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  #21  
Old 08-05-2012, 03:24 PM
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elegy elegy is offline
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The first time he got hurt, he actually was playing flyball. But it was an accident- he got run over by a huge dog. It wasn't the result of normal routine running. This time, he hurt himself falling off the dogwalk. It wasn't a bad fall, and he landed on his feet, but it was enough. Sigh.

He's 3 1/2. It's a huge portion of his life that he's been on injured reserves. It sucks.
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  #22  
Old 08-05-2012, 04:01 PM
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The first time he got hurt, he actually was playing flyball. But it was an accident- he got run over by a huge dog. It wasn't the result of normal routine running. This time, he hurt himself falling off the dogwalk. It wasn't a bad fall, and he landed on his feet, but it was enough.
I wouldn't consider falling off the dogwalk "normal routine" in agility, to be honest. I see maybe one dog fall off it every other trial or less - generally when they are loading on, and more often than not the "fall" if from 8" or so off the ground. Meg's fallen once (loading). I'm not saying, obviously, that injuries don't/can't happen in agility. But I wouldn't consider that a normal risk.

Two things I'd want answers about (and you may already have them from previous appointments): 1) Is there a structural reason he's had this particular injury twice? and 2) Does the fact that he's had the injury before make him more prone to having it again? If the answer to 1 is yes, I'd be pretty hesitant to put him back to any sport that is likely to involve a 'crash' of any type. If the answer to 2 is yes, maybe the same.

Honestly, agility is my first love, and I'd have a hard time saying "we are done" without a really strong reason, and for me "this type of injury can happen more often in agility" isn't a good enough reason unless I know my dog is more prone to re-injury. We all know injuries can happen anywhere and any time. I know you and Steve do a ton of hiking in rough terrain - if you quit agility and he re-injures himself out hiking, how will you feel? Do you intend to restrict his hiking, dog play time, and other activities that could result in injury?

Here's what I'd do, as someone who doesn't have to make the decision or live with the consequences . Go to the appointment and see what the person says. If it is their opinion that agility isn't any more likely to injure Steve than any other activity you enjoy with him, and you decide you really do want to keep doing agility, set up a training plan with your trainer. I'd do a ton of work on body awareness and hind end awareness, and very carefully train a straight load onto the dogwalk regardless of your position. I firmly believe that is the most dangerous part of the obstacle. And then I'd do my best to let the worry go. He may get injured again. He may never again have a soundness problem. It may be agility, flyball, hiking, or jumping off your bed if he does get injured. What it won't be is your fault.
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  #23  
Old 08-05-2012, 04:29 PM
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At the end of the day its a game... He's your dog... You'll have fun together no matter what. Focus on that

Don't put the game before the dog.
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  #24  
Old 08-05-2012, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
Two things I'd want answers about (and you may already have them from previous appointments): 1) Is there a structural reason he's had this particular injury twice? and 2) Does the fact that he's had the injury before make him more prone to having it again? If the answer to 1 is yes, I'd be pretty hesitant to put him back to any sport that is likely to involve a 'crash' of any type. If the answer to 2 is yes, maybe the same.

Honestly, agility is my first love, and I'd have a hard time saying "we are done" without a really strong reason, and for me "this type of injury can happen more often in agility" isn't a good enough reason unless I know my dog is more prone to re-injury. We all know injuries can happen anywhere and any time. I know you and Steve do a ton of hiking in rough terrain - if you quit agility and he re-injures himself out hiking, how will you feel? Do you intend to restrict his hiking, dog play time, and other activities that could result in injury?
I don't know the answer to 1, but the answer to 2 is yes.

The thing is, things like flyball and hiking do not have the physical requirements of agility. There isn't the sudden turning at speed over jumps. It's just not really any comparison in the physical requirements. Especially for a dog who is as, er, motivated as Steve. I know I can't eliminate all the risks, but what if I can eliminate some of the risks? He doesn't care if he plays agility or not. He does care if he's living in a box.

And then there's the part where I don't love agility, but I'm trying to not let that weigh too heavily in my decision.
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  #25  
Old 08-05-2012, 06:56 PM
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Steve is sooooooo cute.

I had some issues with Gonzo doing dog sports too. I had so many aspirations for us, and he could've gone far.... but after an acl tear during his third flyball tournament, THEN a recurring limp randomly after practice, my vet told me it's not worth it to hurt him again. It wasn't. I still did rally and obedience, still had fun playing with him, and he's nearly 13 and very healthy. I play Frisbee with him still! He still has fun without dog sports. I can't wait to get a dog who can compete and Gonzo taught me so much, but you have to accept it when a dog just isn't physically cut out for competition. It's no one's fault it just happens.
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  #26  
Old 08-05-2012, 07:11 PM
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*g* Steve *is* my dog to compete with in sports after Luce blew out both her knees and was relegated to the world of Rally and Obedience. She did an awesome job, mind you, and I could not possibly be more proud of what we accomplished together, but I really would have liked to do agility with her.

At least there's no question at all of him returning to flyball. That's what he lives for. I'd have a much much harder time walking away from that game.
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  #27  
Old 08-05-2012, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
And then there's the part where I don't love agility, but I'm trying to not let that weigh too heavily in my decision.
Quote:
At least there's no question at all of him returning to flyball. That's what he lives for. I'd have a much much harder time walking away from that game.
It seems like your answer is more clear with these two comments. You don't love agility. Steve lives for flyball. It is less risky for this particular injury. Is it just the pressure of the trainer that is making you think you should stay in it? I misunderstood earlier, and thought that you really wanted to stay in agility. If you don't love it and he has something he loves more, what is keeping you in it?

I hope that question doesn't sound snarky - it isn't meant to be.
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  #28  
Old 08-05-2012, 07:24 PM
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But you have lil Bean to train too! if I were you, I'd give Steve a long long long break before going back to any sports. I've heard that flyball is more taxing than any dog sport, because of the high speed and impact.
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  #29  
Old 08-05-2012, 07:29 PM
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+2 to BostonBanker's comment, also with sincerity and no snarkiness at all.

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Originally Posted by ihartgonzo View Post
I've heard that flyball is more taxing than any dog sport, because of the high speed and impact.
Unless you have the kind of dog who runs agility like it's flyball...not just fast but with reckless abandon...except with many more twists and turns, higher jumps, etc.

It can be done don't get wrong but I wouldn't start pitting the two against each other in terms of which has a higher risk for injury.
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  #30  
Old 08-05-2012, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by elegy View Post
The thing is, things like flyball and hiking do not have the physical requirements of agility. There isn't the sudden turning at speed over jumps. It's just not really any comparison in the physical requirements. Especially for a dog who is as, er, motivated as Steve. I know I can't eliminate all the risks, but what if I can eliminate some of the risks? He doesn't care if he plays agility or not. He does care if he's living in a box.
I think your answer is right there. If you can meet the dog's needs with other activities, you may want to count the riskiest sports out.

When I got Zoie, I considered dabbling in some sports and whatnot. Something fast paced would have been good. But at around 10 months her knee started popping out with strenuous activity, she has luxating patellas. It stopped actually popping out at about 2 years old but is still a factor...she can certainly walk, run around, swim, etc. I just do what she likes to do and she has a happy life while I work with my other dogs that are more suited to sports. Although she would (or would have) enjoyed those sports, she wouldn't have liked doing them for part of the year and then spending months on crate rest.
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