Last summer we rescued a 3 month old dog from the pound who was being called a 'shepherd mix.' We laughed at that because he is a gorgeous dark brindle color, has long floppy ears, a long/thick more rectangular snout than a shepherds, and the extra skin/fur of a mastiff. We took him to our vet to find out he was sick with pneumonia and had been neutered way too early. The vet called him a mastiff/shepherd mix. We've taken care of him and had to help him a lot because his bones haven't developed the right way. The vet blames this on being neutered too soon for his body to get the needed hormones to help his large bones develop correctly. We have him on a special diet diferent than our other dogs, and we have to keep him real lean (so we don't stress his bones anymore). He is just a year old now and only 70-75 pounds (but if we could let him he would easily be a good 10 pounds more).
We've actually done a lot of research, and we were luckily enough to track down where he came from. (To make a long story short there was a woman over breeding her female fila with almost any dog she could think of, just to make a big buck. Our boy was one of that litter who had been left out by his new owner and broken the chain he was tied out on. The good news is that woman no longer has her dog, and that poor fila is trying to have a better life. Also, that we have our boy now and he is no longer tied out on a chain just to be mean and protective).
Now that we know what our dog is we wondering if anyone could give us any advice on good ways to get his energy out that would be easy on his brittle bones. Most people just tell us the typical sports of agility, etc, but he already hurt his leg a few months ago, so we can't do something that has a lot of jumping. He is a great dog! He is so good with our daughter and other dogs. We socialized him a lot when we got him (as we've done with all of our dogs), and he does very well in new situations and isn't too overprotective as I've read some Filas are (I know that's what some people want them for, but we just love him as a nice family pet, rather than our guardian). He has a lot of energy and our two other dogs (an Australian Kelpie/husky mix and an Am. Staffordshire Terrier) love to wrestle with him, but we have to keep that to a minimum so he doesn't get hurt. If anyone has any fun activities that we could add into our schedule (other than our daily walks) it would be greatly appreciated. He is such a great dog, we love his temperament and how gentle he is. We really just want to keep him as happy and healthy as possible. The vet already warned us that he might now live as long as he should (he has a decent amount of health issues that pop up here and there, but he is only a year, so it isn't a good sign), but we want to make the best out of the time we have with him.
Any advice at all on activities or anything else about filas would be greatly appreciated. We were also wondering if there were any ideas on foods for him, he is a very picky eater now, and we're wondering if that's because he is bored or if it's common of the breed. Thanks