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Caleb asked in PetsDogs · 1 month ago

How to train a Blue Heeler Lab Mix who’s positive for Heartworms?

I just adopted a 7 year old Blue Heeler Lab Mix three days ago.

She is a very active dog. However, she needs to calm down a bit due to her treatment for heartworms. She has a crate, but she doesn’t like it a lot. I do take her on walks, but just walks for her to do her business. She wants to keep roaming around but she cannot due to her meds. What should I do? How can I train her? 

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    I don't like using crates either.  Let her roam around, that is what dogs do naturally.  They gotta sniff everything they can.  They learn a lot by sniffing around, all the smells from dogs that have been there before she was.  She smells cause that is what dogs do.  Let her roam, it is important for dog to be allowed to sniff.  Their sense of smell is like 700 times ours.  Let her sniff/wander around.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Talk to your vet.  They may be able to give her something like gabapentin to calm her down during her confinement.

    You cannot train a dog to want less physical exercise.   This makes treating heartworm a real pain for both dog and owner.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this.    I'm sure it feels like it's taking forever.   It will pass.

    Thank you for adopting a seven year old!   I hope you enjoy many years together.

  • 1 month ago

    If you mean OBEDIENCE training, it does not involve roaming or running, so I do not see a problem.  Training with food and/or praise is not a problem in heartworm positive dogs.  There are plenty of books or websites to help you, as well as your shelter or rescue group - that either offers zoom classes or can refer you to somebody, they recommend.  Even your vet may be able to offer a trainer recommendation

    Yes, you do need to provide mental stimulation and mental challenges for the dog, to prevent boredom and to help "exercise the brain".  High energy dogs are often very BRIGHT dogs - who especially need mental stimulation & enrichment (in addition to training) after whatever "walk distance" - is allowed.

    Nose work indoors or in your yard, beginning tracking on a harness (and at a walk) can be done now.   Indoor hide & go seek for toys, can be done now. Food puzzle toys can be given now.  Long term chews like raw bones or elk antlers........ can be given = now.  This is in addition to the needed beginner obedience exercises (which are taught on a 6 ft. leash) and ought to begin  (now).  Teaching COME is the number one most important command - since it can save your dog's life.  Teaching "come" often starts on a leash even in healthy dogs & puppies.

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