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 Tiring out a convalescing husky

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NewComer
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PostSubject: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyFri Jun 14, 2013 6:34 pm

Does anyone have any ideas on how to tire out a healing husky? 

Caper has paw injuries and has been on restricted activity. We have 3 more weeks to go. He has been feeling well enough to walk so we go for 3 short walks a day around the block, play tug, find the squeaky toy, chew on bones and frozen treats, and do some clicker training (although this makes him not want to eat his regular food so I've had to cut this down). Wish I could find a way for him to spend his pent up energy that doesn't involve using his little paws too much. 

Thanks Smile
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyFri Jun 14, 2013 10:22 pm

Maybe some puzzle toys? Or feeding from a Kong Wobbler to get him thinking?
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyFri Jun 14, 2013 11:25 pm

Catch a tennis ball??
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyFri Jun 14, 2013 11:28 pm

Take him swimming!
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 12:28 am

^ is the best.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 2:53 am

Thanks everyone for the ideas. He has bandages on two of his legs and a splint, so as much as I'd love to take him swimming with me we aren't even allowed to wade through damp grass let alone swim. sigh Sad Also, no running since we have to allow the fractures to heal. I have to be the killjoy when he's jumping around bowing for me to chase him. As for puzzle toys, the kong wobbler looks like something we could try. I bought a regular kong and this thing for him:
 Tiring out a convalescing husky T494457
but he figured it out in less than a quarter of a minute, lol. Do you think that if I give him treats in the puzzle toys he will stop eating his dog food? (big issue for us - he's the king of pickiness, and we've been trying our best to resist those round blue eyes when he's begging for food). He's quite a challenge for me to stay ahead of really Smile
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptySat Jun 15, 2013 3:53 am

Instead of cutting back o n training and other treat activities, why not change the treat you use? I use the tube foods, like FreshPet, Pet Botanics, Natural Balance, and Authority, when I know I'm going to be doing something that requires a large amount of treats. They have a strong smell that some people don't like but that's part of the reason the dogs love it so much. Using them instead of cheap treats I know he's still getting the nutrients he needs if he decided to not eat his normal food. Which is a big if because he would never stop eating if he could haha When I'm not using the tube food I use mixture of different grain-free kibbles or freeze dried dog treats.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 4:06 pm

I liked that tip a lot! Went and got a tube of Freshpet salmon, which he of course loved. We conquered his fear of stair cases and car rides using it - so satisfying to see him go from trying to run in the opposite direction every time we approached a staircase to having him gladly paw his way up, while occasionally looking up to me for reassurance of course Very Happy And I have a lighter conscience with the food, haha. 

After the walks and training though, he is still wandering around the house restlessly. Do you think that taking him to the dog park but keeping him on leash would help tire him out, or would it just be teasing him too much? His leg honestly doesn't seem to be bothering him at all, even after bouncing around at the end of the leash or dashing around the house chasing toys. He isn't showing any signs of discomfort which tempts me to let him have a little fun.. it's as much a test of endurance for me as it is for him Smile
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Ericobeasto
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 6:55 pm

You can put his food in the puzzles instead of just feeding out of a bowl. I put kodas food in the wobler
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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptySun Jun 16, 2013 7:04 pm

I would honestly caution you against taking him to a park right now.  Having a leashed dog around unleashed dogs can affect the dynamic of the park, and dogs react far differently when one is on a leash.  Aside from that, he might try to overdo it even if he was leashed, and from someone who pushed the recovery of an orthopedic injury and is now dealing with the consequences, let him heal.  The treat puzzles are a good idea, and think of new tricks you might like to teach him.  Excercising their minds tires them out pretty quickly.  Good luck, I can only imagine how hard it is to keep him quiet, yet keep him from getting bored.

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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyMon Jun 17, 2013 2:09 am

Thanks Meredith for that bit advice. Forgive my ignorance on this, but do unleashed dogs tend to harass leashed dogs or vice versa? I have heard of leash reactivity, which I have not seen Caper display, but did not know the inverse was possible. 

And was it you or one of your dogs who experienced the orthopedic injury if you don't mind my asking? I recall breaking my foot a couple of years back - I yearned so much to walk without crutches that I might have pushed it a little too soon too. I still have aching in that leg and foot today just from walking, not sure if that is one of the consequences.
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Mishka&Me
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyMon Jun 17, 2013 6:27 am

I would say take him swimming as someone said above, if you take him to the sea be careful, he can die from drinking too much sea water, so if you have ponds or lakes nearby i would use those instead
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyMon Jun 17, 2013 8:16 am

@NewComer wrote:
Thanks Meredith for that bit advice. Forgive my ignorance on this, but do unleashed dogs tend to harass leashed dogs or vice versa? I have heard of leash reactivity, which I have not seen Caper display, but did not know the inverse was possible. 

And was it you or one of your dogs who experienced the orthopedic injury if you don't mind my asking? I recall breaking my foot a couple of years back - I yearned so much to walk without crutches that I might have pushed it a little too soon too. I still have aching in that leg and foot today just from walking, not sure if that is one of the consequences.

As far as the reactivity, it can be both.  Our Cocker Lulu is super leash reactive and will go bonkers for pretty much anything, and off leash dogs can view a leashed dog as a target of opportunity.  I've seen that happen at parks before.

The orthopedic injury was with me, I've had 4 ankle surgeries and if I never see another pair of crutches again it will be too soon.  I didn't really let it heal properly (there were a lot of other factors in there too), and now it's pretty much a permanent issue.  It can happen in dogs too, and the last thing you want is for Caper to have arthritis at 2 or even worse problems.  I know sitting still is a total pain, especially for a young Husky, but he'll be better off in the long run.  Good luck though, I know it's got to be difficult with him right now.

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Canine Hydrocephalus Support on Facebook

"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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HuskyLear
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyMon Jun 17, 2013 12:10 pm

I would use his regualar food for the "treat" during clicker training.
We acutally keep small treat bowl of regular kibble out for a quick reward at our house.
The puzzles, wobblers, squirells, or kong with his food in them are a good idea, rather than feeding out of the bowl.

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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyMon Jun 17, 2013 12:43 pm

Mishka&Me wrote:
I would say take him swimming as someone said above, if you take him to the sea be careful, he can die from drinking too much sea water, so if you have ponds or lakes nearby i would use those instead

Unfortunately he has a bandaged leg that we can't get wet so swimming isn't an option for now - which is totally sad because I would have loved to bring him along to go swimming with me today Sad However I think swimming would be a GREAT idea once the splint is off and we need a physical therapy-type exercise to ease him back into the active life Smile I'm sure he'll get winded much more easily once we start up again, lol. And the info about saltwater being dangerous is definitely useful!

@blueeyedghost wrote:
As far as the reactivity, it can be both.  Our Cocker Lulu is super leash reactive and will go bonkers for pretty much anything, and off leash dogs can view a leashed dog as a target of opportunity.  I've seen that happen at parks before.

The orthopedic injury was with me, I've had 4 ankle surgeries and if I never see another pair of crutches again it will be too soon.  I didn't really let it heal properly (there were a lot of other factors in there too), and now it's pretty much a permanent issue.  It can happen in dogs too, and the last thing you want is for Caper to have arthritis at 2 or even worse problems.  I know sitting still is a total pain, especially for a young Husky, but he'll be better off in the long run.  Good luck though, I know it's got to be difficult with him right now.

Thank you for sharing that. I hope it hasn't affected your lifestyle too much, and that your doggies are nice to you during your recovery periods Smile It definitely has been difficult living with a nearly stir-crazy husky during the past few weeks. He has started to exhibit behaviors that I'd never seen in him before the injury, such as ripping up his bedding, whining in the crate, yanking and chewing on his leash, and restlessly wandering around the house looking for things to put his mouth on. I am counting down the days until he can start going back to being a happy husky! (2 more weeks)

@HuskyLear wrote:
I would use his regualar food for the "treat" during clicker training.
We acutally keep small treat bowl of regular kibble out for a quick reward at our house.
The puzzles, wobblers, squirells, or kong with his food in them are a good idea, rather than feeding out of the bowl.

Caper does not accept food out of a bowl, unless I'm spoon feeding it to him (sigh) so already he is getting his food in more interactive ways. Also I do wish he would accept just straight kibble but he has less than zero interest in it if I don't mix something else in with a stronger smell, like wet food or people food. Actually, if I want him to get away from something or stop begging for table scraps, all I have to do is wave a piece of kibble in front of his nose and he'll walk away. It's like Caper repellant!! lol! 

I bought the freshpet food which he loves (although not grain free), so I'll try chopping that up into little cubes and sticking it into the puzzles. He has a bunch of "gutted" plush toys too that I've stuck dental chews, treats and food inside for him to extract. It just gets a bit messy to clean up with the wet food, but worth it. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyMon Jun 17, 2013 3:53 pm

YOu could try carrots and fruit since that is not wet and would be easier as far as the clean up. Carrots, apples, potato, squash, sweet potato just to think of some ""solid" pieces of food for treats freeze dried or dehydrated meats (some pet stores have this for squimish "raw" feeders if you do not have the ability to dehydrate meat.

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PostSubject: Re: Tiring out a convalescing husky   Tiring out a convalescing husky EmptyMon Jul 01, 2013 4:36 am

Thanks for the suggestion Colleen! I found a holistic dog boutique that sold all kinds of dehydrated animal parts and started with sticking freeze-dried turkey necks in a kong for him to extract. He went nutso over that! Also was great for helping him learn that me leaving and him being along means fun time with body parts. Haha. I also took a long beach towel and hid the meat in the folds and twists and that so far has taken him the most time/work to figure out.

We took recheck xrays on Saturday and the vet thinks we should keep the splint on for one week longer. I am so glad that the finish line is in sight, but BEST OF ALL, the vet doesn't think that the toe will have to be amputated as was the original prognosis. Great news!!
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