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Old 08-27-2008, 10:01 AM   #1
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Default Little exercise can be harmful?

I was talking with my vet the other day, and I brought up the subject of over exercising Moko. He LOVES to chase and pop bubbles, and I was concerned about his joints and young bones with him bopping around doing his stunts in the air. He said they did a study on a litter of Great Danes and they tested the theory that no jumping, not alot of walking on cement, etc actually made them alot frailer than the ones that did not get 'sheltered.' He said let a puppy be a puppy.
Moko loves to go on hikes, and we let him off the leash in the forest. We go out for about an hour and we do walk on the cement some, but mostly jogging and running in the forest (on Moko's part; we are walking) We go hiking about three times a week for now, as we know Moko cannot go everyday.
So the question is: Am I overexcerising him by hiking three times a week for an hour? Should I lay off on the bubbles as he jumps alot when we do play that game?

All opinions welcome.

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Old 08-27-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
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Hi,

How old is Moko. I know when my daughter got her first GD puppy she did a lot of research on the orthopedics of the breed/exercise/supplements etc. So I'd be happy to ask her for you. It may take a couple of days to get a reply. (She's now on her 4th GD)

Its a fine balance between increasing bone density and not getting enough load bearing exercise (its the same for humans too I expect).

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Old 08-27-2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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When Molly was a puppy, she had walks of an hour or so across moorland, going nutty like any spaniel pup. This was from about 6 months old plus and she's been ok. However, she's quite small and I know that larger breeds are affected more by over-exercising as puppies as they mature at a slower rate.

Molly has always been so full of energy that she needed the release, without it she was a demon in the house. I also let her play with lots of toys at home. The only thing I didn't encourage was too much jumping.

Molly surprises people when they stroke her, for such a small dog she's absolutely packed with muscles and VERY strong. She goes running with my sister for up to 10 miles, and will then come home and go again. It all depends on the dog, but I'm convinced that giving her good exercise when she was so young is what has made her so physically strong.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
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What you want to avoid in exercise if jumping alot both off of things like a tailgate, steps too steep, jumping for balls, running on hard surfaces until at least a year old or 15 mos.

You must let the dogs joints, ligaments forum normally and if it is running steep stairs, too large of steps, jumping, running hard on cement or hard ground, your going to later experience hip problems, leg ailments, etc. It voids my warrantys if customers let their pups do this and we have lookers also.

Let a puppy run and play on grass, walk it daily at brisk pace, but not jumping high or off say tailgates, etc. Do not throw a ball high for it to leap up for. They will get plenty of exercise normally if you wait for the proper age to let it go...

This is what is causing dogs to develope alot of problems they should or would not have if not taken out for rough high play of. The owner takes blame of how a puppy grows into a good developed adult of good health and looks. You can actually ruin a dogs proper movement with too strong of exercise too young. Take your time and let a young dog or puppy develop slowly, feeding is cruitial also in development, over feeding to grow too fast.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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I always think amount of exercise is a really difficult one... when Meg was a puppy we stuck to the 'only 20 mins' exercise a day routine... by one year old (with really good hip scores etc) she had to have an arthroscopy done, with Bonnie we were less rigid and she has had no problems.... hmmm I also knew a lady who wouldn't let any of her puppies jump in to or out of a car even which we did with Meg, that didn't help either! It can all be completely coincidental of course I would just say be careful with the jumping round, he can do some but don't overdo it really.

After being told by vets that Meg should only have 20 mins exercise a day until she was 15 months, we took her to the specialist for the arthroscopy and he said there is no evidence to support only walking a puppy for that time... I tend to think now that you shouldn't overdo it with a puppy certainly, especially big breeds, but you also need to let them be a puppy That is, if his hour long walks completely exhaust him, I would say it's too much, but if at the end of a walk he still has loads of bounce then I'd probably be OK with that... I wouldn't recommend anything longer than an hour, I think we usually kept 45 mins as the max for Bonnie when she was young. I guess sometimes you just need to be sensible and see how you feel he is at the end of his walks.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
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Normal puppy play and exploration is IMO the best and most natural form of exercise for a young pup. They need those twists and turns during rowdy play to build up their muscles uniformly.

From the time our pups were 8 weeks they were taken out into the field and allowed to run and explore at their own pace. They were never pushed to run and when they got tired they quit on their own.

Walking on leash was reserved for brief periods of training or going to or from somewhere, it was never their primary form of exercise.

We never had a dog develop any type of joint or bone problems using this method.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:13 PM   #7
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That is the correct way Carol, lettem run on grass and play and not jump high after things so young. Normal play from 8 weeks up as I do mine till they leave are healthier. I work teaching them steps nice little ones, not letting them jump going down them. running after me and the dogs to tone up is so good for them than pushing exercise on little puppies. I put this is all my puppy kits also.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:04 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for the replies, they have been helpful and very imformative. Moko is 4 months and 2 weeks old. After this advice, we will save bubbles for later on in his life, I am not risking anything.
Yes, he is still bouncing around after these hikes, he is just a ball of fire. He just goes and goes!
I will try to get him into more puppy play, but the dog parks around here have bad repuations, so it is more challenging.
Our stairs are not super steep, our basement ones may be a bit more on the steep side, so I will watch him on those.

Thanks again everyone, it is much appreciated.

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Old 08-27-2008, 01:59 PM   #9
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I pretty well let nature take its course and let the puppy control his amount of exercise. We never have to walk on hard ground such as pavements, roads or concrete, it is always on meadow grass or woodland ... I completely agree about jumping down from the back of the car for instance ... I always lift my puppies and young dogs down.

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Old 08-27-2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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I agree with Applesmom's reply.
Myka and Moko are pretty close in age. This is the same question I asked in my Google group. Myka will puppy play in the morning for an hour or so before he goes in the kennel. Half hour puppy play at lunch then 1 to 1.5 of hiking and running after work. They tell me thats just fine. I don't make him run and he walks on lead for small distances on pavement. When he is tired from play he will lay down to rest and let my other dog continue the play without him. He too is a ball of fire who loves to play and I think it would be harmful to make him NOT run and play.

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