I have a 7 month old long haired GSD that has bad hips, I’d really like to pursue S&R with him. I’m considering a hip replacement for him when he’s full grown. Thoughts?
Ed: I came across your site and found it to be very informative. I recently purchased a GSD pup. I had asked for a short haired GSD for Search & Rescue and family pet. I ended up with a long haired GSD with 1 fair and 1 poor hip and cryptorchid to boot. He just had his neuter yesterday and Dr. Parker tried for 48 min to find the non decending testicle. Sounds bad, doesn't it?
I had started K-9 Kody's training with Urban Search & Rescue of South Carolina last month. Dan Fuller, the trainer, said Kody was a natural. I was the handler and loved every minute working with Kody as well as with this Search & Rescue Group. (Wait till you see this guy, he looks just like your dog!)
My question to you is: Because one of his hips is so poor and he's only 7 months old, does this mean the end of the line for Search & Rescue? The Vet seems to think that this level of activity would be too much for him. Kody loves this so much, I hate to see him become just a house dog.
I live in Sun City, Hilton Head, SC. Since I have time on my hands, I would really like to pursue this with my dog. I'm considering hip replacement after he is full grown (2years). What's your opinion in this case?
Thanks for any input you may have time to give me. By the way, I love Kody and would never let anything happen to him. (It's no wonder I didn't receive the contract from the breeder till they got my money and I had picked up Kody at the airport.)
It’s impossible for us to say whether your dog will be able to work with his hip issues or not. Having a hip replacement is also no guarantee that he will be able to do SAR.
This is something best discussed with an orthopedic vet (not a regular general practitioner). Much of it will depend on what the dog tells you as he grows. You need to be very observant and make sure you don’t put your goals in front of the dog’s best interest. I only say that because we humans get focused on goals sometimes and don’t remember that it’s about the dog, not us.