Do I have to "condition" my 5 month old for mini-hikes? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 08-29-2014, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do I have to "condition" my 5 month old for mini-hikes?

And by mini-hikes, I mean starting out with a half-mile loop. I'm lucky enough to live in an area with several parks with walking trails up to 3 miles and since it's finally not boiling hot outside, I'd like to start taking advantage of that. Archer is getting his fourth and final DHPP shot today, so for the last couple weeks, we've just been limited to quick and unexciting walks around the apartment complex, which is not really enough exercise for him and he really doesn't seem to enjoy it too much. He has gotten a lot better in the last few days but I think he is as bored with it as I am. I do plan on taking him on regular neighborhood walks for daily exercise and outdoors time, but I personally enjoy nature parks and would want to take Archer with me.

So with that being said, and in light of the whole lack of major exercise up to this point (with the exception of a weekly puppy class that exhausts him), is there any concern with taking him to parks where we'd have to walk at least a half mile? Or should I first have "conditioning" walks for us around the neighborhood to slowly work him up to that distance? I just ordered a hiking pack and travel water bowl that should arrive next week, so I'll be prepared with that. I just don't know if I should be concerned about over exercising him first. If I sound like a complete newb at this, I am, since I've never really hiked/walked/etc before but it's going to be a necessity with my living in an apartment with a dog.

Next Saturday is a pack walk (organized by my dog trainer) at a park with a 1.5 mile trail, so I'll wait to take him to parks until then so he can get used to the experience (and I can see how he does with other dogs and strangers on the trail). I just want to make sure I'm prepared before then so it is an enjoyable experience for him!
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