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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could use some advice from the wonderful DT community...

There is a very sweet 3 yr old male Dobe in my neighborhood who we have chatted with the owner on occasion, and eventually hope to have them over for a playdate. A month or so ago, he started walking his dog with a massive heavy chain on the dog's neck. I saw them and said something jokinginly about it like "oh you look like such a tough boy! LOL" to the dog and the owner said it was to give him a better work out and tire him out more. I'm not always the quickest on my feet, and I didn't really say anything else at the time, but my immediate thought was that it could increase risk of wobblers.

Every time I see them walk by our house now I just get sad thinking about all the weight on this poor boy's neck! From my perspective, it appears the dog is carrying it's head much lower now from the weight it is bearing. I asked Lucy's handler about it, thinking maybe I was over-reacting. I've never had a dog with wobblers myself. She said this could definitely cause problems, and that the primary vertibrae often affected are right in the area that this collar places weight on.

I would like to mention something next time I see them, or if we have them over, just indicating they may want to talk to their vet about it because Dobes are very high risk of wobblers. I would personally rather see them use a doggie backpack with a couple 1lb water bottles in each side, and contemplated giving them Harvey's old pack! My husband thinks I'll come across as a know-it-all which is absolutely not my intent. I just worry that they could be unknowingly causing risk to their boy...

Any suggestions? Do you concur this big heavy chain (it's big!!) could be problematic? I really don't know this guy other than brief chats in the street, so I would hate to make him mad.

Appreciate any suggestions.
 

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You can't kill the metal
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I can't comment on if it would be problematic or not, however, it's never a bad thing to share opinions and at least get them thinking about it or looking into it. They could be thankfull or take offence to it.

Personally if I have something to say I will say it without much worry about what someone might think of me. I would tell them, because if it "is" problematic then you could very well be saving the dog from developing the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave. This situation kinda reminds me of the prior DT discussion about whether or not to tell someone their dog is over/under weight...

I agree with you that it's not really about what they think about me, it's about making sure they understand there could be harmful effects to using this collar.

But because I don't know this person very well, I would hate to say something and have him take it the wrong way...
 

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You can't kill the metal
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I've had a few people tell me to feed my dog and other people mutter about how skinny she is and I'm sure you've heard it as well.

When I first heard the comment about not feeding my dog it concerned me, enough so to take pictures of her and ask around for opinions and/or advice. I would do the same if I had a large chain on Lexi and someone approached me about it. It's better to educate people about something rather then to ignore it. Give them the chance to do some research themselves. As far as I'm concerned that's what a good pet owner would do.

Like I said, maybe they will be thankful :)

It's a chance I would take.
 

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joie de vivre
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I would probably first suggest, if he wants to increase the workout, he buy a pack that the dog can carry water bottles or something to add some weight, kinda like when taking your dog for a hike.

You can get less expensive ones than this, but here's an idea:
Ruff Wear Dog Packs

After suggesting that I'd then bring up how I would be concerned for potentially increasing the dog's chances of developing wobblers. I'd point out that with a pack the weight would be more balanced over the dog's body, giving his whole body a workout, rather than just straining the poor boy's neck. As it is I imagine just making his dog's neck sore (and probably taking the fun out of his walks, too, I bet).

I can be a little pushy (no! surely not! :D) so if he still didn't seem to get it, I'd ask him to think about himself - would his body get a better workout if he wore a heavy chain around his neck and shoulders? Or would he get a better workout if he wore a heavy pack strapped to his back?
 

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Da Boss
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If you were thinking about giving him a pack, that would be a good way to start up a conversation. Something like.."You know, I have this pack I never use. It would be a good break for both of you not to haul around that chain!" Hopefully that would jump start a conversation that could lead to a Wobblers discussion. My only worry would be that he'd use both....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everybody for the suggestions! I really appreciate it.

I think I will pull out Harvey's (RIP) old pack and offer it up to the guy, when we hopefully have them over for a playdate soon... I'm sure it would fit Crimson (his dog) great.
 

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Maybe print out an article about wobblers, and the next time you see them, be like "Oh hey, I came this article about a neck problem called wobblers, and wanted to share it to you. After reading it, I became concerned about your dog wearing that chain, and that you might not have heard about this condition." That way, you can give them the information, but in as a "non-confrontational" style as possible. It's entirely possible they have never heard of wobblers. After that conversation, you can ask if they would like to use the backpack, instead of the chain.
 

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I would suggest to the owner to get a doggy back pack to carry waters and a water bowl etc. for the dog. Not only will this be a good workout for the dog, but it's much safer, and there will be a cold water for owner and pet at the end of the walk! And the owner won't look like an idiot. :)
 

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Please DO mention to him your concern about Wobbler's and the heavy chain he is using. It is a legitimate concern and if he loves his dog, he will take it seriously. My gal has Wobbler's as do several others on this forum. Dobermans are more prone to it, as are Great Danes. Even if he thinks his dog is fine now...why do something that obviously is putting strain on his neck. He could end up with problems at a much younger age and to a degree that will restrict the dog's activities. Let him know that you have read about Wobbler's on this forum and those of us whose dogs have it are just heartbroken. Their legs lose strength, then can't run, are unstable in their footing, can't do stairs and sometimes have trouble holding a squat. It shortens their lifespan and most certainly decreases their life quality and costs a lot in vet and medication bills.
Let him know your concern, not as criticism, but just because he probably hasn't heard of Wobbler's and you want to share what you have read.
Thanks.
 

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If he's open to the backpack idea, but wants a better workout, they do actually make weight vests for dogs. They are pricey, but it's much safer than what he's doing. The weights are placed carefully in the vest so that they don't put pressure on the dog.

I hope you can (gently) help him.
 

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I think I would try something like,
"Hey, I was online the other day and I saw an article about dobes and something called Wobbler's Disease. Have you heard anything about it? Well, I hadn't heard about it before; it talked about neck problems from..........etc, etc........and it said not to pull the neck sideways or put heavy collars on it.....etc, etc........"

Play it by ear and see if you can get him to come around to realizing he needs to change the dog's collar on his own.

If not, you could go on with, "It was a really interesting article--I didn't know......I wonder if they would think your dog's collar is too heavy?"

I guess what I'm driving at is for you to let the article be the expert so you and he could figure the thing out together. That way you're not playing the know-it-all role. He might be more willing to listen to an "authority" (everything on-line or in print is right, don'tcha know??) than just any old neighbor's opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Excellent idea Melbrod, thank you! This guy is super nice and his dog is very sweet and I would really hate to alienate him or ruffle his feathers. Rather, I was really hoping to have him, his wife and pupper over for drinks and a playdate (which he and I have talked about doing) and maybe Lucy and Crimson could become pals. I just really worry about that collar though... I really like your suggestion below. I will take this approach. Thanks!!

I think I would try something like,
"Hey, I was online the other day and I saw an article about dobes and something called Wobbler's Disease. Have you heard anything about it? Well, I hadn't heard about it before; it talked about neck problems from..........etc, etc........and it said not to pull the neck sideways or put heavy collars on it.....etc, etc........"

Play it by ear and see if you can get him to come around to realizing he needs to change the dog's collar on his own.

If not, you could go on with, "It was a really interesting article--I didn't know......I wonder if they would think your dog's collar is too heavy?"

I guess what I'm driving at is for you to let the article be the expert so you and he could figure the thing out together. That way you're not playing the know-it-all role. He might be more willing to listen to an "authority" (everything on-line or in print is right, don'tcha know??) than just any old neighbor's opinion.
 

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Thank dog that wasn't me, my mouth is WAY faster than my brain!!! LOL I like the idea of casually mentioning wobblers and then moving on to the back pack idea....

Just an idea of how bad I am, once I met a lady at the dog park and instead of being polite and saying something like oh your dog is "nicely filled out", I blurted out "holy sh*t that's the fattest Dobe I have ever seen" Yeah I am entertaining to hang out with....:rolleyesww:
 

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Excellent idea Melbrod, thank you! This guy is super nice and his dog is very sweet and I would really hate to alienate him or ruffle his feathers. Rather, I was really hoping to have him, his wife and pupper over for drinks and a playdate (which he and I have talked about doing) and maybe Lucy and Crimson could become pals. I just really worry about that collar though... I really like your suggestion below. I will take this approach. Thanks!!
^^^^ all good stuff / the back pack is a great idea.

The heavy chain, dragging down the dobes neck, while walking...can lead to some expensive Vet visits.
- to correct the neck structure
- easy to spend several hundred dollars, on multiple Acupuncture & Chiropractor Vet visits
Since the guy is super nice he will understand...invite a play date very soon, and discuss then.
- make some cold lemonade, ice tea or give him a beer / you will do fine, handling the topic
 
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