes me feel like i am 93!!!)

Only you know your pup and how much pain you are in. But don't underestimate yourself or your guy. Maybe a dog walker? And you can teach a lot sitting down! I wish you all the best in whatever decision you make x
 

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There seems to have been an issue from the very beginning with this puppy "taking advantage" of any perceived weakness. I think the kindest thing would be to contact the breeder and discuss returning / rehoming the puppy while he is still young enough to transition with less conflict.
 

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I am so sorry to hear! I know you have put a lot into Griff, both of your dogs actually.

But if it were me, I would think about my shoulder. No matter how well-trained a dog is, a dog is still an animal with strong prey/hunting drives and all it takes is a moment with a deer running across the street or a hostile offleash dog approaching, etc and all the PT and careful healing you have done with your shoulder could be undone. You don't want to turn this into a permanent or disabling injury.

He is young and healthy, well-trained...it will not be hard to find a good home. But yes, such a hard decision! :-(

The ideal would be a "temporary home" or a "foster" for one year...?
Even if they may not keep/train him the way you would keep him, it is better than losing him altogether.
 

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I am sorry for your situation. I think we can all try to help and give an advice, but it is such a personal decision to make.

IMO I don't like the idea of rehoming a dog as it is often too traumatic. Maybe you could hire a dog walker or dog sitter? Put him at a hotel for dogs? I know you said you don't want to board him indefinitely; but who knows, it may be a good choice?

I have seen the love you have for both of your dogs... I think having Griff by your side certainly can help you somehow. Or at least having the knowledge that, after this storm passes, he's still your dog and he's waiting for you.

Recently I stumbled across this article and found it pretty interesting. It has been said that some physical diseases are thought to be particularly prone to be made worse by mental factors such as stress. I am just saying, I don't know if that is your case, but I have seen that happening. Maybe your stress, caused by Griffi's absence, can influence your condition.

Best wishes
 

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I wonder if you could reach out to a service dog org for perhaps advice or suggestions. Have you looked into the hands free leashes? There is also a company in Colorado called Bold Lead Designs that make custom leashes, service dog harnesses, etc. you might give a place like that a call for suggestions, or even an idea of what you'd like to have in the way of a leash or harness. Maybe Griff has the temperament for mobility dog/service dog that you could work on, or look into help with training?
 

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I think it's doable, you just need to put some firm rules in place: don't run into me, don't pull on the leash, come when called, down at a distance, heel off leash.

With those basic tenants, I'm sure you can keep him. However, if it all seems overwhelming, return him to the breeder.

I have a huge powerful male dog who weighs almost as much as I do, and long ago realized that he could easily overpower me, so made sure to train him mostly with voice, and reinforced commands with the e-collar. I also, from puppyhood, never, ever allow a dog to run into me for any reason even by accident. They get corrected quite severely for this as I've seen really bad injuries result from a dog running into the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
There seems to have been an issue from the very beginning with this puppy "taking advantage" of any perceived weakness. I think the kindest thing would be to contact the breeder and discuss returning / re-homing the puppy while he is still young enough to transition with less conflict.
You are right. However, I didn't consider them "issues" but rather a challenges as he did nothing wrong. Yes, I have pulled my hair sometimes and wondered if I bit off more than I could chew between his 5th and 10th month. But he was coming around nicely with hard, hard work.
He is very strong, both mentally and physically. No aggression towards me, others or dogs however. But he also has a kind side, (those soft eyes) if you are in charge, which I have been until this injury. He is not a dog for a dog walker or a 'family member'. Without my injury there wouldn't be even a doubt about him.
Exploring / weighing all my options and ideas right now.
 

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You are right. However, I didn't consider them "issues" but rather a challenges as he did nothing wrong. Yes, I have pulled my hair sometimes and wondered if I bit off more than I could chew between his 5th and 10th month. But he was coming around nicely with hard, hard work.
He is very strong, both mentally and physically. No aggression towards me, others or dogs however. But he also has a kind side, (those soft eyes) if you are in charge, which I have been until this injury. He is not a dog for a dog walker or a 'family member'. Without my injury there wouldn't be even a doubt about him.
Exploring / weighing all my options and ideas right now.
wolfy, really sorry to hear this. Whatever decision you eventually make, I'm sure you'll do it with the best of interests of both Griff and yourself in mind. Hope you get better soon.
 

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I wish I knew what to say except my heart goes out to you for having to think about these things.

Is an in home trainer in the budget? To maybe get an opinion on if you can work it, from another skilled set of eyes?

Let me frame it this way. If you hurt your shoulder worse, and you are out of commission..what else in life suffers besides your ability to manage a young WL? For instance for me, my kids are screwed if I get injured and cant drive etc, lift them (one son is 50 lbs and has mobility issues). So ok, that would be bad and not worth it and would affect more than my pain threshold. It would affect other lives...but not my career. So if I didn't have to care for littles and could still do my career with a bum shoulder, I'd take a chance on my dog. Know what I mean? Sit down and think of the what ifs and then maybe at least it will help you organize the decision in your head better?
 

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What exactly is wrong with your shoulder that will take 6 plus months to possibly fix the issue ?

I know you don't want to give up your pup. If it were me, I would put on a shoulder immobilizer and use my other arm. Here is hoping for a quicker recovery than expected and finding a way to cope so you can keep your pup.

Another thought, is a treadmill available to you or in the budget ? Doesn't have to be a fancy 3000.00 treadmill. A cheapo Wal Mart will do. As you know, a well exercised pup is a happy pup and easier to handle.
 

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Deja is fine due to where she is at with her level of training, How about sending Griff to a legit board and train to get him to the same place? Two well trained dogs should be manageable regardless of where you are at with your injury.
 
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