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We go to our local off leash park every day. For the past couple months there has been a Vizsla puppy around. They are quite common in the area. This particular puppy is a very sweet floppy cartoonish dog. He has lots of extra skin and long dangly ears and that sweet Vizsla face. Everybody loves him. And yet seeing him makes me oh so very sad. The dog is probably nearing 5 months now. And when he was little I was hoping he was just extra clumsy because he was so young. The older he gets the more I feel that it is not. This puppy doesn't run. When he tries to run he has a very awkward pained looking gait. Sort of like he is hobbling along. It is very hard to tell what might be going on. He has a rather curved, roached back. He has always had a lot of puppy acne but other than that he is very alert and playful. I do not think his owner suspects anything is wrong. I believe he got him from a local backyard breeder. I think about how when Misha was that age he used to zoom and zoom and zoom and nothing could stop him. Vizslas are one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. He should be able to run. But he can't. I still hope things will get better as he ages. But I don't know.
 

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This is sad. I checked quickly and hip dysplasia is an issue with the breed but I don't know how it would present in a puppy.
Or it may be a birth injury or something after?

If the owner seems approachable, maybe a simple "I can't help but notice..."?
 

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That's so sad💔 It's causes one of the worst heartbreaks when you get a dog from a BYB or poor breeder and they have health problems, and you might not even know it yet, and knowing that it didn't have to be like that makes it feel even worse. I hate BYBs and poor breeders. They are only in it for the money and don't even think about the animal who's life might be cut short because of a health problem or for the people. They just don't care. I wish that there were harsher laws with things like this.
 

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A roached back is a sign of pain in nearly all breeds of dogs. The "puppy acne" is often from mange mites and can be treated. I also really don't think of Vizslas as a breed that has loose floppy skin. That sounds very sad and truly is a live ad for avoiding BYB.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is sad. I checked quickly and hip dysplasia is an issue with the breed but I don't know how it would present in a puppy.
Or it may be a birth injury or something after?

If the owner seems approachable, maybe a simple "I can't help but notice..."?
I have considered this many times. I will probably say something but I may need to wait a bit until it is more clear that it is not just his age causing the clumsy run. It is hard because there is not an obvious orthopedic thing to point out. I haven't found a way to word it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A roached back is a sign of pain in nearly all breeds of dogs. The "puppy acne" is often from mange mites and can be treated. I also really don't think of Vizslas as a breed that has loose floppy skin. That sounds very sad and truly is a live ad for avoiding BYB.
That's how I feel, but unfortunately this puppy steals the hearts of everybody he meets. I don't think anybody else has noticed anything off. They will eventually I'm sure, but I think they think it is just an awkward puppy phase. The loose skin may be getting less as he ages. But he does have looser skin for sure.
 

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That's hard to witness, Raindrops. The owners have no clue?
I don't think so. They are young, probably similar to my age, but I think they have no idea about dogs because they started taking this puppy to this park when he was 12 weeks old. The dogs are all friendly but they are way too much for a young puppy on leash! And they brought him right to the groups of dogs. I had to keep Misha away from him for the first couple weeks because he would do nothing but topple the puppy who was very submissive. Little submissive puppies sometimes over excite Misha and he comes on too strong.
 

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Do stories like this ever cause you to rethink the ethics of pet ownership? I've seen unhealthy dogs sold to unsuspecting owners, well meaning owners who aren't knowledgeable about dog behavior, people looking for furniture not a living being with its own needs and wants, and I'm not sure that as an industry we're doing this right.
 

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Liz I wish that there was a way to have prospective owners have pre-puppy education. It should include what to look for in a breeder if a pure bred pup is what is hoped for. It should include an understanding of the potential challenges of a rescued dog (like there is a reason the dog is being rehomed and it may be hard to fix). A good set of screening questions where the prospective owners can self evaluate whether they have the time, patience, home set up and other resources ($$$) to provide a good and stable, successful environment and be committed to life long training should be a part of this process. I know people get upset when they feel that a breeder has nixed them for getting their "dream pup." but heck if someone wants a Saluki or an Afghan hound and they live in a micro mini NYC apartment, work ten hours a day and are barely affording their own rent and food, that just isn't going to be a happy situation. People should figure that out before the puppy comes home and destroys all of the furniture and the owner gets evicted because the dog barks all day. This shouldn't mean they can't have a dog but for this point in their life they should get a toy breed and hire a dog walker to have a joyous experience. The Saluki can wait until they are in their 40s and have made their fortune and moved to five fenced acres and work from home.

I fell in love with a black spoo puppy when I was 20 years old (in college). He belonged to the family of a friend from campus and even though he puked all over me in the car the first time I saw him I knew I had to have a spoo and a black one, but was also very cognizant of how poorly able to do justice to any dog at all I was at that point in my life. I got a guinea pig instead. Then once finished with defending my Ph.D. and having gotten the excellent position I still hold I knew it still wasn't time for a spoo since I had some days with very long hours and no private yard or even a fenced dog run in the townhouse complex where I lived so I had cats and birds. Once we finally moved to our current home with a fenced yard and reasonably quiet streets and a predictable schedule that would be humane for dogs I got Lily. I was well into my 40s. She is the light of my life and it was well worth waiting for the right time.

If we put the kind of thinking and preparation into choosing when and what kind of dog to get, made a meaningful commitment to that dog when it was a baby then shelters would become virtually empty because puppies would all grow into our dream dogs and be with us for the duration of their natural lives.
 

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I have Maggie, a 7 yr old 'kennel dog' that is terrified of the world outside. I have pee pads inside that she uses. I am 82 and just recently got an electric chair. I wonder how I would get this scaredy cat to either ride in my lap, and eventually walk along side, or is that just wishful thinking?
 

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susan Davis you will feed Maggie treats for looking at the chair, then for approaching it, then for touching her nose or a paw to it to get her able to be around it below her nervous threshold. Then you will sit on the chair and offer her treats until she is calm in her approach and willing to eat treats. Then you will do the same thing with you holding her near the chair. Then you will hold her and sit on the chair with plenty of treats and being mindful of keeping her relaxed. Even if she can only do that for a second or two you will move along while watching that she remains relaxed. This strategy is called counter conditioning. If done with extreme patience and care it will work. Everything you have to do is aimed at keeping her below her fear response threshold so that she can gradually raise the threshold. It is a very slow process but often highly successful.
 
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