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Clumsy puppies & any long-term effects

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Our 12-week old is such a joy. He has figured out that biting humans is not an acceptable form of play and this week, he's started alerting us when he needs to go out to potty! We are constantly complimented on his polite behaviour and how well-behaved he is. We are just soaking up this puppy bliss before he turns into a teenager :lol:


We do have a question though about growing joints/muscles: We do our best to not let him jump on/off the couch, stop zoomies when it is on our hardwood floors, don't let him jump on us/for toys as we know this isn't good for their joints. We keep him at a walk/trot on sidewalks and whenever possible we walk him on grass. We take him to romp and expel energy in quiet grassy parks where not a lot of dogs visit and he just loves it. However, he's had two instances where he's run faster than his legs seem to handle and has taken a tumble. In these two instances, it has been on grass, but he has had a slight limp afterwards! It has always disappeared within half an hour, even less, but I am wondering if these two cases would cause any side effects, or if it is like any isolated pulled muscle a child could get from playing too hard. He didn't yelp and he allowed you to fully massage, handle and bend all his legs, feet and toes. Like I said, it wore off within 30 minutes in both cases. (Obviously if he was not putting any pressure on a limb, if he yelped, or if he was favouring a limb for an extended period of time, I would take him to the vet.)


We have him on a long line when we take him out but I'm wondering what we else can do to a) prevent this from happening again and b. how serious are these clumsy tumbles? My last dog tore his ACL when he was older so I am just paranoid of any injury whatsoever and I want Indie to be fully capable of sports in the future. Orthopedic injuries are such a fear of mine but I want to find the right balance of safety and fun.

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Kids of all species tumble, get up and keep going. Sometimes the cry for a minute but they soon forget about it and are off playing again.


It sounds to me like you're doing all you can to prevent injury, but this kind of puppy tumble is, IMO, completely normal. When I had puppies, they all did it and none were ever the worse for wear. ^_^

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It sounds like you are appropriately cautious, but still allowing your puppy to be a puppy. You are doing a lot better than when I had my puppy 6 years ago. (I think that I have "smartened up" since then thanks to these forums.)


My boy, Torque, is one of those dogs who throws his whole body into everything -- jumping and flying down stairs (which I am trying to control), running and skidding after a thrown ball, etc. He has injured himself (torn biceps tendon) running after a ball. He had done the skidding and stopping (and sometimes the tumble) hundreds of times before, and has also done it hundreds of times after the Injury, surgery and rehab. Personally, I have seen him do a lot worse to his body than the small stumble that caused his injury.


You do the best you can, but even the most innocent tumble might result in an injury. You are on the right path with trying to not let your puppy strain or over-use his young joints. I would also consider adopting a muscle-conditioning exercise program to keep the muscles around the joints strong. (Although I don't think I would start such exercises now, but maybe once he is a bit older.)


Orthopedic issues are not fun, but they are not the end of the road. Usually, they can be overcome with appropriate rehab and rest.



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Okay phew. I'm quickly figuring out that I'm quite the worrier. I just wouldn't want these tumbles to wear on his body and make him more susceptible for serious injury or a condition in the future. I am glad to know that he can still be a fully functioning adult even though he's a mighty clumsy puppy.


I know I pulled my muscles playing sports as a child, fell, got bruised or the wind knocked out of me, I am still able to engage in physical sports/exercise today at a high level. I was hoping this was the same for him.

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Sounds just like my twelve week old pup, with yours possibly being a little tamer! She has done things to make herself come up limp for a few minutes-she's no worse for the wear, I kind of equated it with stubbing your toe, where you writhe in pain for a little and get over it. ;)

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