Exercising Puppy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-16-2016, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Exercising Puppy

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering if I could get your opinion or an idea from everyone on how much exercise or types of exercise you do with your puppy. I have a big boy (6 month, 71 lbs) pup. Not sure if it matters or not, but he is a working line, has lot of energy. My wife and I work 8 hours a day, so he spends about 8.5 hours a day in his crate 3-4 times a week.

In the morning before work we I let him run on a lead in the back yard at his own pace, I come home on my lunch break and walk him 5 minuets (nothing major since he just ate). When I get home from work, we do some training, play some nose games (hiding treats around the house, or tug-a-war). We also have two 30 foot leads that I combine and we play fetch for about 15-20min. He's definitely winded by the time we are done. Sometimes he stops and sits down and I let him catch his breath, but then throw the Frisbee again. All this is in our back yard and I would say in that 20min span he probably runs 45yds and back about 15-20 times. Do you guys think this is too much? While playing with him today it hit me that it does involve running, and fast stops or change of directions. I really don't want him to hurt his hips, but it seems that when he does not get enough exercise he wines non stop. Thank you all in advance!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-16-2016, 09:20 PM
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I'd worry more about his front legs playing fetch and jumping. My pup has had chronic tendonitis from fetch and hard direction changes. Play tug too. Great looking pup.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 03:47 AM
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I'm no professional, but...

I recommended this on two forum posts already, but you should totally tie something to like yarn, I'm talking about a long line of yarn, something noisy when it hits the ground, and let him chase it around your yard while he goes after it, shepherds LOVE things that move because of their drive, especially a working line pup, not to mention it's easier on their legs, even a nerf ball like this: http://www.ottoenvironmental.com/con...s-ball-35.jpeg is absolutely perfect, since you can slip the yarn under and tie it. Because they aren't jumping or anything, you'll see that it's easy on the hips, yet tiring and fun.

I also recommend buying a ChuckIt! One of the best things you can buy, rotate with all 3, do the drive thing (pulling a ball on yarn around) for maybe 5 - 10 minutes, or until he's completely bored out, than rotate to Frisbee for a short while, than start playing for the ChuckIt! For a nice long while. Still energy? Well than, drain your pup by taking him for a short walk. Also, shorten the amount of play time in the heat if you're rotating with 3 activities, don't wanna mess with his hips.

I also recommend taking him to at least a big enclosed area with all grass, and just start throwing the ChuckIt! too.

It's good that you're throwing in training though, mental and physical activity works wonders with each other.

Good luck, I'd offer more advice for draining his energy, but my pup has always been low to medium, and acts like the common house cat, rather than a dog.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 10:27 AM
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The very best exercise is running and exploring off leash in a natural area with a little swimming thrown in.If you could manage that even once a week he would benefit greatly mentally and physically.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 11:32 AM
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The very best exercise is running and exploring off leash in a natural area with a little swimming thrown in.If you could manage that even once a week he would benefit greatly mentally and physically.
I agree with this totally. I sometimes say that fetch is the lazy owners game, you throw it, he does all the running, and you think he's exercising. The sudden direction change is bad for them at this age especially. I would go hiking or just walk around the neighborhood, climb some hills and such. Mental stimulation is just as, if not more important that physical. These treat puzzles are a great toy to keep them busy for a long time;
Star Mark Bumper Body Puzzle Ball Dog Treat Dispenser | Unleashed Store
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for your reply. I am definitely going to look into the toy provided. I feel bad leaving him in a crate for 8 hours, but he is still teething and would destroy my house if I left him out. This toy would at least keep him busy for a while. You read so much about long walks etc that I get paranoid about hurting him. I don't know how much is too much.

Thank you kindly,

Fabio
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much, your post was very informative. From your experience, how much running is bad? At this age, is jogging better then sprints? you read so much stuff about minimizing running and long walks that I get paranoid taking him on even a mile walk.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 01:31 AM
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He's 6 months. He can walk more than a mile no problem. He should be running around and playing, just not forced running and jumping (especially down) until after a year old imo. Someone here mentioned a chuck it. Bad idea in my experience for a puppy. That kept my pup limited to leash walking for over a month and set me back almost $2k. Play interactive tug too-great for building muscle and bonding. Let him win when he has a good grip and is pulling hard then call him back. Keep it interactive.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ausdland View Post
I'd worry more about his front legs playing fetch and jumping. My pup has had chronic tendonitis from fetch and hard direction changes. Play tug too. Great looking pup.
Hi, could you let me know what happened to your dog after the diagnosis? Wish I read this earlier ive been playing fetch with my pup and he is a high drive dog. he has done something to his front legs and been limping now. I blame myself. vet says pano. we are seeing an orthopedist next friday. to get a ct scan
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 08:47 AM
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I would try to vary his exercise and routine more, other than just playing fetch in the yard - though it is awesome that he does get daily play and exercise with you. My concern with small yards is the number of sudden stops that is hard on their joints. For a six month old, I'd try to combine his exercise needs with longer walks and socialization outings. When I mention socialization, I don't mean going out and interacting with every person that you see, but just exposing the dog to what I refer to as "real life".

I live in a very quiet rural area, so with young dogs, or rescues, after work, I make the effort to load them in the car and go somewhere, even if only to a suburban area in town to walk along 'real' roads, sidewalks, traffic, trucks, busses, bicycles, other people walking their dogs. Construction sites, playgrounds, skateboard parks.

In winter, we I drove into town to the ski hill and watch the skiers zoom around and ride up on the ski lift (Only in Northern BC does one drive INTO town to get to a ski hill, LOL).

Walk up grated metal steps, practice obedience on top of a metal grate walkway, just a few examples of how to look for and incorporated new experiences - these things will challenge his little brain and tire him out just as much.
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