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Old 06-04-2009, 04:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How much walking for a puppy is ok?

My puppy just turned 6 months old this week. I want to start taking longer walks but I do not want to over-exercise her. Would you say an hour walk is too much for her? Currently we walk about 30-35 minutes everyday, twice a day, but since I'd like to get more exercise myself I want to try an hour with her. What do you guys think? Too much or just okay?

I would like to add the vet gave her a blood test since we had a scheduled spaying, but the blood work came back with some problems and she is on antibiotics for 5 days, then we will go back for another test. I won't be taking her on longer walks until she is 100% better, I am just asking for the future. Thank you
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

How is she after her normal walks? Is she exhausted or do you think she can go more? If you're worried about her joints, could you walk her on grass? The soft grass is better for younger pups, but i don't think it should be a problem for the longer walks.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

wow. Never occurred to me to be concerned about this. Jazz is just over 4 months old now and until she got injured we were going on 3 mile walks. She seems to handle it fine.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

I walk my 4 month old puppy on short walks 1-2 times a day at his own pace. Usually just once a day. Every other weekend I take him on short hikes.
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

Personally I do not take long walks with young puppies. Forced exercise including long walks can be detrimental to their development/growth. It is much better to provide games and exercise where they can rest and then have shorter bursts of energy and stop whenever they get tired as is more natural for puppies (such as off-leash playing.)

For a 6 month old personally I would stick to the 30-minute walks, and if you want to do more I would add in another short walk rather than increasing the length. I would also try to avoid walking on hard surfaces like concrete whenever possible. I would also try to match the puppy's pace and watch them carefully for signs of tiredness and give them breaks if they seem to be tiring. I try to err on the side of caution when it comes to puppy exercise.
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Lucy DogHow is she after her normal walks? Is she exhausted or do you think she can go more? If you're worried about her joints, could you walk her on grass? The soft grass is better for younger pups, but i don't think it should be a problem for the longer walks.
She is just fine after her normal walks. Usually even after our normal walks, she'll get a drink of water, then come right up to me with her tennis ball hinting at me "lets go outside and play". She really does have such high energy.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: ChicagocaninePersonally I do not take long walks with young puppies. Forced exercise including long walks can be detrimental to their development/growth. It is much better to provide games and exercise where they can rest and then have shorter bursts of energy and stop whenever they get tired as is more natural for puppies (such as off-leash playing.)

For a 6 month old personally I would stick to the 30-minute walks, and if you want to do more I would add in another short walk rather than increasing the length. I would also try to avoid walking on hard surfaces like concrete whenever possible. I would also try to match the puppy's pace and watch them carefully for signs of tiredness and give them breaks if they seem to be tiring. I try to err on the side of caution when it comes to puppy exercise.
Yeah we definitely play outside a lot off leash. She loves to play fetch and it takes a lot for her to get tired. Every other day or so she plays outside with 2 huskies, both older, and she tires them out quickly. lol

Also the only time we ever walk on the concrete is if we're crossing the street, and if the grass ends for a bit in certain spots. She loves sniffing the grass anyway and I knew it was better for her so I let her. Her pace is pretty fast considering we're having a bit of a pulling problem right now, she's getting better though.

Thank you for your input everyone. If anyone else has any advice I'd love to hear it.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

Walks of any length are good for a growing puppy. Walking your dog long distances will absolutely not damage her/his joints! There is not a shred of evidence that suggests that you need to limit the length of walks you take your pups on.

Chama is 14 years old. I adopted her at 5 weeks old. By the time she was 8 weeks old she was walking a total of 5, yes I said FIVE, miles a day. When she was 3 months old she went on a 5 day backpacking trip where we often hiked as much as 6 hours a day.

I have had several dogs with hip dysplasia and although I have limited their high-impact exercise, I have consistently walked and/or hiked with them many miles a day. Vets have told me that the reason my dogs do as well as they do is because they are in such good physical condition.

A one hour walk will be absolutely fine for your pup.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

Carla,

I would keep the walks around 30-35 minutes and just add a little bit more intense playing into the mix. I'm sure some may disagree but IMO playing with your pup makes for a stronger bonding experience (for her that is) than walking on leash.

It's also pretty easy to turn a playing session with your dog into a workout for you, especially with a GSD. You can tug with her. You can play a game of chase me (preferrably with her chasing you), you can do interval running with her (Obie really likes doing the tabata style interval running with me: 20 sec all out sprints, 10 sec rest, repeat 6-8 times. 6 rounds would usually wipe him out for the afternoon)
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Jason LinCarla,

I would keep the walks around 30-35 minutes and just add a little bit more intense playing into the mix. I'm sure some may disagree but IMO playing with your pup makes for a stronger bonding experience (for her that is) than walking on leash.

It's also pretty easy to turn a playing session with your dog into a workout for you, especially with a GSD. You can tug with her. You can play a game of chase me (preferrably with her chasing you), you can do interval running with her (Obie really likes doing the tabata style interval running with me: 20 sec all out sprints, 10 sec rest, repeat 6-8 times. 6 rounds would usually wipe him out for the afternoon)
Thank you I will keep that in mind when we play next
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much walking for a puppy is ok?

For a 6 month old puppy an hour walk at a normal human pace is definitely not too much. Most of our dogs' exercise is at off leash parks, and it's an hour or two that includes chasing thrown balls and often swimming for balls. Halo was going with us from 15 weeks old, but we did throw the ball much less and for much shorter distances until she got bigger and stronger so she didn't kill herself trying to keep up with Keefer.

And when I take her for training walks to work on leash skills it's anywhere from a half hour to an hour, even at 4 and 5 months old. I wouldn't do a lot of running with a leashed puppy, but letting them run around at their own pace and resting when they need to, or walking on leash for an hour shouldn't be a problem.
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