Hot weather and slow runs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Hot weather and slow runs

I've been waking up at 6 am to run and I bring Gandalf along. Before we go I wet his head , inner legs, and paws down to try to keep him cool. We only go a couple miles on soft dirt and grass in a very shady park. It's starting to get hot out but at 6 am I find it pretty comfortable, we even have a halfway point water break on our runs. G seems to be struggling to make it even a mile, he just tires out and lags behind to the point I have to stop and walk. I'd hate to have to leave him at home... kind of the reason I got a GSD , I wanted a good athletic partner. My old GSD (dark sable) used to run with me 10-20 miles per day in conditions much worse than this. G has been doing well, good poops, just got a health check up and the vet said he looked great. Good weight too. What's the deal..? Im not a particularly fast person and I would expect your average gsd to be able to out pace a human. We've done rollerblading in the past and he handled that pretty well, but it wasn't so hot out. I feel like it must be the weather bothering him. Any tips on keeping him cooler?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 10:02 AM
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Might not be the heat. Could be the humidity. I recently read a rule of thumb one vet uses. Add the humidity percentage to the temperature. If it is 150 or more, take it easy.

It seems to be on target for my big-boy. I think it can go a little higher for my gal-dog but not much. She'll play hard in the heat / humidity even if she shouldn't.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 11:35 AM
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I don't know either, it really stinks though!

It's why I went for a Mal this time, even though I'd love to get one of my trainer's GSDs. Something I'm seriously considering is getting outside kennels, for the day. I know from personal experience having spent time in the Caribbean both with & without A/c, if I'm staying for any longer than a week I'd prefer no a/c and get used to it.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 11:43 AM
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Heyyyy fellow GSD runner! Did you just start taking your dog out to jog recently? It could be that he needs to gradually build up endurance? I sorta got my dog enrolled in a doggie couch to 5k program when I first started her on long distance running, and it took 3 months to go from 0.5 miles all the way to 5 miles. Mine is short haired though not sure if it makes a difference in running.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Heyyyy fellow GSD runner! Did you just start taking your dog out to jog recently? It could be that he needs to gradually build up endurance? I sorta got my dog enrolled in a doggie couch to 5k program when I first started her on long distance running, and it took 3 months to go from 0.5 miles all the way to 5 miles. Mine is short haired though not sure if it makes a difference in running.
Well we both have started together lol, so I figured he would be more fit than me. He's been doing long distance hikes for a while now as well as shorter roller blading adventures. And of course lots of playing ball and swimming! I'd say he is more active than most people's dogs. Prior to starting jogging we were walking 8 miles at a fast pace per day. That's why it's kind of surprised me! I think Car2ner is right, our humidity on a cool morning is 75%, we're in Central Florida. My husband has been cranking the AC down lately so I wonder if he's been adjusting to the coolness inside and just can't handle the humidity. He is a long coat, maybe that is the difference as well? My old sable was short coat.. G is white though which should help stay cooler. He's pretty spoiled so I wasn't sure if I should push him through it or not. With words of encouragment he would catch back up to me for a couple seconds just to fall behind again.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know either, it really stinks though!

It's why I went for a Mal this time, even though I'd love to get one of my trainer's GSDs. Something I'm seriously considering is getting outside kennels, for the day. I know from personal experience having spent time in the Caribbean both with & without A/c, if I'm staying for any longer than a week I'd prefer no a/c and get used to it.
I totally agree!!! The only reason the AC runs is because we have salamanders and they like it cold lol. Well and husband too.. it would save so much money as well..

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 12:22 PM
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Ten to twenty miles per day is intense! My hat is off to you. I’d only try to run that far if I was chased and I couldn’t hitchhike or call for help!

As for Gandalf, maybe he needs some conditioning before he’s expected to do any running in hot weather. I suppose it’s also possible that he’s sore even if he’s not presenting with a limp, and it’s possible he’s just not an athlete. Sometimes these bigger huskier shepherds aren’t. (I would say I have one of those. She’s a trotter rather than a sprinter, and she’s larger for a female. She could jog with me, but she’s just not as athletic as some of the smaller, lithe GSDs.)


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 01:58 PM
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It might be the humidity. I always keep the house cool and does not effect them in hot weather not even the humid weather they seem to like the heat. A mile is not a lot for a gsd not to run even if out of shape. Possible he is sore or it’s just very humid out. Maybe a hose down before the run. My long bike rides were intermittent so I had made sure we took breaks whether they needed it or not. I would imagine longer coats also heat up quicker. Is he energetic through the day is he his normal self. Dogs with any loose stool and exercise in hot weather can dehydrate very quick and show decrease in energy.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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It might be the humidity. I always keep the house cool and does not effect them in hot weather not even the humid weather they seem to like the heat. A mile is not a lot for a gsd not to run even if out of shape. Possible he is sore or it’s just very humid out. Maybe a hose down before the run. My long bike rides were intermittent so I had made sure we took breaks whether they needed it or not. I would imagine longer coats also heat up quicker. Is he energetic through the day is he his normal self. Dogs with any loose stool and exercise in hot weather can dehydrate very quick and show decrease in energy.
Once he hit about the year mark he became very mellow/lazy around the house. When I'm not taking him out to do something he spends all his free time sleeping the day away. He doesn't even play with his stuffed toys anymore! Love him still but he is such a huge couch potato lol.. certain things he has high drive for, like chasing his ball and swimming. I feel like I wear him out most the time, he just can't keep up. His stools have been perfect, appetite good, he always licks his bowl clean. Maybe just a different drive than I'm used to. Last shepherd I had was a high drive working line, his parents ran 20 miles behind the back of a pick up for conditioning. I don't think G's lineage has anything similar in it. G could always keep up on our hikes through winter and spring and he seemed to enjoy himself. But the woods are so flooded and so many bugs right now I'm avoiding it until conditions get better... May be he is depressed because he misses hiking? Do dogs get depressed over things like that?

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 06:46 PM
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I know they like and live for their adventures and know how to pour on the guilt. He may just not be as energetic or find jogging boring I dont know. I know some people seem to find their dogs energy levels dip after one year of age. Dogs have different energy levels. He sounds like he is more of a mellow guy but I think even a mellow gsd can handle a mile jog so it just might be the weather.
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