How do you exercise your puppy? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2014, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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How do you exercise your puppy?

Lola has lots of energy and it's difficult to wear her out without walking/hiking for 3+ hours. Which I would be perfectly fine with if I didn't have 3 young kids and now my mom (who just had a stroke in Nov) living with me to care for.

I love to run and I know I can't really run with Lola yet (she'll be 21 weeks tomorrow) but walking or hiking just doesn't wear her out. We play fetch, but that only interests for for like 15 minutes. Is it bad if I take her out on trails and run with her, if I let her set the pace? I'm talking really slow pace (11 min. miles) with rests if she needs for a couple miles?

She loves the flirt pole, but it's only fun for her if I run with it and have her chase it. Or if she gets to jump for it (which I hear is bad for her hips)

I do obedience with her several times a day and give her puzzle treat balls. On Monday she'll start her obedience class and I'll also sign her up for tracking but with the snow they don't have classes.

So I'm curious on how everyone else does to wear their pup out?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2014, 09:13 PM
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I walk my puppy for a mile (she is only 9 weeks) then we play ball for about 15 minutes, work on all of her commands (sit, down, off, jump, shake hands, crawl, and stay.) then I give her a peanut butter kong toy and USUALLY that does the trick.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-10-2014, 09:31 PM
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We tug inside, he plays for about an hour total a day with my other dog, do a few training sessions a day... work on settling.

I'm not exercising a dog 3+ hours a day regularly, so I don't get them used to it as puppies. They learn to relax in the house when I am, and play when I want to through fun, interactive games.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 09:05 PM
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I love using mind games with dogs to wear them out mentally as well. I've seen many many folks recommend Crate Games and Control Unleashed as being good things to work on with pups to help teach them to have an off switch, though I haven't personally used them.

For me personally, it does help that I've got Krissie who adores puppies and will help wear them out when I'm unable to do as much as I want, without teaching them terrible habits. Plus she's awesome at helping to teach them bite inhibition.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 04:18 AM
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I take my Pup to the dog park at least 3 or 4 times a week she gets ample exercise there playing fetch along with playing with other dogs.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 05:42 AM
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Our pup goes for a walk early in the morning, about an hour or less, then we go for a big walk in the afternoon for about 2 hours, usually my friends dog comes with us so they play, or he finds new doggy friends to play with on our walks, we also do some training (sit, down, roll over etc) and play some tug in the house, he's quite a chilled out quiet pup though and loves a good nap for most of the day!

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 07:08 AM
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I have a 5 month and 1 week old GSD and I'm a distance runner too! Our vet said that we could start running Chief about half a mile at 4 months old then walk the rest of the time. Now I run him about 1-2 miles but constantly look at him to make sure he's not lagging/tired and if he is we walk. This may sound stupid (I know GSDs do have joint issues) but dogs/wolf puppies run in the wild.. longer than that, so I don't see much harm in a mile or two at 5 months. I don't run Chief everyday though, maybe twice a week. He has a lot of energy too like your dog, we take him to the dog park around 2pm for an hour and it does WONDERS! It will knock him out the rest of the afternoon/ evening. He loves going! Playing fetch and walks isn't enough for him. He either has to run with me or be running and playing with other dogs!

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 07:29 AM
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I think it is less stress on the pup if you are on unpaved trails then if you are on pavement. Also if you are in an area where you can do offlead trail walking with the pup it helps them set their own pace.

Also don't underestimate mental stimulation with motivational obedience and scent games for wearing her out in the house.

My heart goes out to you. I have my mom after a stroke (2007) but with no young kids to care for. It is a tough road. Taking time for yourself is vital and being outside is very therapeutic to me.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 08:06 AM
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when my boy was 3 months old we were only going a 1/2 mile
walks. i think he was 6 months to 9 months old before we hit
a mile. by the time he was 16 months to 2 yrs old we were
going 5 miles. we play tug in the yard or in the house. "find it",
i hide something and the dog goes and finds it. i play "find it" indoors
and outside. when you play "find it" you're also teaching/reinforcing
"stay" because the dog has to stay while you hide an object.

i train a lot when walking the dog. training while walking gets some
mental stimulation and of course the physical from the walking.
retriving games help with exercising. this is something you can do i
ndoors or outside.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-12-2014, 09:33 AM
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I don't think walking is an exercise that expends enough energy to tire a pup out without tiring you out first. I would use walks for mental stimulation and then have the pup do some hard sprinting type play. I use fetch with two balls. He loves to chase them and having two means he runs more with less stops in between. It doesn't take the long with hard fetching to wear down that edge.

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