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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Man, I thought some of you folks are conservative with puppies, but no.

I understand the need to not injure a puppy's joints by having them run or do agility, as many of you post here... Sometimes I think there are a few people who are super conservative about this.... but last night I met the most conservative person ever, IMO, regarding this.

I was at training with my puppy and the lady asked everybody how far they take their puppies when they go for walks, and specifically, how long is the longest walk you have taken your puppy on a single walk......

Every puppy in the class is 8 months to 14 months old..... So people had all kinds of answers.... 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, a mile, 2 miles... 5 miles.

When everybody was done answering she kind of read the class a "riot act", but in a more calm way, but still. Four of the six of us replied that we walk our dogs more than a 1/2 mile.... and she was really upset by that, claiming that a dog should not walk more than 1/2 mile at a time before 1 year old, and not even a mile until they get to 18 months. And then, she said she still would never walk a dog more than 3 miles, regardless of age.

So when she was done telling us her opinions, I asked "You don't think it matters what the size of the dog is, and what breed it is?"

And basically she said "no", but wasn't staunch in her response.

OK, so I have a Coonhound / Border Collie mix, and LOL, 1/2 a mile doesn't even come close to the kind of walk she wants, and I think she needs.

One guy has a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and from the little I know, or think I know, those dogs can go for miles, and miles, and miles as adults. I dated a woman once who walked hers about 8 miles a day, and took the dog on 10 mile runs a couple times a month. I think the dog was just fine.

Now, if you have one of those tiny dogs, I imagine a mile is a pretty good distance.... but for a BC mix like mine, hell, a mile is just where she seems to get "loose".... In the future I can see us doing up to 10 mile walks a couple times a month. Currently we do 2 - 3 miles a day, most days....

So, how conservative are you with this? And do you think the trainer was far too conservative, like I do?

Honestly, if I wasn't seeing some improvement in my puppy, I think I might be tempted to stop taking her to class with this lady, but she is improving, so I'll keep her there. There are only 2 more classes, anyway.
 

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My five pound yorkie happily walks five miles, several times a week in good weather...she just turned one in December. I asked thevet, more than once....he said as long as she gets plenty of rest and water, shes fine. My one and a half year old pap/poodle x could walk that same five miles twice a day and keep going, but I cant! Lol I think it depends on your dog and her health.
Ive had people tell me I cant walk a small dog that far...but mine love walks. What is the points of a five minute walk?
 

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Can't reach a mile even till 18 months?! Really?! Heck, many dogs are more than well full-grown by then and a mile is hardly too much for even the smallest of dogs, so long as they're in good health. I posted a thread 2 days back asking how far people run their dog, as I didn't know how much I may be pushing Jax's limits by having run 3 miles with him recently, for the first time. Only a few responses but the ones that I did get, I was surprised at the long distances they were mentioning.
 

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My 10lb papillon happily walks for an hour most days, three hours when we have more time, even up to six hours with a couple short breaks. I wouldn't do that with a growing puppy, but for an adult dog... I'd walk for as long as you both want to go. Just watch for signs that the dog's getting tired and stop before it overexerts itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can't reach a mile even till 18 months?! Really?! Heck, many dogs are more than well full-grown by then and a mile is hardly too much for even the smallest of dogs, so long as they're in good health. I posted a thread 2 days back asking how far people run their dog, as I didn't know how much I may be pushing Jax's limits by having run 3 miles with him recently, for the first time. Only a few responses but the ones that I did get, I was surprised at the long distances they were mentioning.

Well, I think my 9 month won't be getting any bigger, but I still wouldn't run with her until she's a year old.... if I ran, but I don't really.... I can run like 1500', LOL.
 

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My beginning obedience instructor made a point of telling me that my dog's (likely) breeds are bred to run ~20ish miles a day, if not more, and she wanted my dog coming to class tired. I regularly take Kit on 8-10 mile hikes with no ill effects. And those are off leash hikes, so she's probably going several miles farther than me when all is said and done.

I sometimes feel sorry for the high-energy high-stamina sports dogs I know who never get exercised except when they do their sport. For this reason, if I was too old or debilitated to be able to hike/run those distances, I wouldn't own these types of dogs.
 

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I've never considered it in terms of distance but I usually walk Molly about an hour in the morning with some training & sprints on grass mixed in and then 45 mins to an hour with more training & sprints before it gets dark. She's just about a year old now and we've been on that routine for several months already. The only thing I'm really conservative about is that I don't run her on cement, always grass or natural surfaces.
 

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I would be less concerned with distance and much more concerned with the TYPE of exercise. Activities that are rough on the joints like jumping or running/sprinting should wait until the puppies is older. But I would just let the individual puppy tell me where it's limit is on walking personally, and I don't think any of the distances you mentioned are outrageous, depending on the dog of course.

As far smaller dogs needing to have shorter walks/less exercise, honestly I think that's backwards. It's the other way around... It's the giant breeds you need to be careful about. The larger the dog, the more weight and the more the joints are stressed, so the higher the chance of developing joint problems. A lot of toy breeds weren't specifically bred for stamina like many working breeds, but small size by itself shouldn't limit a dog at all. Being small is not a reason for a dog not to need the same amount of exercise as any other size dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would be less concerned with distance and much more concerned with the TYPE of exercise. Activities that are rough on the joints like jumping or running/sprinting should wait until the puppies is older. But I would just let the individual puppy tell me where it's limit is on walking personally, and I don't think any of the distances you mentioned are outrageous, depending on the dog of course.,,,,,,,,
Well, she was just talking walking, so I am sure everything else would be off limits to her... I will give her credit; the dogs in class listen way better to her than they do their owners - except one super mean Yorkshire.
 

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With an ACD mix and a BC mix, we can hardly afford to be THAT conservative! I do think long, hard, "forced" exercise (like running on a leash or running beside a bicycle) should wait until the dog is grown, but we take the young BC mix for several mile walks, she's 10 months old. Running is done loose, in the yard or out in an offleash, wooded, area, so she can pick the pace and when to stop.

As an adult (we got her when she was 18 months old), the ACD mix used to run with my husband or I when she was younger, 3-7 miles, for years. In the woods, so not on hard pavement. She was perfectly sound, no joint issues at all, until age 12 and a half, when she started to get arthritis in an elbow and her lumbar spine. Not, exactly unheard of in a dog of that age. Would she have been older when arthritis set in if we never ran with her and kept her quiet? Maybe/probably, but we'd have had an insanely unhappy dog, she needs and wants to run, she still does, but we keep it to walking on the leash now and let her run the amount she feels comfortable with off the leash, just like the young dog. I actually think the ACD mixes obsessive Frisbee playing, including jumping way up in the air to catch it, did her joints in more than the running. The vet actually thinks she looks pretty good for 14, despite the arthritis.
 

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lol, I have 2 BCs(older), 2 ACD X GSD's(puppies), 1 JRT x(older) and 1 Toller(mid aged)...I had to work out how much a 1/2 mile was(A-we use km's here and B-only runners measure in distance here lol) but my dogs would go batty on that little exersize, in the non winter months I walk my dogs 1 1/2 hours in the morning with an off leash run at the dog park, then go to work where they run for 4 hours till my break, then go for a half hour walk on my break, then run for another 4 hours at work. in the winter its a 30 minute walk in the morning, and 8 hours running at work. all my dogs are fine.. in fact they are in great shape given most of their ages.
 

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I honestly think people tend towards being super paranoid about exercising puppies and that being "conservative" with exercise is actually harmful to them. I actually knew someone who was extremely conservative with her GSD puppy and he ended up crippled so badly as an adult that he was euthanized. He was crated or in a small pen and leash walked only as a young puppy. No running in the yard, no running with his people, she didn't even let her daughter practice showmanship with him because he'd have to trot and "his joints aren't ready for that". Growing bones need stress, they need activity. Without that, they do not become strong.

My first dog I got was a Dobe mix when I was 11. I walked that dog all over the place, every day starting when he was 4 or 5 months old. I did "urban agility" with him starting at that age (I really had no idea what agility was but liked training him to jump, climb and balance). At 5 months old he could and did jump a 20" bench in our yard when I asked. He walked across whatever narrow walls I found on my walk. He chased toys on a rope as fast as he could, changing direction and everything. By time he was a year old, I was setting up jumpers courses in my backyard for him (still had no idea what agility was LOL). That dog was very fit and very athletic. Later I got involved in agility and he had to jump 30" jumps, which weren't a problem because I liked teaching him to jump very high jumps - 4+ feet. Around the same time, a friend of mine got a dog who had pretty much lived in a kennel for his first 6 months. He was walked a lot after she got him, he was also trained to jump for fun and later became involved in agility. As old dogs, one of these dogs developed crippling arthritis and one remained pretty able bodied. The one who remained able bodied was mine - the dog who had been walked for miles as a puppy, jumped as a puppy and that I did "everything wrong" with. The dog who had a conservative puppyhood didn't do as well as he aged, even though he had very little stress on his joints.
 

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Susie has been following me when I have been riding my horse since she was a year old. We started out on shorter rides but eventually we have gone on rides that last 5 or 6 hours with her running twice the distance the horse did and she just loved it. Some rides have been over ten miles and she went a lot farther than that. We had lots of stops and water along the way and she was fine.

As a puppy I never let her jump, like into the back of the pick-up, built a ramp for her. She is eight years old now and still loves to go but she injured her shoulder doing Agility so sometimes gets a little stiff so we don't go on long rides now, but she still enjoys the short ones.
 

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Re: Man, I thought some of you folks are conservative with puppies, but no.

When everybody was done answering she kind of read the class a "riot act", but in a more calm way, but still.
Four of the six of us replied that we walk our dogs more than a 1/2 mile.... and she was really upset by that, claiming that a dog should not walk more than 1/2 mile at a time before 1 year old, and not even a mile until they get to 18 months. And then, she said she still would never walk a dog more than 3 miles, regardless of age.
Through the years I have read some stupid stuff, some silly stuff, and some outlandish stuff on DF. The above advice "from a trainer" is at the top in all 3 categories. I just wonder how well your dog would do with a competent trainer.

I would never advise a swap because people got to do what they do for whatever reasons. With stuff like that coming from her I would have a difficult time following anything she said but that's just me.
 

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Re: Man, I thought some of you folks are conservative with puppies, but no.

I think I've figured out her reasoning:
1. If you walk the dog more than 3 miles, most dogs will die before they are 20 yo :)
2. Ridgebacks cannot walk 10 miles. They will die of boredom! Running 10 - 20 miles may be a good warm-up :)
 

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Re: Man, I thought some of you folks are conservative with puppies, but no.

Three miles...how boring!

I can't even imagine a three mile stroll putting a good dent in the exercise requirements of most active dogs. Yeah, pups should take it easy on pavement up to a certain point.
 

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Re: Man, I thought some of you folks are conservative with puppies, but no.

All three of my dogs are working breeds ranging from 4mths to 5yrs, 24-63lbs and all three get at least three hours of exercise a day but always at their speed - usually meaning full speed! I won't backpack, bike, or do heavy duty work with my 4mth old, but he can easily keep up with the other two when it comes to walking, running, and playing.
3 miles - I feel sorry for her dogs if she has any even remotely active breeds!
 

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Re: Man, I thought some of you folks are conservative with puppies, but no.

I think I've figured out her reasoning:
1. If you walk the dog more than 3 miles, most dogs will die before they are 20 yo :)
2. Ridgebacks cannot walk 10 miles. They will die of boredom! Running 10 - 20 miles may be a good warm-up :)
no no no...she is a trainer right? if she makes sure her clients do not exersize there dogs more then that a day, she can ensure they will continue to have behaviour problems, and therefore she will have clients for life instead of just for one class!
 

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Re: Man, I thought some of you folks are conservative with puppies, but no.

I think the pendulum has swung WAAAAY too far towards the "don't overexercise" end of the spectrum for some people -- further, I actually think not enough exercise is as much or more detrimental to the development of healthy joints as too much impact and I'd actually rather err on the side of "too much" exercise. The hips, for example, NEED strong healthy thigh muscles to develop properly and stay as tight as possible.

Your trainer would have probably been appalled at how I raised Squash with regard to exercise, but he has lovely hips (x-rayed when he was neutered) so I have the perfect defense. :p
 
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