New Owner - How many miles? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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New Owner - How many miles?


This is my first post. I'm getting my first dog since I was a kid. I'm pretty excited.

One of the main reasons I wanted a GSD was an exercise partner.

I'm trying to learn some guidelines in my head do I don't over work him and cause hip / bone damage.

Typically I may run 3 miles, hike 7, or mountain bike 12 - 25 miles. I do this 3 times a week any random combination. I know the dog needs daily exercise but above is the most strenuous I will do.

For the first year do I only walk him while his bones develope? If so how many miles at a time?

After a year how much activity is ok? Is it ok to take him on 3 15mile MTB rides a week?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:43 PM
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i can't give you the guidelines for running that much with a dog, but i believe it would be well worth the $$$$ to find a dog that has great hips and also comes from a line of dog's with great hips.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by skew12 View Post
i can't give you the guidelines for running that much with a dog, but i believe it would be well worth the $$$$ to find a dog that has great hips and also comes from a line of dog's with great hips.
Thanks I did get him from a reputable breeder. Parents are both clean of hip problems.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:44 PM
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I was always told wait a year to start jogging with your dog, but then when I joined this forum I asked the question and had answers ranging anywhere from 4 months to a year and a half. Jackson is 8 months and I haven't started jogging with him yet, but I do take him to the soccer fields near my house 2-3 times a week for some long sprints...maybe 12-15 minutes of long ball chase. He does pretty well with this and is usually pretty worn out afterward. I am waiting to get his hips X rayed before I start anything more rigorous with him though.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:54 PM
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My boy is 15 months old. we are mtbikers, we started last summer to bike with him. we started with 2 miles and let him pick the speed, he loved it from day one. In two motnhs of biking (4 days in week) he easylly did 5 miles. Most we ever did is 13 miles,(by mistake we got lost) we took long brakes and he did fine.but was really tired. I took as much time as he needed when we started with him. There was times Kyran fell a sleep when we took a brake and we waited for him for half hour or so .now we usually do 6 to 8 miles in 90 min., with one longer brake and couple quick for drink. He can handle more know. So start slow and add miles and speed over time, you have to see how is he going.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 02:17 PM
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I have been walk/running with Milla since she was 5 months old. Started slow and the biggest thing was I watched her. If she wanted to go faster, we would pick up the pace, if she wanted to go slower, we slowed down. And if she didn't want to go at all, I left her at home. She is 11 months and we walk/run 3-6 miles a day. Sometimes longer on the weekends. Some of it is leashed, some of it is off leash.

I would not run him hard on hard surfaces at that age, we do a lot of trails and that is softer plus being off leash she can decide her pace.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 02:19 PM
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Hiker and jogger here. The only concern I would have from running the dog over an extended period of time and factoring in the type of ground you are covering is the wear on his/her pads.

My dog comes with me on hikes but as we train up for longer hikes with steeper elevations I am looking into shoes for the dog from RuffWear.

I'm into preventative maintenance since I don't want to be left with the option of having to carrying my dog down from the mountain if her pads are cut and bleeding or leaving her behind for help. It would be physically impossible for me to do that. Which is also why I pack a first aid kit for me and her.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 02:24 PM
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For me, no excessive or sustained running/biking the dog on hard surfaces or pavement till the dog is 1.5 years old. I hike and walk on grass or easy trails when they are younger. A lot of depends on the individual dog - make sure to listen to the dog's signals and stop if necessary. After 2 years, condition and work the dog up to your level. I would do xrays at 1 year to make sure everything is ok before increasing the activity level.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 02:36 PM
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running a young dog is hard on their still forming joints....someone above mentioned starting a 5 month old, now running at 11 mo 3-6 miles...

what will happen is that at 5 or 6 the dog will be really really arthritic....sure they will do it now, and enjoy it....but when the dog is older, you will find out what a mistake this is!!!!

I had a pup about 6 months old....let her come out with me working horses....we did maybe a mile and a half to an area where we had an "arena" set up for training...the dog rested or ranged around six the dog could barely get up and down it was so arthritic....lived to 14 tho....just in pain (had meds!) most of its life....(this was in the 70's!!!)

Please curtail that pups running - it is probably too late, but don't make it worse...


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 02:44 PM
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i never ran with any dog on hard surfaces. they don't make running shoes for dogs. lol just brisk walking on pavement. we have some local trails i would mtb with kyra, started slowly at around age 2, about 5 miles was the average distance, but we did work up to some pretty quick times. both of my daughters ran track and cross country in hs and went some long distances on the appl trail. kyra left us a couple weeks ago, and i am left wondering if we worked her too hard or would some of the supplements i have learned about here would have kept her getting such severe arthritis in her joints. i would talk to your vet as well as people on this forum. i would also read up on some of the posts here, or ask about supplements such as msm, glucosamine ect. some very knowledgeable people on here that know a good deal about some holistic meds. opened my eyes.
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