German Shepherd Dog > Excersise and puppies (11 replies)
Excersise and puppies
by troopscott on 17 July 2012 - 02:18
|What age is a safe age to take a puppy for a jog? I live on a subdivision that has a 1 mile pond in the center and I want to start jogging it and was wondering if a 4 month old pup could handle it. My thoughts to start is to run for 30 seconds and walk for a minute and work it up until we are running the whole time. Any thoughts on a good ag to start? I saw some threads about swimming but didnt see anything about jogging|
by workingdogz on 17 July 2012 - 02:38
|No-no-no forced exercise for a baby. Wait until the growth plates close (12 mos+) for any type of repetitive pounding on those hips/elbows. Leash walks, free play, but nothing extreme.|
by troopscott on 17 July 2012 - 02:50
|thats why I asked|
by EuroShepherd on 17 July 2012 - 03:07
Like workingdogz says, no.
Swimming is good for pups because it doesn't impact their bones/joints/growth plates.
Even pups with the best genetics for joints/bones can still get damaged joints (like hips) from improper activity.
Free play on dirt, grass, sand is good. Playing on hard or slick/slippery surfaces is not so good. Also limit jumping (as in, don't ask your pup to jump anything and don't let your pup be around obstacles that it may try jumping over or off of.)
Generally, the larger the breed/dog is, the longer it takes those growth plates to close. Also, if a dog is fixed before reaching physical maturity it will take even longer for it's growth plates to close (sexual hormones at puberty signal the body to stop growing.) For a GSD size dog, 12 months is about the age that you can safely introduce jumping and road working (jogging on hard surface.)
by maywood on 17 July 2012 - 03:15
|I agree with the above posts but just want to add a little more info.|
I usually don’t start training a dog to jog with me until they have reached at least 1 year of age. And then it’s just for very short jogs (less than a mile) just to get them used to it and to see how they react to it. I usually don’t start the serious running until 18 months of age but this depends on the dog and their bone structure.
The problem is they are still growing until 24 months of age. The ligaments and bones are still developing and can easily be damaged permanently. It is very risky because if you do it too early and end up injuring them their bones will become what we call ‘Soft’. If this happens there is no getting it back and they will have problems the rest of their lives. Therefore, I can’t stress enough that you must be very, very careful and wait till they are done growing. Especially if you’ll be running the dog on pavement.
Your 4 month old puppy will get plenty of exercise just romping around. Don’t even think about running with him for a very long time. Also, be careful having him chase the ball with quick bursts of energy as this can cause the same kind of permanent damage. To be extra safe, it’s best to wait till they are 2 years of age before you start any serious jogging regiment. Also, the dogs that do the best at this activity have thick dense bones.
by Northern Maiden on 17 July 2012 - 04:36
|Are walks ok? My brother has an 11 month old female German shepherd that he takes for a daily walk that is about 1.3 mile. Just wondering if I should tell him to postpone walking her until next year.|
by TingiesandTails on 17 July 2012 - 04:53
|of course they can walk...healthy dogs can walk much more than that...just watch for hot asphalt (test with your bare feet if in doubt)....|
by Northern Maiden on 17 July 2012 - 05:03
|Thanks; I was just wondering because when I was a little girl my family had a German Wirehaired Pointer named Brooke, my dad took her on daily walks and she was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at a very young age. We always wondered if the walks did it to her because she was from some of the best GWP bloodlines in the world.|
by dmo171 on 17 July 2012 - 10:16
|I have an 8 month old girl gsd who will play fetch all day long. She just sits down when she's tired , but will chase the stick or ball all day if she could. She is a "hard dog" and seems to do better with exercise. Am I not supposed to let her play fetch at this age??|
by maywood on 17 July 2012 - 14:15
|You just have to be careful is all and just be aware they are still growing. The point is to keep a close eye on them and don’t overdo it. You will know best based on how the dog reacts to it. If you notice any limping whatsoever, stop immediately and no activity for several weeks. This is why it is a good idea to just take it easy on them during the adolescent months.|
As for jogging with your dog, patience is a virtue and it is well worth the wait since there is no better breed of dog to have as a running partner then the German shepherd dog. They are built ideally for this activity in particular. If all goes well during their growing months you will enjoy a lifetime of running companionship.
Furthermore, this normally is a problem for people that get their first GSD as they are usually overly excited to do as much as they can with their new bundle of joy.
Anyway, by all means, enjoy your dog and have fun. Just wanted to make you aware of what can happen if you’re not careful.
by GK1 on 17 July 2012 - 21:39
|Admittedly, I was likely overdoing it with my pup around the 5-6 mos age frame. I think I ran/walked with the pup close to 20 miles in one week, half on pavement. Never seemed to phase him one iota though; he's intense.|
We still walk, trail hike or run every day but only once per day and less mileage, and I've incorporated swimming as a primary means for muscle toning and joint strengthening. All running is now done on soft grass. I should say I run, he trots. My dog is crazy to sprint though; he will chase birds back and forth across the park.
Pup is now 9 mos, begs for me throw the ball for him daily, but I've transitioned much of the 'fetching' to the pool, where he gets worn out with much less joint impact. I also tug with a puppy sleeve for overall strengthening as well.
He is very lean and eats only homemade or raw, nothing commercial.
As you can see by the previous posts, there are varying opinions/methods and no hard science. Balance and common sense have a vote.
My two cents is that an overweight, poorly fed, under-exercised and caged restricted pup will lead to far more physical (and psychological) developmental problems in the long run than the pup that gets solid, tiring exercise, good nutrition and positive attention each day.
by troopscott on 18 July 2012 - 13:26
|Thank you guys for all the responses.|