Am I getting too old for this obedience stuff?
The heartbreak of owning a giant breed dog such as a Great Dane is knowing that their life span is estimated to be eight - ten years. Considering they need two years to reach physical maturity, that doesn't leave a lot of time for training and competing in obedience.
I was perusing my 2010 National Invitational catalog recently and was not surprised to see the ages of the top obedience dogs. Looking through the sporting breed listings, I found the majority of the dogs competing were in the five to seven year-old age range, with a dozen more that were eight to ten years old.
I feel fortunate that Jackson stayed healthy enough to compete through the udx level prior to his seventh birthday. However, I think I am now seeing some signs of his age catching up with him, which may start to limit some of the jumping exercises. He has started refusing the bar jump lately - something he has never done in training. I'm not sure if it's his eyes or a lack of umph when he needs to jump.
Oh, we will continue training, although we will be lowering jump heights or omitting the jumping exercises altogether. I think it's important though to keep him moving and thinking. We just need to find some different things to keep him - and me - learning!