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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading an older thread and forgot who expressed that a game of fetch is bad for dogs joints and can do damage over time :confused: the person who stated it is still a member here. Just curious because I play ball with Bella some nights out in my yard. She loves a good game of fetch. How is playing fetch any more damaging on joints than weight pulling or agility? I also heard on here that jogging with a dog on pavement is damaging which makes some sense because it is damaging to a humans knees and joints as well. Its always best to run on dirt or grass so if I'm playing fetch in grass with my dog how can it hurt her? I always figured if anything it would keep her fit. If anyone can elaborate please do......I'm always open minded to learn more :)
 

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Dare to dance the tide
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I play fetch twice a day with Vendetta everyday sometime we paly three or four times. i did hurt her knee she loves to leap in the air to catch the ball and she landed wrong. It took a bit of time to heal it. I didnt stop playing with her I just didnt throw the ball so she could jump for it. There are peope that think you shouldnt run with a dog before a certain age either I think that is foolish and I get jumped for my opinion on this alot. I think if you want to lay fetch play fetch just make sure the surface isnt relly hard like pavement or slippery. If you want to run with your dog take your cue from your dog as how much you do with her.
 

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I play with my dogs fetch like 4 times a day and they play a lot more once my dad get's home they never get tired of it. My eldest dog who lived to be 19 years old played fetch his entire life and lived a long good life of course he had joint problems..BUT he was an old man and what old dog doesn't?? lol
 

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I think fetch is great exercise, I would think anything repetitive over time is bad for something, you know. But not doing anything is also bad, so I go for it. Mel loves fetch. And tug and attacking tree branches, if I let him, lol. I worry when I use a flirt pole sometimes he does crazy twisty moves to throw me off, it works usually, lol. But I worry about his belly flipping more than his joints going bad.

As far as jogging I only hear it was bad for the paws/ nails. I didn't even think about knees and stuff on pups!! Great point.
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input :) I will still play fetch just not every night. I will mostly be walking her and when she gets older I will do some jogging with her. I hike alot and also will be looking into some agility with her eventually. All in all Bella is my pet and constant companion to my daughter and I. We are active so she will be too. :roll:
 

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Dare to dance the tide
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Some people actually think that letting puppies run is a bad thing. I say that if a puppy is running around and it is bad for them there is something seriously wrong with the breeders practices.
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've always heard that you shouldn't run a dog hard until they are two especially breeds like german shepherds or breeds more prone to hip dysplasia. Although if you get a pup from a reputable breeder who tests for dysplasia then you shouldn't have to worry about that IMO.
 

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Soooo yes fetch is great exercise BUT it can cause damage to dogs and I see it all the time!

It has a lot to do with how the dog gets the toy, if you have an over exuberant dog who crashes when the get the ball, or flips, or is just tough on the body then you may not want to play fetch. It is not the repetitive motion of fetch it is the sharp turning or cashing that can cause torn ACL's or worse. We see it a lot in agility dogs where they did not get hurt doing agility but rather before or after the run when playing fetch.

If you have a dog who runs and gets the ball or toy and it not hard on the body it is a great game but if the dog crashes and tumbles trying to get the ball you could have a problem at some point.

When a dog does not protect their body, like a lot of APBT's run all out with out thinking of the landing, the risk for injury is high. Juts like Lure coursing while it seems like great fun the risk of injury is great. You take a dog who is running all out chasing a lure and major damage can occur.

Since I have working dogs I try to keep their careers long by not exposing them to unnecessary injury. I am over cautious because I do not want a 3,000 knee surgery and have to take that time off. I do play fetch with my dogs but I am careful of where and how I throw the toy. Before you have a dog run full out you should also stretch the front and rear legs to loosen them up. If I do not stretch Tempest she will pull something every time.

So play with your dog but keep these things in mind, there are a ton of articles about running dogs, playing fetch, and sports dogs in good magazines like Clean Run. They talk about all the recent research about dog sports and injuries. Next time I read a good article I will have to post it.
 

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Yeah...Bruno once crashed into the heater(baseboard heater)
while doing his zoomies,and tore part of the pad on his foot clean off. So if they are not watching themselves,it can be dangerous,That's why I play with them in an open field or place where they have less chances of injuring themselves.
But I would never deny my dogs a game of fetch or tug.
 

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Here are some articles about it.

This one is short

Playing fetch games with your dog is great exercise for your dog and a good bonding time. Some ways of playing fetch with your dog can cause injury, however, so it's better to play safe than to be sorry.
Throwing things into the air like a Frisbee for your dog to fetch is traditional playtime fun, but it can cause your dog leg or back injury when they land on the ground after the jump. When your dog jumps to catch something in the air, he will often twist his body to grasp the object with his teeth. A mid-air twist and hard landing for a dog can injure their back and/or legs. The force is enough to cause your dog injuries that will require surgery to repair.

Protect your dog from injury such as this when playing fetch by rolling a ball or throwing toys on the ground for him to fetch. This will give your dog exercise and keep his body close to the ground, avoiding any injuries that can arise from hard landings.

During the summer months, also be careful about heat exposure to your dog while playing games of fetch outdoors. Most dogs will play as long as you are willing, even to the point of collapse. Remember your dog is wearing a fur coat and needs breaks during outdoor play and fresh water so they can keep cool.


Aww man I cannot find the one I was looking for if I do I will post it.
 

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hrm.. if I have to forego jumping and being active with my dogs... there's something wrong. We warm up with a little big of tug, a stretch, and a walk, then it's on. Running, jumping, twisting, turning.. and nary an injury. Well, a couple limp tails from landing on them, but other than that.. we've been good. These are tough dogs, and their bodies should be able to keep up. JMHO. I also don't let them play rough sports on hard ground.. it's always squishy or sandy turf. The only exception would be the spring pole.. that is naturally over hard ground, as they make it hard over time. But it's also not high up in the air. (though they prefer to grab it as high as possible) I guess if I have to deal with an ACL tear, my tune would be different. :/ Hope it never happens, though!
 
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I work my dogs very hard and they do hold up well. I do Agility, Schutzhund, dock diving, and other sports with my dogs and none of those include turning on a dime and crashing. Playing fetch can include that and much more and I am not saying to not play or work them but use smarts when working them. A dog with a torn ACL is useless to me so I minimize the risk and work them in different ways. Flirt poles, spring poles, and treadmills are all great ways to work dogs out in a safe manner if you use smarts. Playing fetch carries a big risk and I just watch how my dogs fetch.

I have experienced knee issues with dogs and they are not fun! Each time they were due to some silly accident not by sports or working them out correctly.

Oh sad story a friend of mine was walking his dogs off leash and they were young and chasing each other. One slide sideways and kind of wrapped around a stop sign. She hit so hard she suffered internal bleeding and bled out on the way to the vet. Stuff like that worries me more it's the things you do not expect.
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After thinking about it and thinking back to some of the ways my Austrailian cattle dog and german shepards played fetch I see your words of caution PK. My cattle dog had legit springs in his legs and would practically flip in the air when catching a bouncing ball. Same with some of my shepards. I guess I was lucky to never have issues over the years. I wil continue to play with Bella but I will use a harder ball with not much bounce to it. No tennis balls or rubber balls allowed :)
 

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These are the best balls for fetch! You can throw them super far so it is already on the ground and the dog is less likely to crash. Get the 3" ball, they do not bounce or roll too far since they are on a string, the string allows you to launch them far and because they are heavy duty rubber they last for ever even if the ball is chewed as they bring it back.
Elite Working Balls: Polce K9, Military K9 and Schutzhund Working Dog equipment
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
These are the best balls for fetch! You can throw them super far so it is already on the ground and the dog is less likely to crash. Get the 3" ball, they do not bounce or roll too far since they are on a string, the string allows you to launch them far and because they are heavy duty rubber they last for ever even if the ball is chewed as they bring it back.
Elite Working Balls: Polce K9, Military K9 and Schutzhund Working Dog equipment
Thanks PK! I will look into those :)
 
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