Join Date: Aug 2018
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Yesterday we had a unique opportunity so we took advantage of it. There were a couple of people traveling through our area to get to an upcoming field trial. They kept their dogs overnight at our trainers house. We took Moe out for a few of them to watch. My trainer ran Moe through a couple of drills and at first things went well. He then saw exactly what we've been running into at home, Moe just sort of loses interest. Moe definitely knows exactly what he is suppose to do. He did it perfectly twice. On the third send he completely refused for the trainer. He went out and then laid down next to the retrieve. This was with no pressure.
He completely refused anything that a trainer that has never worked with him asked of him.
They then had us run him. He again did things for two to three tries. On the next run he ran out to the retrieve he should have made and then zoomed by everyone, making a wide circle through the field, and laid by our truck, never bringing the retrieve back.
We tried several different things. We looked at some video of him working before the injury, and we all came to the same conclusion, Moe associates getting hurt with working. He could also be being manipulative, but it's still for a reason. He doesn't want to do it.
We are going to continue to "play" with him and see if we can get his courage back up, but we aren't going to force it. Our trainer doesn't want to force it, and he's successfully trained every dog we've ever taken to him. He said he's never had a dog get hurt, or suffer such a medical problem, during training and he just thinks it's to much. I'm reluctant to say Moe got hurt because we have 4 different ortho specialists that all agree his issue is congenital, but it surfaced while he was training. I think if he wasn't being trained we may not have found it so soon, but eventually we would have.
Although there is truly disappointment, we are all just happy Moe can run and be a very normal pet. There was a point that we were questioning quality of life for him. We have always bought our Golden's hoping to field train them, but knowing they may just be a pet. Moe will be a very happy and loved pet.
I'm trying to think if there is anything else we could do. One of the trainers there yesterday said he thinks agility is also to much pressure. He thinks we would get the same reaction. I also worry it may be to much on Moe physically. We still aren't sure about his elbows. One of the trainers recommended service work, but he's really high strung. I'm wondering about obedience, but some of what we teach is different then the classes I've looked into. He also is already trained....
Just wanted to update.