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As the title implies, I'm curious if anyone thinks I did any long term damage to my 5 month old 35 lb puppy's growth plates. I've known you shouldn't take your dog running until it's full grown (now I learn 2 years) but my dog has so much energy all the time that I decided a quick run probably wouldn't be bad. I later found the "quick run" was about 1.5 miles. Anyway, I went rollerblading with her, and took a 5 minute break half way. Later I looked into the reason behind the waiting period and found out about growth plate precautions and arthritis/joint problems in the future if not careful.

I may be over reacting, but as a pet owner who loves their dog I want to be sure. We went out about three times in a few days. She was never being dragged, but I was definitely setting the pace (which I know now to be bad). One day she didn't want to run at all, so we ended up going around the block. One of those three trips my wife joined us, and she stayed about 20 yards in front of me causing my dog to basically pull me on my rollerblades while she tried to catch up to my wife.

The other question at hand is when is it really okay to run your dog? I've read the general accepted age is 2 years, but then others have said that's a generalization that can't be applied to all dogs. I've found the only real conclusive method is to go to the vet and have an X-ray taken. If the growth plates have fused then they're ready. Any insight here?
 

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did you damage her? i dont know. i dont have any rads to look at and tell you.

so she has a lot of energy...mental stimulation will help with that. training, play...that sort of stuff.

and yeah id wait till she's older for the all out runs...
 

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See my post from this morning. According to my vet, the problem is not so much that the running is likely to cause injury if it doesn't already exist, but the problem is that for breeds already prone to joint problems etc., the hard running can really exacerbate the problem. We are really struggling with this as well, as we have a young lab-mix with lots of energy who is in good shape, but who already has some signs of elbow issues, and we're active people. It's hard to figure out what the "right" amount or right type of exercise is, particularly when he seems to enjoy all of it.
 

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Personally I think the worry about danger to growth plates from exercise is a bit excessive these days. I wouldn't go out of your way to do it again, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over this one time, either.
 

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First of all, don't run her for 1.5 miles anymore. That's too much. Short bursts of running are okay, it's the long distance stuff that tends to cause damage.

At the same time....puppies are not fragile china dolls. They are pretty durable little things and one excessive exercise period isn't going to break them for life.
 

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I agree with the others, I wouldn't do it again - But try some mental stimulation exercises, play ball, give her other outlets mentally and physically. A 1 time thing shouldn't cause a problem, especially if your dog wasn't showing any signs of pain or lameness afterward. Continual can cause a problem. As someone else mentioned, running in short bursts won't hurt your dog, long distance running can. I've seen the damage caused by letting a large breed puppy run and jump around to much, I've assisted with several surgeries to repair legs that where unable to grow properly due to damaged growth plate, but I've seen far more dogs that the owners insisted on radiographs for because they took their dogs running once, and their dogs where always just fine! Is the owners that don't know the dangers and aren't careful that I usually see that problem with when the dog gets older.
 
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