Amount of Exercise?
I was talking to one of my friends the other day (who also has a GSD) and she was surprised at how much exercise / training, etc. I do with Kyleigh. She told me (she's had dogs all her life) that I do too much with Ky, and that I should tone it down.
I'm looking for some feedback from the experienced GSD owners. This is what I do with Kyleigh ...
5 am - we're out for an hour, walking, jogging, and we play at the play structure, and kick her soccer ball
6:30 - 11:30 - crated
11:30 - 1 - she's out around the house / in the back yard while my dad's home for lunch
1 - 4 - crated
4:00 - 7:00 (or so - weather dependent, if it's -27 we're usually back by 6) we are at the off leash park where she plays with her friend and gets to run up a storm
home for supper, some relaxing, and then at 9 we're back out for another hour or so (same as at 5:00 am)
Weekends - hiking for about 3 hours in the morning, relaxing, and then back out again for about 3-4 hours (depends on weather)
Yesterday (the reason my friend told me I did too much with her) Ky and I were at the dog park for 2.5 hours in the morning, and then I was babysitting my 6 year old nephew for the afternoon. I wasn't sure what he would want to do, so wanted to make sure Ky got some solid exercise in before he came over.
Well, he wanted Ky to pull him on the sled - so we did that for about an hour (around the neighbourhood). She was having a blast, and so was he ... he kept yelling mush mush mush (I'm pretty sure she thought he was nuts, but he was having fun!) We got lots of looks and plenty of people stopped us to chat! Rowan had a blast telling everyone HIS dog was better than a husky!
After that we went to the park and he kicked the soccer ball for her, and then we romped around the field chasing each other. We were outside for a total of 3 hours.
The weather was gorgeous (only -4) and Kyleigh showed no signs of being cold or tired.
Home around 4 or so, and then at 7 she was raring to go again, so we went out for another walk for about an hour and a half (playing on the play structure, kicking the soccer ball, etc.)
I've never seen Ky limp, or NOT want to go out. All I have to do is put on my boots and she's raring to go.
I also watch her closely ... if she's passed out on her bed at 8:30 and shows no desire to go outside and play, I won't "make" her go. We'll go in the backyard and she can do her business, and if she's got some energy to burn, we kick the soccer ball or play hide and seek.
Next summer I want to work on her pulling a cart / wagon, as well as more intense urban agility. The more things I read on that dogs are doing, the more I want to get her involved in these things.
I don't want to do any of this competitively, just for fun, and to keep her brain working, and her body fit.
One of the MAIN reasons I got a GSD was I wanted a dog that would be able to do all of the things that I am doing with her ... and more as she matures.
Am I doing too much with her?
If she's going that strongly I wouldn't think so?
My Koda gets 5-10 (sometimes 15) miles of walking per day, 2-3 nights a week she gets a 2 hr jog/run, 1-1.5 hr training, up to 4 hrs of dog park time/play time with a friend's dog, 1.5 hrs of playtime with me, etc. She also gets to herd for 2-3 hrs regularly at my uncle's. And she's still pretty ready to go. Even while I'm at work, she's usually playing with another dog or a coworker (if she isn't home getting worked by Matt).
Just because your friend has had dogs all her life doesn't mean she knows what's best for yours. ;) I have a feeling her dogs have all been much more laid-back than Kyleigh.
I am sure if she gets tired she will slow down or rest. You are setting the amount of activity and the time pattern which she will get accustom to. So if you enjoy that amount of activity who can say it's to much. I feel we dictate our dogs schedule from the start so if you enjoy it I am sure she will also.
It's all about what the dog can handle.
Zefra has a pretty scheduled life with all of the training we do, plus I do a lot with my dogs outside of training (hiking, biking, playing, search/scent work, etc.).
Stark gets tired after 1 bike ride and some basic OB, Zefra will keep going for days happily.
You know your dog. ;)
I don't think it's too much if you're not pushing her. I think it's great that active dogs have owners who are active (or often in my case, my dogs help ME be more active).
My dogs' activity levels have changed drastically over time. Nikon used to *need* exercise or he'd just be whiney and pace around, bugging me to play. For a while it felt like the more exercise he got the more he needed! Now at 4.5 years old he will be active when I want to be but otherwise is happy to be a house pet. If I get really sick and am laid up for a week, he's fine not getting any real exercise. If he gets bored he will start a wrestling match or game of chase with Coke.
Go with what your dog wants :)
Delgado used to need three hours of running off leash plus obedience and play but now settles much better and needs less. Depends on the day but he can get by with a half hour play session if needed
a lot of exercise. i didn't notice anything about training
I am tired just reading everything everyone does!:p
I don't jog, run, or bike with Stella. She doesn't do dog parks or really play with other dogs anymore.
But we play fetch, or find it in the yard. We walk (not anywhere near 5-10 miles though) most days. She goes to doggie day care at least once a week to play with the dogs there. And we go to cross training, and freestyle classes once a week. Then we throw in an hour of intense obedience training every now and again. In the summer she swims in our pool. We do a bit of obedience training for a short time several times a day. And she will take car rides with me when I do errands.
I feel like a couch potato!
If she is doing it with no ill effect, you are doing the right thing.
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