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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
'Aight I'll try to keep this compact.

I'm from Moscow, Russia; so I'm waiting with my girlfriend when we see 4 black, small pups in the forest. I am Russian, so obviously I have a few beverages in my hand. I love animals. had over 10 cats in my family over the years but never a dog. i prayed to G-d, as a jew, to bring me one. So it has happened. i am sitting with the pups and one of them has taken a real liking in me, just sat next to my bottom and cuddled. after an hour or so i said to me ex: "b, i'm taking this one home".

she didn't mind. no one has. you know the drill. poop and pee everywhere, my pillow included. but hey - i asked G-d for this miracle and he has delivered. i have a heart problem (i know i shouldn't be drinking so please don't start haha), so the dog was a G-dsend in every aspect of the word.

took her to the vet, got booster shots for her low immunity. vet said SHE'S about 2 months old. the guy asked me|: "what's her name?"; naturally, the great hero Ajax who died under Troy fell out. i took out the last letter and she became Aja. in russian it is merely 2 letters - the first and last letter of the alphabet. only now i realize it is the alpha and the omega.

nobody knows how big or how old she is. vets say 2-3 months old. so we give boosters and pills for the worms in her poop. how big shall she grow? nobody knows. so i say: "you know what guys, i'll take her to my counrtyhouse! lots of dogs and space, a forest etc... air".

little did i know. you know these huge russian dogs? well we got a bunch of them (dozen). they drool all over her little face/skull/body. her immune system is in the... bogs. got a vet to our house, he's from Belarus. he was sure he has some virus but i got the results today (can send .pdf) and she's all negative. (yay!). so i'm all cool now, except i keep her outside and she is 2-3 months old and it's getting pretty cold.

my first question is:

1) is it ok to keep a stray black lab/retriever/XX outside at 14 degrees celcius?

we walk a lot. when i say a lot i mean a LOT. i'm a (for now) retired personal trainer and a bodybuilder. cardio for me is a must. but she has to walk with me 10-15kms / 9 miles a day due to my heart problems. she drink, eats plenty. but as a human trainer i think in terms of biology and how ATP works, the krebs cycle etc... and apply that to her.

question #2:

2) what should be her meal plan? should it be a lot of amino acids (proteins) and just jack her? or should i be more mild and give more carbs, leaving her at home while i go on my hikes? when i say "amino acids" i mean chicken breasts or turkey breasts. A LOT. because as a bodybuilder and a nutrition specialist i think: amino acids=good=muscle=big dog. am i wrong in this assumption

3) am i wrong in the assumption that if she walks so much with me is is rather negative than positive, because she is in a caloric deficit? should i leave her at home so she can grow a belly? or should i work her, make her strong like me, athletic, soviet union style?

i'm sure i'll have more but for now the post is long enough and thank you everyone who shall answer.

peace,

nubs and aja,

much l;ove.
 

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Great story, she was meant to be yours.

Can you not find dog food? Dogs need concentrated nutrition. My 35 pound dog needed just about the same amount of essential nutrients as an adult human. Difficult to come by unless you do a lot of studying up on the subject or buy actual dog food. Then boost it with extra protein if you so chose. You can substitute 25% of the calories of the kibble for meat, egg and or fish calories. A tiny bit of liver is good too but it is super rich and overdoing it even a little will have unfortunate consequences. If you would like to read up then see Dogaware.com for loads of ideas and links to further study.

Too much walking is hard on a pups skeletal health. The general rule is apparently 10 minutes per month of age so she probably shouldn't be doing more than 20 minutes. She may only be full grown at 18 months or so, then you can work her up to your full exercise regime, she will love it. Best practice is to do an x-ray to check that the bones are finished growing. Take her with you at the beginning of your workout, circle home and leave her and go on your own or pick her up near the end of your workout.

I cannot keep my dogs outside because they bark! A little puppy probably should stay in a warmer place until she is larger and stronger. If she has to be an outside dog then build her a good dog house that just fits her and has insulation that isn't damaged by wet and keeps out the wind. Research this carefully to keep her safe if she must be outside. I wish she could be inside with you, dogs do best with their people.
 

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Great story!

You definitely do not want to over-exercise her. Until she is a good year old and fully grown, just give her what she can handle. Probably two 30 or 45 minute hikes per day towards the end of the year and less than that prior to the end of the first year. at 6 months it should be more along the lines of two 30-minute walks. a large dog will be essentially fully grown by about 12 months. I giant dog by about 18 months. Until then you need to take it easy. Once the Animals full grown you can train her just like a human. Increase duration weekly and soon she will be able to keep up with anything you can handle.

If you make things too intense too early, she can really damage her shoulders and hips from strain. This goes doubly for hiking up or down steep hills. You really need to be careful.

One thing you'll also need to be aware of, is that she may not let you know if your hikes are too much for her. She will be a good little soldier and try to keep up with you even if she is in pain and even if damage is occurring. You will need to be patient.

As far as food goes, there are lots of good options for raw or cooked food. Typically meat and something like potatoes for starch. You do not want to feed too much protein to a puppy because it can cause them to grow too fast and their bones can suffer for it. That is why puppy food for large breeds tends to be lower in protein than puppy food for small breeds or dog food for adult dogs. You really do not want to overdo the meat at this age.

in terms of housebreaking, you should be able to get her trained fairly quickly. Keep her in an enclosed area or a cage for a few days and only let her out to do her business. If you see her wandering around the house about to pee or something, get her outside, fast! If she is a reasonably smart dog she will figure out that avoiding herself inside is a bad idea.

as for sleeping outside, I imagine you mean very cold temperatures in Russia. You really should try to find a way for her to sleep inside if you can. Dogs at the end of the day are pack animals and they just don't do well on their own.

Mazel tov on your new friend.

Dave
 
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