How much and type of exercise / training for an 8.5 months male? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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How much and type of exercise / training for an 8.5 months male?

Hello!

This forum has been a tremendous source of information since I got my Rex last week.

I researched the subject here but I am not sure I got it fully because of the age of my puppy and I wanted a bit more precise feedback.

So he is 8.5 months old and we are for now going out on 1 hour "walks" at night. When we walk, it is still hot here at about 35 degrees and humidity is about 40%-50% in Dubai. With I take him out, he is very excited and wants to run. So I dash with him for maybe 100 yards and then we both slow down and walk.

We get to a tennis court where I close it and take of his leash. Here we play fetch and run around the court. Nothing crazy and I think due the heat / humidity, he obviously gets hot and energy levels are not super high. I carry with me 2-3 liters of water. He drinks them all during our walk.

We also go down and up a few stairs. Maybe 10 stairs as we change levels. He does not jump, just goes casually up and down. He jumps once like a 5 stair step flight of stairs in one shot as we were doing a small dash.

My questions:

1. At 8.5 months, is what I am doing on the whole ok exercise wise? Is fetch ok at that age? Can we do small dashes and go up flight of stairs? Is it ok if he jumps into the truck of SUV or I should carry him? I have a duplex. Can he do up and down that flight of stairs when we are in the house?

2. I plan to start training with a trainer on Monday. I have scheduled 6 one hour training sessions. I have taken off for 6 days and ideally I would like to do them in one shot everyday for 6 days. Then I can take him to work after that Is it too much to do 6 hours for 6 days? Otherwise I will have to do 1 day yes , 1 day no and then I cant take him to work as fast as I wanted and will be a bit home alone. I have a deal with my partner at work that once he completes training of 6 days I can take him to work.

Many thanks for your feedback
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 07:42 AM
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1. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, teach him how to jump up into the car--it's good for strengthening his hips and back legs. Yes.

In terms of jumping, you just don't want superman jumps down a full flight of steps over and over and over. Big jumps up stairs and over things are perfectly fine and I'd encourage that in moderation. Strong hip and leg muscles means more support for joints and less chances of hip/knee problems later in life.

My only real recommendation would be to bring twice as much water. 40-50% humidity is actually a little on the dry side (I'll trade you our 70% for your 50%!), and 35C is pretty darn hot. Be very careful about dehydration and overheating.

2. I'd alternate training days just because adolescent puppies have the attention span of a gnat and you'll want to practice without your trainer. 1 hour day with the trainer, 15-30 mins the next day without the trainer practicing what you learned the day before. And obviously you'll want to continue to train your puppy all the way into adulthood, refreshing and reinforcing what you've taught him. As he goes through adolescence he will periodically forget/ignore everything you've taught him. And even as an adult, it'll be good to do "refresher courses" every once in a while.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 08:29 AM
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Just some general suggestions and comments:

1) Careful with hard exercise on hard pavement which is hard on their joints, tendons and ligament in legs.

2) You have to set limits on heavy exercise during hot weather. Sometimes dogs want to go, go, go and then drop

from overheating. Here in Fl. it's still 90 daily and my young dog will overdo it if I don't monitor her.

3) In my horse training world we have a saying, " There's only so many jumps in a horse." Same goes for dogs' legs,

joints, tendons and ligaments. These components will eventually wear out with overuse. Just keep it in mind.

4) With the young ones, too much serious adult type training will make them disengage and tune you out. If you

notice this, slow down the training.

Congrats on being able to take Rex to work with you, what a great benefit!!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 12:08 PM
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When mine was around 8 months, we do 1-2 miles of walk everyday, off leash playing for 1 hour-ish, and 2x10-15 minutes of mental exercise, mostly nose work learning new tricks.

If your car isn't some super crazy tall cars, he'll be alright. Your dog is a dog not some weak stuffed animal.

And off leash fetch for 30 minutes is absolutely fine. It's a good one actually, retrieving the ball to you gives him a sense of work and that's what GSDs crave.

IME walking doesn't count as exercise, it's more of a structure, mental exercise. So to tire my dog out physically I started rollerblading with him when he was 11 months. People would say it's too young, but I beg to differ. Always stay with his pace. He's been absolutely fine.
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