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Hi everyone,

I'm a first time dog owner of a gorgeous 15 week old female springerdoodle that we've had for 2 weeks (my partner owned a whippet before). She's doing very well with sleeping overnight in her crate, feeding and early basic training, but I have realised we have definitely been over exercising her over the first 2 weeks of having her. Is this something that can be easily corrected before damage sets in as would require a tweak to her routine?

The walk to our park and back is approx 10 mins each way so we figured that would be ok once a day with 1 other 20 minute walk later on, but after timing it I realised due to stops and starts, socialising and some training we're unwittingly walking her for more like 40 minutes. We've put a stop now we've realised but I'm concerned we've set her up for an unhealthy routine and perhaps already caused damage. She's also discovered she can run up our stairs which she does sometimes and likes to run after birds/dogs off lead (although her recall is very good).

She will be seeing a vet soon but I wonder if anyone can advise if simply stopping this and from now on doing no more than 20 mins twice a day rigidly controlled (as she's 4 months next week) would mean she's ok for future? I'm aware it's hard to say but thought others may have similar experiences? So many other people I know accidentally over-exercise their puppies but I want to put a stop to that safely now I'm aware!

Many thanks for any advice anyone can help with.
 

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As far as Ive read the excercising limits were based on larger dogs.
But the limits are now mostly agreed to be about the on lead time where the dog has to keep pace with you not about her playing at her own pace wandering around exploring a garden etc. Young dogs should not be allowed to climb stairs and baby gates are great for preventing them doing this.


More info that supports the idea of less on lead walk and more free play

C.L.Fries and A.M. Remedios. The pathogenesis and diagnosis of canine hip dysplasia: a review. Can Vet J, 1995;494-502
R.D.Kealy, S.E.Olsson, K.L.Monti, et al. Effects of limited food consumption on the incidence of hip dysplasia in growing dogs J Am Vet Med Assoc, 1992;857-63.
D.C. Richardson. The Role of nutrition in canine hip dysplasia. Vet Cli North Am Small anim Pract, 1992;529-40
following pair litter mates of various large breeds where one pup remains with the breeder and the other went to a pet home, this found that in breeder establishments the pups had long periods of free play in large paddocks, but they grow more slowly as their food intake is more tightly controlled, they rarely suffer injury and even with shallow (dysplastic hip sockets) their hips are symmetrical. Pups in pet homes grow, very large, very fast as their food is less controlled, their exercise tends to be confined to short periods of intense activity each day, they often suffer injury and they frequently have assymmetrical hips making expression of hip dysplasia more likely.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Pandora that is very helpful particularly to know about the on lead time. Looking at the pubmed article luckily she didn't start climbing stairs until she was 14 weeks old and it's only been a few days (we were carrying her before that) and as far as I know she didn't with her breeder who she was with until 13 weeks old.
 

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Agreed with Pandora - most of the exercise limitations are referring specifically to sustained, structured exercise, especially high-impact or on a unforgiving surface. Jogging or biking, esp. with the pup running on asphalt or concrete, repeated jumps, etc. Letting the pup have plenty of breaks and self-structured play is fine! Definitely watch her and try to plan outings so she doesn't get exhausted, of course, but free play on forgiving surfaces like grass is also important for pups to develop properly.

And I wouldn't worry about occasional stair use, even running, since moderation is key.
 
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