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Discussion Starter #1
I did a search and I was surprised that I couldn't find any information on dangerous tricks on this forum.

I just watched this video from a respected positive reinforcement trainer (this might relate to the tread posted earlier about AF vs Balanced)


First, Do you agree with what she is saying, or do you think she is being over protective?

I would also like to know from the people that agree, what tricks are dangerous for German Shepherds to perform?

She mentions in the video that all breeds are different, and I know hips should be looked out for, but is this in all GSDs? or just ones that have OFA hips less then ideal? She also talks about the risks in agility and I know a lot of people on this forum do agility, so I would very much like some input on that as well.

Thanks everyone for checking this out.
 

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This lady is a bit extreme for me. I don't do agility to look cool, I do it because my dog loves it. He actually loves to compete- how do I know? He runs faster and gets so much more excited in a trial than he does in practice even though he gets less treats (since he's only getting them at the end of a run as opposed to practice where he gets them throughout a run).
I have actually been told by vets that he is in such good shape for his age because of agility.
Now, of course I'm not going to try something stupid like having him jump off a building into my arms (what was she talking about??), that is stupid and irresponsible. Maybe K9s, military working dogs, and SAR dogs need to learn that though, idk.
But I don't think agility is reckless and I, like most people, don't drill my dog at full height jumps, etc. We work for fun and as long as he has fun I'll keep doing it :)
 

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People who are serious about various venues of dog sport and performance events always put safety first, especially those of us with such large dogs (GSDs). On my flyball team my dog has one of the best and most consistent box turns and it's also done safely. All the other dogs have had to miss practices or get pulled because they hurt this or that and my dog has never been injured. If we can't do something safely, we don't do it.
 

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At this point we are "cross training" berlin in very simple obedience traits for schutzhund and french ring, because maybe he'll excel at one over the other. Or maybe we'll want to do both. Several GSD owners in my club told me they refuse to do ring because if the increased athletic portions. One wont even work her dogs on the jumps after 5 yrs of age.

My trainer says as long as Berlin is lean and in good physical shaoe it should be no problem. I havent talked to my orthopedic doctors about this but one of my er vets said not only should it be no problem, but studies show that dogs kept active in athletic sports are at decreased risk of injuries.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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A few of my favorite dog friends commenting the same I would above! ^^

I hope this lady doesn't drive or ride in a car...
 

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You would think exercising your dog (in moderation) would strengthen the muscles and joints. Over exerting your dog obviously will harm it as well as not taking in to consideration what the GSD breed is susceptible to like HD and all that fun stuff. But a responsible pet owner would also know the limitations their dog has. I think the video was a little overboard but being weary isn't a bad thing...just not that weary.

It's like this lady is like two seconds away from never letting her dog leave the house because it's "unsafe"...x.x' there's risks everywhere, that's just life.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So no one thinks that there are certain tricks that shouldn't be done by a German Shepherd that other breeds could do?

Do you think that what she was saying about her border collie not doing handstands anymore because of its long arms was being over board?
 

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I don't think her not teaching her dog to not do handstands is going overboard as well as having her dog switch from a sit to a down and slamming the dogs elbows into the floor as overboard. I think that is taking into consideration that you could be hurting your dog...I think it's a balance though that we need. Not super long runs, super high jumps, doing stuff that is super high impact on the joints. But having your dog not do anything isn't good for your dog either...It's a balance we all need to perfect and the more we learn about our dogs the more we can fine tune what we need to give them physically.

I wouldn't train my GSD to vault off me... I think it would be too high of impact on his hips and elbows but I'd readily put him in agility. Like sports with humans you adjust to the physical needs of your dog and take steps to prevent your dog from harm.

I do though agree to an extent of what she saying like that vaulting and handstands are little extreme and serve no purpose other than for show. I mean watch Superfetch some of the things they teach their dogs on that show are just ridiculous.

I also don't know what tricks would be harmful to our dogs (new to the whole dog owning thing but have been around them all my life and taking care of them)...If anyone else can chime in about what could be potentially harmful to this breed that'd be great so I can steer clear of those tricks :D
 

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I guess it depends on how critical I want to be, lol. She makes a good point about not endangering our dogs with crazy antics. But, at one point she says she won't play frisbee anymore. My puppy plays frisbee several times every day. I just make sure that he doesn't leap high up into the air and I use a "chewber" tug style, so it weighs more than a regular frisbee, so I can predict where it flies and the wind doesn't pick it up. It's just common sense, lol. My puppy pulled something racing around with his doggie buddies, but I'm not taking that away from him. I also believe that a more active dog is less prone to injury.
 

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She's well on the extreme side. I think you go into dog sports the same way people go into human sports; you look at your personal limitations and you go from there. I wouldn't put Abi in a SchH ring, even if she could learn all the aspects of it, because she couldn't reach the sleeve even if she tried and I wouldn't put Finn in a sport that is geared towards smaller dogs or a certain type of dog like Hound or Retriever oriented sports.
 

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Finally "watched" the video, and by watched I mean the first 5 minutes, and then she was irritating me so I couldn't watch it anymore.

If your dog has such weak conformation that it's not even allowed to go up or down stairs, that is a whole different matter. But to not allow a dog to jump or compete in many sports because it MAY be bad... well I drive over 100 miles a day on my work commute, and I take my dogs with me. I'm obviously at an increased chance of being in a car accident, I probably shouldn't take them to work with me anymore. I'm trying to teach Berlin to swim right now, but he could get aspiration pneumonia or even drown. I probably shouldn't take him swimming anymore. You know, even the fields around my schutzhund club's field have thorns in them, he got a thorn in his paw the other day and limped for two steps. I probably shouldn't play with him in fields anymore. But you know, Luther went on a longer walk on pavement one time and his paw pad cracked, I probably shouldn't walk them on pavement anymore either...

Do you see how ridiculous it gets? I agree there ARE risks and we need to use common sense. But to avoid ALL the things she mentions because there are slight risks to me is just not reasonable. I mean yes your dog doesn't HAVE to compete in some of these sports or do some of these tricks. But how mentally pleasing is it to your dog to work and train and do these things? I mean yes for ring sport Berlin would have to jump a 2 m wall or do a 3-4.5m long jump. Should he NOT do these things? I guess there are risks to it, but these dogs LOVE being out there on the field, I can see it when I watch them train, and in my mind not giving these working breeds the mental stimulation is almost worst. Doing these jumps 5 times a day is probably not the best, but practicing 2-3 times once a week is probably not going to do too much damage to a dog if it's healthy, has good strong conformation, and is in top physical shape.

I DO urge people to do the proper testing first. Have hips and elbows xrayed. Zeke has mild HD and is 6, I wouldn't make him do a 3m long jump. For him that would be bad.
 

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Being athletic has risks and benefits. I guess you have to weigh the risks. Obviously some things are outright dangerous, some things may be more risky for dogs with certain types of conformation, and then you have things like repetitive motions which cause wear and tear over time but are not actually "dangerous". Those things, there are things to can do to make them easier on your dog and condition your dog but yeah dogs who do things like sports activities are probably more likely to get injuries, arthritis etc... I do think this is something people should keep in mind, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't do any sports/activities. You have to decide what you are willing to do I guess and what steps you can/will take to help support the dog (conditioning, stretching, putting some limits on activities-- or not but knowing the risks.)
 

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Okay, I didn't watch the whole thing because OMG that was boring! Most dogs are at higher risk for injury (and are generally physically and mentally unhealthy) because they are fat, out of shape and under stimulated.

I tore my ACL playing soccer, still think I'm better off doing stuff that has risk of injury than I am to lay around get fat, diabetic and slowly, miserably die of heart disease or something similar.

The real epidemic among dogs these days is that they don't get to do enough stuff.
 

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dogs who do things like sports activities are probably more likely to get injuries, arthritis etc
Keep in mind, I have not personally SEEN these studies, but when I talked to one of my ER doctors about this subject he said studies showed that athletic dogs kept in good physical condition were LESS likely to get injuries over time vs. those not.
 
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