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Old 07-27-2010, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default Exercising collie question..

How much exercise is 'safe' for a 7month old border collie pup? Typically, nothing tires him out, and he loves his walks and meeting other people and dogs, but obviously we are not wanting to give him so much as to cause long term damage. I have always gone by 5mins per month of age +5mins, but I have had other Collie keepers say he isn't getting enough and he should be having even more exercise. He is pretty calm and most of the time confined to one room or a fairly large garden, the house is pretty small, so he doesn't get massive amounts of exercise at home but I am still hesitant to give him much more exercise than he is getting. We also have large fields and forests, pools etc literally 100yards from our house so he doesn't get much wear on hard surfaces either.

Oh and another question (sorry!) on behalf of a friend! He has a working strain Labrador puppy, 9months I think now, who again typically loves exercise but is given just under an hour on-lead walking daily aswell as jetting around a massive garden and relatively large house on and off for most of the daygetting quite a lot of exercise as well as having 3 teens who tire him out and play with him as and when, fetch etc, SO what is the difference between walking and exercise at home? I know the whole forced exercise argument, but if a pup is allowed on a long line (or off leash, whatever floats your boat!) and is not encouraged in anyway to exercise, would that be considered walking still or really not different to being at home and doing the same thing there ?

Hope that makes sense!
Thanks guys & girls!

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Old 07-27-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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I really think it depends on the type of exercise as much as it does how long and how often.
Obviously you're not supposed to make a puppy run alongside you while you're on a bicycle since they can injure themselves trying to keep up.
Walking is fine, but it even a long may not be enough exercise to tire out an athletic dog like a Lab if it's done at a slow pace. They need a good run to get the heart pumping. What the walk gives them is the opportunity to smell the path, interact with people, get used to the sound of passing cars etc.

Forty minutes of exercise doesn't sound like much for a BC if it's walking. If it's playing, running or jumping that would make a big difference. If you have a big yard and can throw a ball or frisbee to make your doggy tired then that can be plenty more exercise then a long walk. Do you have the impression that your pup is bursting with energy and anxious to do more? Is he sleeping ok or waking up early?
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:03 PM   #3
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The BC (he's only with me part time by the way! I don't own him, he just spends a fair amount of time here and comes here when the proper owners go on holiday) is usually left to his own devices in the garden and home so he doesn't really get worn out there. When he's with me we're more or less attached at the hip so he only walks at my pace (walking or sometimes a very slow paced jog) and only goes off if I'm throwing him a ball and getting him to fetch or if he's on a long leash and there's another dog for him to play with he loves playing then and that tires him out after 40mins-an hourish and he sleeps like a baby, but I avoid walking him a lot mainly because he gets tons of walking uphill running messing about when he goes out with his actual owners, and I'm really worried about his joints. He is always raring to go and over-enthusiastic when even somebody so much as looks at his lead, and he doesn't sleep easy really, he seems to sleep more out of boredom than anything. But then like I say when he's with me we're joined at the hip, he moves with me so if I walk him for longer I feel like he might just be walking because he wants to be close to me and not because he wants to walk.

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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This is the eternal dilemma with a high energy dog. They are typically at their most active and annoying, just at the age when their growth plates haven't sealed and all advice says not to overdo it.

I think you are wise to err on the side of caution with forced exercise, but it is amazing how tiring mental stimulation can be for a dog, so a good trick is to try to sometimes walk in a very busy new area where there are a lot of new sights and smells to take in (also excellent for training and socialisation). Perhaps swap out the odd walk with some controlled training and play - when you are good at home, take this on the road and do it in a busier area. Add some fun tricks, take a class with lots of other dogs and handlers. Play some nose games in the garden or indoors on a bad weather day.

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Old 07-28-2010, 05:32 AM   #5
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He's getting as much mental stimulation as I can think up at the moment, he never goes two days where he has the same toys (They are rotated on a 5-day basis), stuffed kongs (with about 10 different homemade stuffings so as not to bore him), hiding treats/toys and getting him to find them, teaching different tricks, whilst he's with me I also do a lot of NILIF training to keep him busy.

Having said all of this, I'm not 100% sure of what his life is like when he's at his owners house, but from what I have seen (I am over there a fair amount of time as the owner and I are quite close) he doesn't get much mental stimulation, he gets the same toys all the time, doesn't really get a change in walking routes, and isn't taught much, which shows as he gets bored and frustrated and he then takes it out on the people around him, getting over excited at the tiniest thing, biting/lungeing at people for attention and so on, and if he's at 'home' during the day he is left alone in a small house whilst the 2 owners work full time.

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Old 08-06-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaos View Post
I think you are wise to err on the side of caution with forced exercise, but it is amazing how tiring mental stimulation can be for a dog, so a good trick is to try to sometimes walk in a very busy new area where there are a lot of new sights and smells to take in (also excellent for training and socialisation). Perhaps swap out the odd walk with some controlled training and play - when you are good at home, take this on the road and do it in a busier area. Add some fun tricks, take a class with lots of other dogs and handlers. Play some nose games in the garden or indoors on a bad weather day.
This is SO true. I have a 3 month old heeler and I am amazed at what a 10-15 minute training session does for him. On days when he hasn't gotten much exercise and is acting up, I'll do some obedience and it has a real calming effect on him. Herding dogs really do love to use their brains.

Also, does he ever get to play with other dogs? My puppy spends one morning a week at "doggy daycare" with a good friend of mine (a dog trainer). She lets him go nuts for a while, then crates him for a rest so he doesn't overdue it. When I pick him up at lunchtime he is exhausted and SO happy! Of course you need to know the environment and other dogs are safe (vaccinated, good temperaments), but if you have this option available it really is fantastic.

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