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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an english springer spaniel who is turning 4 soon. She is half the show and field line. Her appearance definitely looks like the field line, but I would say her personality is more like the show line (so, best of both worlds?). She has never been overweight. In fact, I was told by a vet once that she was starting to teeter on the low end of a healthy weight back in december because you could feel her ribs with no pressure. I've been a bit more liberal with her meal sizes and treats, and I would say she's at a very good body condition because you can feel a little layer of fat over her ribs, but still don't need to use much pressure to feel them.

Anyways, she used to always be so excited when we were going on a walk or to a park. Lately though, she's just not as excited anymore. She doesn't immediately jump up like she used to, and sometimes she doesn't even respond when I say something. Eventually, she will start to wag her tail when she sees her leash, but it's just not the same. Once we get to a park, she also isn't as rambunctious as she used to be. I have to encourage her to run, and she won't run for as long. I'm not seeing any signs of arthritis or hip dysplasia like struggling to stand up/walk uphill, awkward gait, or favoring a limb. She still likes to trot around at a reasonable pace, walk through brush, and sniff everything, she just hardly runs now.

This varies, but I try to have an exercise schedule of every other day is off-leash run opportunity for 2+ hours, a regular walk the other days, and a several hour long hike once a weekend. Some weeks we only get to do something off-leash once or twice, and sometimes it's only for maybe 20 or 30 minutes, and some weeks I'm available to take them off-leash nearly daily. Some days we do diddly squat, but I usually can't do this twice in a row without my other dog going bonkers. The hike thing is new and we did our first one last weekend. I'm afraid she overexerted herself or possibly even strained/sprained something, because the hike had a steep incline the entire way, halfway up it was all snow and ice (we didn't know it would be that strenuous and weren't aware of the snow), and she basically towed my boyfriend the whole time because we weren't going fast enough. She ran off-leash the entire way down after literally almost pulling us down the mountain. That was the most enthusiastic I had seen her in a couple weeks, but it was also something very new. But ever since that day, she has been on the cranky side and sleeping a lot. She has been a bit grumpy when she's tired or sleeping her whole life, but it's been more than usual over the last few months and even worse this week.

I never thought I could be making her exercise too much because I read and hear so often how springer spaniels are some of the most high energy breeds and can easily need up to 2+ hours of intense exercise a day. Honestly though, Sylvie has always been a little bit of a couch potato. She gets bored, but she also will happily sleep the day away on the couch and I have to egg her on sometimes to get up and play with me.

Do you think Sylvie has a medical issue like an injury going on, or is she just not an endless ball of energy puppy anymore and could maybe lighten up on the exercise?

· Banned
619 Posts
The only way to know about an injury or illness is to visit the Vet. Be sure to describe all the history and behavior to the Vet.

Otherwise, IMHO, the exercise is not extreme. I would think any dog could handle your regime without too much trouble.

My mini-schnauzer, 4 yo, never seems to tire on a walk or off-leash outing. We have been in hilly parks for up to 3 hours. Afterwards, he takes a short sleep and is ready to go again. The short sleep is in the car as we travel back home. We have walked for 4 hours with only a short nap when back home, but he is always ready to go.

· Super Moderator
3,954 Posts
I would do a vet check if this is quite sudden. It could possibly be a maturity thing, but you likely wouldn't be writing an internet forum if you thought it was. Maturity is a rather slow process!
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