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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have an 8 week old GSD/border collie mix who managed to break a bone in one of her front feet over the weekend (she decided she'd had enough of being outside and took herself up our back stairs and over the edge of the balcony before we could grab her - she fell about 3 metres and the vet said she's very lucky not to have done more damage). She hasn't needed surgery or even a cast, but she is now on cage rest for a month. She's very active, very smart, and now very bored. How can I keep her occupied?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In her foot, right about where the shadow from the edge of her pad falls on the xray. It's one of the middle bones. The vet said if she's broken two he would have had to put pins in to stabilise the foot but he's happy that it's stable and not displaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The fracture is about where the oval is on the photo.

I'm trying to keep her with me (sitting at my feet on a short lead when she's quiet, playing in my lap when she's not) rather than cooped up in the crate all the time. It's hard though - she has so much energy to burn that even in the crate she spends a lot of time jumping and pouncing and generally putting pressure on her foot.
 

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Wow, what a cute girl! When our working-line GSD fractured his metacarpals as a pup and was put on full crate rest, we kept him occupied with raw frozen marrow bones, puzzle toys, brain games, low-impact training (learning "look at me," targeting/touching his nose to my fist while he was sitting down, putting two or three toys in front of him and teaching him their names -- "get your ball" "get your koala" etc.), simple nosework (basically just hiding things in amazon boxes and letting him sniff out what was where, or hiding treats under some tennis balls in an old muffin tin), and anything else we could think of to tire him out *mentally* rather than physically. When we ran out of ideas, we paid for a one-on-one session with our trainer who was able to come up with more stationary-but-intellectually-challenging things we could try -- totally worth the hourly fee.

The idea was getting him to expend *mental* energy, not physical energy. For example, he didn't just eat -- we fed him with in snuffle mats, puzzle blankets, and puzzle toys (being very careful to limit his activity, of course). He needed to sniff, think, figure out how to *work* for his food -- and all that thinking helped to wear him out.

In retrospect, it was an amazing bonding experience for me and the pup. It turned out better than I could ever have imagined.

Good luck to you and your girl! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much for the suggestions :) She's awesome and we love her (all of her except maybe the teeth).
 

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Very simple food tracking around the house plying “find It”! I would also teach your dog new tricks for mental stimulation! Teach your dog the name of it’s toys! Play tug if you can. I would do handling games to get your dog used to your hands touching everywhere on the body in a way that’s fun for them! Also I would get some food/treat dispensing toy for more mental stimulation and I love stuffing an xl Kong with part of one of rollos meals and sealing it off and then freezing it overnight...buys me some time. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I love the idea of playing "find it". It might be more appealing to her than the usual obedience-type training at the moment - for the last two days she's become totally uncontrollable the moment we start training. If it doesn't involve the use of her teeth (or digging, or pouncing with both front paws, which she's not allowed to do) she's not interested.

Now I have to go start a thread about landsharking, food guarding and cat stalking ... :/
 

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I love the idea of playing "find it". It might be more appealing to her than the usual obedience-type training at the moment - for the last two days she's become totally uncontrollable the moment we start training. If it doesn't involve the use of her teeth (or digging, or pouncing with both front paws, which she's not allowed to do) she's not interested.

Now I have to go start a thread about landsharking, food guarding and cat stalking ... :/
You could make her track / search for her kibble in your front or back lawn! It won’t be an “effective track” but it allows her to frantically search for food to get some of that initial crazy energy out while sparing your skin
 
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