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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I will of course be asking our vet this question as well. I'm wondering for all the runners on the board, how old was your puppy when he/she was ready to go on a run? Our puppy is half Husky and (we suspect) half Lab/Lab mix. I am looking forward to taking him on runs with me, but of course don't want to put any strain on his little joints. He's already showing us signs that he will enjoy my runner lifestyle as well.

He's just a little pup (9 weeks), and he craves walks. We take him on our family walks after dinner, which are about a mile, as well as shorter walks throughout the day. He will trot for most of the longer family walk, next to us, with a loose leash. He'll hop into the lower basket of the stroller when he gets tired. He sticks his head out of the side, which is so cute. And yes, because if this board is anything like my mommy-to-humans boards, I know someone will comment about safety. You can be rest assured that we think about that ;)

ETA: We have also cleared walks with our vet, with instructions to pick him up and not allow him by dogs we don't know are up to date on shots, or let him sniff around.
 

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I wouldn't start a large breed dog on a regular running program before he was 18 months of age. I'd wait 'til he was 2 years old before I did any significant roadwork, but I wouldn't run a dog exclusively on pavement at any age.

The obvious problem here, is that your pup will be mentally ready, and will be able to outpace and out distance you at about 5 months old. If you have a body of water handy, you can let him swim until he pukes from the exertion, starting at any time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting! I wouldn't have thought about swimming! Great tip. We live right by the river, so that could work. We will ask the vet first, but I'm wondering if we need to wait to be fully vaxed or other considerations to swim in a river.
 

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Here's my squirt at 8 weeks:


Having access to the shore was a lifesaver for me. A Lab x Husky x ? mix ought to have some serious stamina. Make sure the water temp is at least 60°F. Keep a line on the pup so you don't lose him in the current, watch that he doesn't get his collar snagged on a stickup, and keep an eye out for hypothermia.

Carefully managed, hypothermia can be your friend. Puppies don't have much body mass, and their puppy fur doesn't offer the same protection as their adult coat. They get cold very quickly. Watch for signs of shivering, and let the pup warm up by running around on the beach. The water workout, combined with his body fighting to maintain core temperature, will tucker the little devil out like nothing else you'll do with him. Bring lots of fresh drinking water.

When your pup gets to be 5-6 months old, his need for exercise may be downright horrifying. Like I say, he'll leave you in the dust on a 10K run, but it's not advisable to do much running on his young joints. I used to take my pup to a salt creek where I could have him run by my side in knee-deep water. I could power walk in the shallow water, but it was up to his shoulders and he had to really put out some effort to keep up with me. High resistance; low impact training. By the time the cold weather sets in, his coat should be sufficient to keep him warm in any water warm enough to remain liquid--as long as common sense precautions are observed.
 

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We just started running and rollerblading with Libby in May, which would have put her just over a year and a half. We might have started earlier, but didn't because of the time of year.
 

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Running in deep snow will definitely work! It's a relatively rare event in these parts (maybe once or twice per season), but a couple of feet of fresh snow does something to a dog's brain that has to be seen to be believed. It's like a doggie drug.
 

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I beg my puppy to run with me.. totally not interested.

people say it's because he's a beagle- he just wants to sniff everything, not run through it..
 
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