Dog Recovery Question

RyeGuy74

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
95
Hey,

So my ECS got a severe eye injury on our second ever time hunting together. We waited the required recovery time that the vet gave us and at his most recent post-surgery checkup, they gave him the green light to hunt again, even though he'll always have a scar. I was bit more choosy where I took him, I opted for more open areas, with a lot less super thick cover than we normally hunt. But I noticed that he didn't charge right into the cover like he's always done. I wouldn't say he hesitated but he made circles around it before he went in. When he did finally go in, he was lot more cautious about it, at least it seems that way to me. He's never been one to do that, like I said he's always gone full charge into the cover from the moment I brought him home at 8 weeks old. This change wouldn't bother me if he did it once or twice, but this was every clump of cover we hit. My biggest fear is that his eye injury has discouraged him from being the hard charger he's always been.

Has anyone ever had this happened? Am I worried about nothing? Just asking since he his my first bird dog. Thanks in advance!
 

Fencepost

Active member
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
33
I was running with my dog in the mtns one evening. taller grass . Some how there was a metal t post buried only a foot of it sticking out of the ground. My boy hit the thing square in his chest. Ripped him wide open. It messed him up mentally for a few years . Wouldn't go into tall grass with out tip toeing and looking back waiting for me to give a command. It took a while but he got it figured out. He didn't even see the post all he seen was tall grass so to him that's what caused him all that pain . Good luck with pup. He will get back at it in no time
 

AlaskaHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,542
Location
interior Alaska
Hey,

So my ECS got a severe eye injury on our second ever time hunting together. We waited the required recovery time that the vet gave us and at his most recent post-surgery checkup, they gave him the green light to hunt again, even though he'll always have a scar. I was bit more choosy where I took him, I opted for more open areas, with a lot less super thick cover than we normally hunt. But I noticed that he didn't charge right into the cover like he's always done. I wouldn't say he hesitated but he made circles around it before he went in. When he did finally go in, he was lot more cautious about it, at least it seems that way to me. He's never been one to do that, like I said he's always gone full charge into the cover from the moment I brought him home at 8 weeks old. This change wouldn't bother me if he did it once or twice, but this was every clump of cover we hit. My biggest fear is that his eye injury has discouraged him from being the hard charger he's always been.

Has anyone ever had this happened? Am I worried about nothing? Just asking since he his my first bird dog. Thanks in advance!
What is an ECS?
 

Hunting Wife

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
3,815
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
If he’s really being tentative or refusing to go in, I imagine the excitement of birds will help him get over it eventually. Try some bumper or pigeon training in the brush, with lots of praise. Exposure therapy of sorts. Might help.

“Hard charging” has tradeoffs though, namely lots of vet bills and lots of time sidelined due to injury. As long as they still get in the cover, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing when they get a little smarter about how they do it.
 

TOGIE

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
3,301
Location
CO
gosh, reading this and realizing my golden would last all of 30 seconds out huntin before needing an ER visit the way she charges balls that bounce into big sticky bushes. i'm amazed she's not blind already.

she's busted both dew claws less than a month apart pounding landcaping rocks cause the ball bounced in them.

i dunno how you guys do this stuff. i'd be too stressed.
 

tim629

Active member
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
184
Location
upstate NY
if it were my dog I would get him some rex-specs, get him used to them, then go back to some planted birds in some open areas to get his drive back up again, then some birds in some thick stuff once he is excited about it again

we got rex specs as a preventative for our gsp who we take out trail riding with us because he is a bit reckless. he isn't a fan of them going on but once we are on the horses he is out running and forgets about them until we stop
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Midwest
If he’s really being tentative or refusing to go in, I imagine the excitement of birds will help him get over it eventually. Try some bumper or pigeon training in the brush, with lots of praise. Exposure therapy of sorts. Might help.

“Hard charging” has tradeoffs though, namely lots of vet bills and lots of time sidelined due to injury. As long as they still get in the cover, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing when they get a little smarter about how they do it.
This. Good reps in thick cover will probably do the trick.

And as far as protection for next time, I second the Rex Specs recommendation. I throw them on my dog when we are working extremely thick cover. Saves his eyes, and they withstand the abuse he puts them through.
 

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