A 5 yr. old German Shepherd (breeding bitch) has been rescued. 6 litters in her lifetime. Lived in a 4×4 pen with 3 other adults. Tip of ear frozen off. Couple of cracked teeth but no gum disease. Suffering from pancreatic insufficiency. No strength yet in the rear to jump into the car but now can get her front feet up – we lift the rest of the way. Can jump up to a fence at daycare now but can only sustain the position for 25-30 seconds. Fast trotted at dog park for first time yesterday. Timid but no aggression towards either canine or human. Extremely curious. She is getting regular walking exercise and is at daycare 2x per week for socialization (huge strides in becoming ‘one’ with the pack).
Reason for my topic post: Looking for advice on supplements eg glucosamine/chondroitin – would anyone recommend this and if so, brand/dose? What about massage? Anything else?
It may not be a joint/bone issue at all. True puppy mill dogs often lack courage/boldness and have soft temperaments while adjusting. Most will not go up/down steps or jump into vehicles because they have never learned to-and it will take time. Think of her as a large puppy-if she even walks on leash and collar, you are miles ahead of many.
She probably has very little muscle tone and really doesn’t know that she can use them the way that other dogs take for granted. Time, good food, activity, and lots of positive experiences will take care of a lot of that.
Thank you for taking this special girl and giving her a chance to be loved.
I don’t know too much about this issue, but here is some info that may help:
And here are links of where you can get your girl nice affordable treats that naturally contain glucosamine and chondroitin:
This way you can see how your dog does with good diet, good exercise, much love, and a bit of those yummy treats/chews for a little glucosamine and chondroitin boost – shouldn’t hurt, I don’t think… 🙂
I did some work with our local rescue who did a large puppy mill raid and we noticed the same thing as Melissa mentioned above. I would agree that it is probably more a timid/lack of knowledge thing rather than joint issues. We did a lot of water therapy with the mill dogs to help them use their joints and that seemed to really be the key to ‘unlocking’ their joints and gaining their confidence. If you have the water/pool resource I’d try it.
Just my experience 🙂
Thanks for the replies. Water here in MN is on it’s way to frozen but will try water therapy next summer. For now we’ll all keep up with long walks and daycare socialization – we watch the web cam and she’s on the move nearly all day except for enforced ‘nap’ time. Heard from another source, too, that it may not be a joint issue. Our girl (we are the Nana and Papa) is very timid but her curiosity helps draw her out a bit. What do you think about starting obedience training now – she’s been with our daughter in her home for 4 weeks. Is it too soon to come down on her with obedience correction? When I’ve walked with her I do keep her in a heel position but when I stop for the ‘sit’ and press down on the hindquarters she seems frozen. She does sit on her own, however. I’m a bit nervous about forcing her to do anything she isn’t physically capable of but also don’t want her to become stubborn and spoiled in her newfound freedom!
She needs a class that uses positive reinforcement. I would lure, but not force. Her relationship is too new to risk doing something that may frighten and confuse her.
A couple of things. Mill dogs needs TIME first and formost to come out of their shells. They need time to develop a bond with their person. Only when they gain trust in their person, will they truly blossom and become a dog. Until then, its a learning curve-every thing is new. At this point in time(4weeks??) no one has any business correcting a “soft/timid” dog for anything. One can not correct a behavior that has never been taught and learned to begin with, and she needs TIME to adjust before any one tries to set rules.
EXCELLENT point, Melissa – thank you! Had not thought of correction in quite that way and I see the point. Very glad I found this site. Thanks, everyone.
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