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Old 02-11-2014, 01:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Can our lifestyle stunt their growth?

So i'm sitting here thinking about the new puppy i am getting in two weeks and all the fun things i can't wait to do with him but then i wonder can my lifestyle be too hard on a dog too young? Meaning this, i take my current GSD Sage to work with me every day. She gets to run around the jobsite while i work, whether she is following me or playing with another dog, i love it, she loves it, she gets tons of exercise every day. It makes going home with a tired dog that much easier. Plus it has really made us unseperable. Now, when Sage was a puppy i definitely tried to baby her as far as too much impact on her joints, whether she was running or jumping i tried to limit it, but with going to work with me she definitely was very active and physical at a young age. She is 1.5 yrs old. She only weighs 55 lbs which i think is a little small for even a female but she is healthy and at a healthy weight for her size. I would think she would be closer to 60-65 lbs at least. Her father was 95 and her mother 70. So with that being said, is it possible for a young pup to be too physical/active that they mess up their growth plates? i know that stairs and jumping and stuff like that will definitely have a negative affect on a young puppy but does just running around being a "puppy" have any bad side affects on their future growth?

just curious as i plan for this puppy and i wanted your guys opinion..

thanks!
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've found that puppies don't tend to stress growth plates just from being puppies. The big things that risk stressing growth plates are intensive, repetitive, or high impact exercises like jumps and weaves in agility or running on a leash nonstop for miles. I've raised several Rotts and GSD's at this point and all of my puppies have been given plenty of exercise outside. The big thing is that they are allowed to rest as needed and they aren't made to do anything high impact or intensive. My past ranch Rottweiler puppies followed us around all day long, running through the fields, jumping over logs, chasing the calves and lambs, but they rested as needed.
I think the biggest change I've made since moving to the city is going out of my way to avoid walking too much on concrete. This is the first puppy I've raised in the city and while I don't personally have experience raising puppies around this much concrete, I've been told intensive running or super long walks on concrete or asphalt surfaces could be too stressful for growth plates. So I just find hiking trails, parks, nature preserves, anything that has good old dirt to run around on.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Far better to keep her lean, there is evidence that excessive and rapid weight gains during critical growth periods (especially 2 to 9 month period) can impact the puppies rate of growth as well as end height, not to mention the possibility of dysplasia.

Free play (not controlled on lead) is much better for puppy as he can stop when he is tired and rest. Are you able to take a crate to work, so that you can crate the puppy often throughout the day?
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Far better to keep her lean, there is evidence that excessive and rapid weight gains during critical growth periods (especially 2 to 9 month period) can impact the puppies rate of growth as well as end height, not to mention the possibility of dysplasia.

Free play (not controlled on lead) is much better for puppy as he can stop when he is tired and rest. Are you able to take a crate to work, so that you can crate the puppy often throughout the day?
Right, she has always been on the skinny side. Never more than that. And yes it is always off leash play so she could rest when wanted. I had her kennel on the job everyday for her to go sleep in when desired. She did that quite often.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Anyone else have some thoughts?
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Let the puppy be a puppy. I never restrict anything. If the dog wants to run, let him run.

Restricting stuff like stairs or a little jumping around seems a little crazy if you ask me. HD or ED is genetic, so he's either going to have it or won't.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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during growth periods the dogs needs the building blocks of high nutrition , not to be rationed out -- there is a difference between skinny and well fed lean . This is when bone and cartilage and muscle are formed. Sometimes these dogs kept lean in an effort to help prevent hip problems are under nourished .
high value , high density , including fat which is necessary for digestion and brain health.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Let the puppy be a puppy. I never restrict anything. If the dog wants to run, let him run.

Restricting stuff like stairs or a little jumping around seems a little crazy if you ask me. HD or ED is genetic, so he's either going to have it or won't.
Yes I totally agree that HD and ED are mostly genetics but are you saying you don't think anything physical has no effect on causing one or the other?
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
during growth periods the dogs needs the building blocks of high nutrition , not to be rationed out -- there is a difference between skinny and well fed lean . This is when bone and cartilage and muscle are formed. Sometimes these dogs kept lean in an effort to help prevent hip problems are under nourished .
high value , high density , including fat which is necessary for digestion and brain health.
That's true, it's like a diet. Not eating and getting skinny is not enough. You must have the right food and nutritions. I'd say in the first 8 months Sage was on the skinny side. But after that and when I started adding raw to her diet she has been slim and perfect, with having the right nutritions.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes I totally agree that HD and ED are mostly genetics but are you saying you don't think anything physical has no effect on causing one or the other?
Well, I wouldn't let my puppy jump off a 6 foot rock onto concrete. I also wouldn't force my puppy to run along a bike for miles on concrete either. Use common sense with exercise and puppies. Running up and down stairs or running around the yard chasing the ball just being a normal puppy isn't going to ruin a perfectly healthy dog's hips.

Now if the dog already has bad hips or elbows, that's when I'd be a lot more careful with exercise. I'd imagine hard running and repetitive impact type exercise would make a dog with already bad hips worse.
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