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Thread: How to restart training for puppy after injury/surgery

  1. #1
    Junior Member 3dogs4kids's Avatar
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    Default How to restart training for puppy after injury/surgery

    My lab pup was progressing with her retrieving training, and I was just beginning water training when she injured a growth plate, causing displasia, leading to surgery (osteotomy) and 6 weeks of recovery. Altogether over two months of training lost. She is now almost 7 months old. Doc says that the surgery was a great success, her recovery has been great, etc., time to get her going again.

    We let her retrieve just a few times toward the end of her recovery, and she did not seem to have lost anything in her retrieving ability. Then had the pin taken out about 5 days ago, and today she seems to have forgotten how to retrieve. At all. She just looks away disinterestedly, and if you can get her to make a retrieve at all, it's only a very short distance, and she drops the ball on the way back, which she never did even when learning to retrieve the first time. Something has definitely changed, there is something going on here that I just don't understand.

    So, we're back at square one. How do I restart her training? When I first started, she had no problem running for the throw toy, and quickly figured out what to do. Now it seems like she is purposefully avoiding doing what she knows to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    If they like retrieving one day and don't the next, the first thing I look at is something physical. I'd bet it's the pins coming out so give her another 10 days and try again. I wouldn't be testing her with more retrieves between then and now. Give her a longer time to heal.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I suspect she needs more time to heal also. And pin removal can cause some pain. I would probably give her a month or so of just walking/playing. If you have somewhere you can safely let her off-leash let her explore and exercise at her own pace - just have fun and be a dog. There is no big rush to get her back into retrieving/training - and you don't want that associated w/ pain. And, keep in mind this was a 5 -mo old pup when injury took place - so she did not really KNOW much of anything yet (ie, she is not now purposefully avoiding doing what she KNOWS she is supposed to do). When you start trying some retrieving again - keep it fun and very casual to start. You have plenty of time!

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