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fritz179

When to retire your dog?

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He's a 12 year old black lab, 110 lbs. He hadn't shown any problems during last fall and had no hip problems, a very healthy dog. Through the winter he lost his spunk and also his hips. This past weekend was very bad for him and very sad time for me. He just wasn't himself. I don't think I can take him out anymore...any thoughts?

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Keep him inside - maybe get a puppy - but give your boy the greatest year or two of his life. Remember he served you well - you know when it will be time

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Might look into some supplements to help his joints...or if they are really bad and making him uncomfortable daily possible get some pain killers from the vet.

Either way I would think I would be retiring the old boy if hunting is causing him pain and do what I can to make him comfortable.

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We got him a pup when he was 9 and it sure did him well. It works well when the pup can learn from the master, and observe his activity and how to act in a duck blind. The hunting is causing him pain, so I think it's time. I just wanted to know some of your expierences with other dogs, this is my first time.

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I think you answered your own question. My dog is done also, 8 YO springer and her kidneys are starting to fail. Our vet has her on a no protein diet, so she would have no stamina. I understand its way easier on the kidneys to not have to process protein. As a housed dog you would not know the difference, so we think she has a few good years of retirement.

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I'd give him a chance with Hemi's suggestion of supplements to help his joints and maybe pain killers.

If he was young and ripped I could see 110 lbs. Muscle loss starting in his hind quarters is inevitable in older dogs. If hes overweight that will slow even a young dog down not to mention the strain on his joints and frame, so I'd get that extra weight off him. With diet and light exercise he might bounce back.

Good Luck.

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This is the hardest part of having a hunting dog and it is your first time through this, I understand. We get lots of good with owning a good hunting dog and have to be good sportsman and responsible owners when the bad time comes. Treasure all the good memories and don’t let him suffer by hunting him to long. Retire him and give him all the love he has earned and deserves. You will know when it is time.

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Thanks for the advice guys, I think I'm going to leave him at home this weekend for pheasant opener and for any duck hunting that I'll do. He's has really done enough for me, I owe it to him.

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This is so hard. We have an old lab too, and he is in his second year of retirement. I think he will heading to the great duck blind in the sky soon. The hardest part is that I know he still wants go hunting.

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What sucks about older dogs is the mind is willing but the body isn't. I have a 11 1/2 year old German short hair that freaks out still when I get the gun out but her hips say no. frown I can take her out for a hour or so and then she is dragging along. I feel bad for her but I will not deny her what she loves to do.

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