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i need the wisdom of the doghouse please! help me with my post-op dog.

(5 Posts)
Cardea Thu 08-Nov-12 11:06:37

Flatdog (8mo flatcoat retriever) had an op on his leg 2 days ago and has to have on-lead exercise only for 10 days, no jumping, no running about madly etc. i.e. all the things he loves.
He has a funnel-like plastic collar to stop him chewing his bandage (DS2 calls it his space collar), we have already been back once to have his leg redressed as he wiggled the dressing off so he needs to keep the collar on which means he can't hold things with his paws and chew things. So he is getting very bored. If I am totally honest he is not perfect on-lead but we have been working on it, and he generally settles down once he's had a poo. This morning I was leaning back heels dug in angle for pretty much the whole walk. Tried lots of tactics (maybe too many?) changing direction, treats, wrist flicking, stopping until lead slack then moving off again, but he foiled me by lying on the pavement refusing to move.
Finally got him moving, he charged off and shattered his plastic collar by hitting it on a wall, then jumped about doing "fish on a line", houdini'ed out of his own collar, leaving me holding collar and lead blush and ran off to the park.
He did lie down as soon as he got there and let me put his collar and lead back on so he's not totally in disgrace, but then he towed me round the park. I had to haul him back so much he was up on his hind legs - certainly not the rest the vet has ordered and not an ideal habit to get into. He ignored treats, commands that he'd usually follow and was a bit of a bugger all round.

We're back home, Flatdog looks mighty pleased with his fine work and is happily chewing an antler and his new bed.

I'm off to get another plastic collar as he can't really be left without it - I'll take it off for supervised chew sessions, and for walks from now on - and I think I'm going to try a no-pull halter thing but does anyone have tips for keeping him occupied whilst recuperating, and also to get him to enjoy walking on the lead? He's obviously a bit peeved about it at the moment!

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 11:55:00

Have you tried putting peanut butter in a Kong and then freezing it? Will take him ages to get it out! Obv he would probably need the collar off for this but if you sit there and supervise then I can't see the problem.

Also instead of giving him his meals as normal put a meal's worth of dry food in a Kong so he has to work to get it all out.

Also how about teaching him some new tricks? Check with the vet first please to make sure it won't stress his leg but things like a high five, or bang bang, you're dead etc. Or hide treats / favourite toy around the room. You need to increase his mental stimulation to compensate for the lack of physical exercise.

tabulahrasa Thu 08-Nov-12 12:23:38

He only needs the collar on to stop him getting to the wound, some dogs are really really bad for it, most I've had are fairly easy to stop without the collar so you could leave it off unless you're not about.

HoneyDragon Thu 08-Nov-12 13:04:52

If you are walking him he can't chew his stitches so you can ditch the collar for lead walks.

Cardea Thu 08-Nov-12 13:06:35

Oo like high five idea he's having stitches checked tomorrow so will ask then
Tabulah: yes He is much much happier without his collar as he can get into his crate (door is always open!) and hold things to chew but y will need it on when I'm not around.
I have been scattering his food on the floor will try k ong for next meal
Thanks for ideas and help!

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