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Old 01-27-2014, 02:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Proper age for biking?

Hi there,
At what age is a GSD's development solid enough to run alongside me on the bike without damaging bones/joints?
She is only 13 weeks currently, so obviously it won't be for several months now, but I'm just kinda looking for an estimate.
She is already getting harder and harder to wear out on walks and fetch sessions, lol.
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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GSDs growth plates dont close until they are two years old or so, I believe. I wouldn't run my dog like that until then, but maybe someone who's more of an expert can chime in.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Gradually after 2 years of age.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would wait until the bones are fully developed, around 2 yrs. We got our Rescue GS at about 15 months. When we got him, he had no muscle mass on his hind end. It took us about a year to get his weight and muscles developed to a healthy point. This was done thru walking/hiking, then eventually jogging. Last Fall I started him riding along side the bike. We worked our way up from a mile to 12 miles. Most of the time he is at a nice trotting pace. This was over the course of about three months. He loves it...when he knows he's going he starts prancing all around.

To help your pup become familiar with a bike, you can walk him several times along side the bike up and down your drive. I plan on doing this several times a week with our new puppy as he will need to learn this for the AD down the road. When we start to really train for it, it'll be natural (that's the thought anyway).

Good luck! Make it fun and your pup will love it!
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can start when she is about 5 months old, exactly the age when you shouldn't worry that you can wear her out. There is another reason why that late. Dogs often misunderstand, that they should chase only your bike, not ANY bike, and it is difficult to train them out of it. Puppies with experience of chasing the bicycle run away from their owners only they see one. It would be the end, the whole training with bikes will be out of question. Train her the attitudes, and you can start training her now.
Jogging yourself slowly in the area where people ride, with her wearing harness and on the short lead, train her to give way to other riding bicycle people, train to avoid any collision by stepping aside 3-4 feet and asking her to sit. Think about getting a long rigid plastic stick of light weight with attached loop for your left wrist and carabiner to clasp at her harness to train keeping distance between you and her. You can start walking her on it prior to riding. Please, remember, that you can ride only in the woods, never ride on asphalt paved road, which will not only grind her paws and make them bleeding, but also is very bad for joints. Actually it applies to people as well. Stones, twigs and tree roots are of no problem for the dog, don't worry, you can exercise her by riding 2-3 miles continuously, at 5 months your pup should be strong enough, if you exercised her before. Good luck!
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Taggart View Post
You can start when she is about 5 months old, exactly the age when you shouldn't worry that you can wear her out. There is another reason why that late. Dogs often misunderstand, that they should chase only your bike, not ANY bike, and it is difficult to train them out of it. Puppies with experience of chasing the bicycle run away from their owners only they see one. It would be the end, the whole training with bikes will be out of question. Train her the attitudes, and you can start training her now.
Jogging yourself slowly in the area where people ride, with her wearing harness and on the short lead, train her to give way to other riding bicycle people, train to avoid any collision by stepping aside 3-4 feet and asking her to sit. Think about getting a long rigid plastic stick of light weight with attached loop for your left wrist and carabiner to clasp at her harness to train keeping distance between you and her. You can start walking her on it prior to riding. Please, remember, that you can ride only in the woods, never ride on asphalt paved road, which will not only grind her paws and make them bleeding, but also is very bad for joints. Actually it applies to people as well. Stones, twigs and tree roots are of no problem for the dog, don't worry, you can exercise her by riding 2-3 miles continuously, at 5 months your pup should be strong enough, if you exercised her before. Good luck!
Please don't follow this advice. I believe most breeders say 18-24 months as a guideline. 5 months is much too young and you risk damaging growing bones specifically joints.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
risk damaging growing bones specifically joints
Neither me, nor you are right. I just looked in the folder with my diary on Lucy. It is the vet should tell you how and how hard you can exercise your dog by doing X-rays. I was suspicious about her hips by that time, even though both parents showed 5/6. You should check your dog's intermetatarsal joints, articulations of metatarsal bones before making such decisions. The vet told me I can exercise her the way I like, just not to let her run after horse, or car (some people have such bad idea), all her joints were more than just satisfactory and the scanner showed it quite clearly. She has learned to run beside the bicycle before, and I took her into our local nature reserve the very next day. She was 5 months and 3 weeks old, we covered 3 miles with no stop and I didn't have to encourage her even once in 48 minutes. She had run steadily forward, sometimes ahead of me, sometimes behind.

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Old 01-27-2014, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would not do this with my dog at 5 months. I too love to bike and am quite anxious to get Gus running beside me but will not be doing before 18 months..possibly longer.

To each their own.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Taggart View Post
, we covered 3 miles with no stop and I didn't have to encourage her even once in 48 minutes. She had run steadily forward, sometimes ahead of me, sometimes behind.
I think this is a safe pace. 16 minute miles is a brisk walk for an adult human. Most people would ride much faster than this, which is IMHO a bad idea until the dog is more mature.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I totally missed "48 minutes" for 3 miles...very good point.
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