German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey erveyone,

Ghost just turned 6 months, and i got a bicycle to bike around the neighborhood and also in an effort to get his energy out every day... its a much cleaner alternative than the dog park sometimes!!!!!

So far, we've been going everyday, for about 30-40 minutes, between 3-4 miles... gentle trots with a few full sprints mixed in...

He gets home, pooped... drinks water then pants for several minutes then relaxes....


Is the appropriate for him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,919 Posts
Not at all. You are putting his health at risk. Find more gentler ways to get him "pooped" by adding mental stimulation. You want him content, not "pooped" at this age. I am glad you asked though. No biking for my dogs until they are two years old and solid structure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
At 6 months...all that running at that young age could be damaging to your pup's joints especially in a breed like GSDs where hips and elbows are so important. Wait until he's full grown and mature. Right now he's still growing. Because at 2 years old that's when they get their hips and elbows tested, if you're planning to breed it. Even if you're not planning to breed it, wait. Find other ways to tire him out. Running when they're in the house or in the yard is one thing. Running because you're "forcing" them to keep up with your bike riding is another thing. This is from personal experience. I made that mistake with my first pup years ago. When he got older, the cartilage on his joints were all worn down, which eventually caused the head on 1 of the femurs to break. He could no longer walk stairs and jump into cars anymore. My suggestion...I wouldn't run him like that anymore until he's fully grown.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,432 Posts
My puppy ran or trotted that far on a daily basis, so it's not, IMHO, the distance that's a potential problem. It's the surfaces that your pup is running on. If your bike is a mountain bike and you're riding on trails out in the bush somewhere, it would likely be fine. But if you're consistently running your puppy that distance on hard surfaces it's not a safe way for you to exercise him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ill cut back his run IMMEDIATELY AND SUBSTANTIALLY... Thanks for the replies.

Its just he really gets big spurts of energy and this was a way to release it. i dont go biking, i bike him, i go at his pace...

I never tug on him, or make him keep up. he trots at his pace... as we leave the garage he actually pulls the bike for about 1/4 mile, then he wants a mild sprint before going into a dog trot the rest of the way....

ill cut it down to about 15-20 minute ride just to let him get his burst out then return home... no more treks for 2+ miles...


Should be good on that right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,919 Posts
I would suggest no biking at all until you have the OK from a vet who knows these dogs. Please take the advice given by all here. You have many years ahead as long as he is sound and it is your responsibility to keep him sound as best as you can. Why hurry this young dog? Why does he need to get so tired? is his energy too much for you? It comes with the breed. Free play on a walk (when you walk) is much better or find a compatible play mate for him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You guys must think im speed cycling and pulling him to keep up... thats how you're making me feel.

Hes the one going at his own pace and im following him, i just guide his path through the neighborhood...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
Young puppies joints are not done forming at 6 months. Damage done now will have life long consequences. Forced exercise and exercise on man made surfaces is not good for growing joints. HD and ED can be caused by over exercise not just genetics. You may not be dragging him but going in a straight line, at a set pace, on a hard surface is not natural. Go watch dogs off leash out in nature. They constantly change pace, direction, and speed, and using a variety of muscles to accomplish those tasks vs. trotting along side a bike which uses a

Exercise is not a replacement for actual training. A tired dog is just that, a tired dog, not a well trained dog. Once they rest up all those unwanted behaviors are still there.

My main exercise for puppies and adult dogs is off leash walks in nature. The dog sets the pace and gets to do what they want. With young puppies I may just walk out and sit in a field and let them explore. They get not just physical exercise, but mental stimulation as well which satisfies both body and mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Young puppies joints are not done forming at 6 months. Damage done now will have life long consequences. Forced exercise and exercise on man made surfaces is not good for growing joints. HD and ED can be caused by over exercise not just genetics. You may not be dragging him but going in a straight line, at a set pace, on a hard surface is not natural. Go watch dogs off leash out in nature. They constantly change pace, direction, and speed, and using a variety of muscles to accomplish those tasks vs. trotting along side a bike which uses a

Exercise is not a replacement for actual training. A tired dog is just that, a tired dog, not a well trained dog. Once they rest up all those unwanted behaviors are still there.

My main exercise for puppies and adult dogs is off leash walks in nature. The dog sets the pace and gets to do what they want. With young puppies I may just walk out and sit in a field and let them explore. They get not just physical exercise, but mental stimulation as well which satisfies both body and mind.
I like those last few ideas...

and dog parks are a green light for that reason i hope? i mean, when other dogs are there, they run and wrestle.... this ok?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
I hope you understand that we're not criticizing you. We're just offering some sound advice because you asked. When you buy GSD puppies, normally the ads will say parents have "good hips and elbows" or they're "hips and elbows certified." And the puppies that are sold, should come with hips and elbows guarantees. This implies that hips and elbows can be a big problem with GSDs (usually all large sized dogs). We're just trying to help you avoid these problems in the future by protecting your growing pup now...keyword growing. Some of us have had bad experiences, like me. I didn't have the benefit of anyone giving me advice when I had my puppy years ago. I also ran my puppy a lot to get his excess energy out like you. Can you imagine having to carry a 100lb dog up and down stairs and into the car, many times a day, sometimes in the middle of the night when you're half awake? Or your dog doesn't want to go for a walk and do his business and instead defecates in the house because it's too painful to walk outside? Not to mention pain medication, inflammation medication, joint supplements, arthritis, hip support slings, etc. etc. etc. That's what I had to deal with at the end of his life because I didn't take better care of him and his joints when he was younger. I learned my lesson. I will take the advice of my new breeder and not run (hard) my new pup until he's at least 2. I plan to have his hips and elbows tested and certified then. Anyway, good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
So what is the safe extent of physical exercise he should get each day?

There is a nature trail nearby, as mentioned above, I could go walk there and let him roam a bit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,432 Posts
So what is the safe extent of physical exercise he should get each day?

There is a nature trail nearby, as mentioned above, I could go walk there and let him roam a bit?
That would be good. Although lots of people don't like dog parks, I take my puppy there frequently to play with other dogs and play fetch. School yards or parks with fenced in baseball diamonds are also good places where dogs can run around and explore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
I like those last few ideas...

and dog parks are a green light for that reason i hope? i mean, when other dogs are there, they run and wrestle.... this ok?
I live in a rural area and there are no dog parks so I have never used one. Even if I had access I likely would not go to one. I want my dogs to satisfy their need for interaction and play through me not other dogs. My goals for my dogs may be different from yours since I want to eventually compete with a puppy so I want a strong desire to engage and interact with me, and I don't want to battle against a strong desire to get to or away from other dogs. If my dog is getting to go and run around and play with other dogs that may affect their motivation to interact with me because they have already satisfied that need through interacting with other dogs.

If dog parks are going to be part of your dog's life then using that as a form of exercise may work for you. I probably wouldn't go everyday and would rotate through various activities to keep things balanced. I pay a lot of attention to the sort of affect various activities have on my dog. Can the relax easily when it is over or are they keyed up and having a hard time settling. Do I see unwanted behaviors afterwards? What is my dog's attitude and focus like the next time we train?

I like off leash walks because I am also participating in the walk with my dog or puppy. We are enjoying an activity together that isn't putting any really demands on either one of us. I'm not having to be in trainer mode and my dog is just being a dog. I also think offleash walks a good way to release stress that may have built up from training, being confined for the day, ect...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Interesting topic.

I adopted my first GSD when he was three so this wasn’t an issue. He’s nine now. He still gets his run on, but he can’t take walks over 1.5-2 miles or he’ll limp after. Before him I had labs and for years and years I walked them 6-8 miles a day (I was thin then lol). But their bodies and back slope are very different than the GSD. I’m not sure how much GSD’s are meant to be ‘long run dogs. I’m still learning too.

We are getting a GSD pup Easter weekend and my contract stipulates that I will not run her AT ALL or take walks (I think beyond 1 mile) until after she is a year old. So based on that - the 3-4 miles on a six month old may be a but too much. Good luck with him! He’s a cutie!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #15

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,919 Posts
He is a good looking dog. I am glad that you are taking the advice. I too love the nature walks. It is so fun to see a pup learn about the world. You can train him by teaching him to walk over logs, navigate hurdles, creeks, etc. But also teach impulse control and obedience along the way, integrating it in his life. Enjoy your walks with him. Nothing beats walking with dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
He is a good looking dog. I am glad that you are taking the advice. I too love the nature walks. It is so fun to see a pup learn about the world. You can train him by teaching him to walk over logs, navigate hurdles, creeks, etc. But also teach impulse control and obedience along the way, integrating it in his life. Enjoy your walks with him. Nothing beats walking with dogs.
Yea, he loved it...

I did realize he found some old mangos or some nasty old fruit someone left behind, whatever it was, he was going nuts for it, i had trouble controlling him wanting to scarf it down, i tried to keep him from going for it but he was faster than me. otherwise he was great...

we had a good time.

How often can i take him? every morning? or every other day?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
Yea, he loved it...

I did realize he found some old mangos or some nasty old fruit someone left behind, whatever it was, he was going nuts for it, i had trouble controlling him wanting to scarf it down, i tried to keep him from going for it but he was faster than me. otherwise he was great...

we had a good time.

How often can i take him? every morning? or every other day?
Every day
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
so today was quite the adventure.... this clown jumped his fury butt into a swamp pond... he mustve thought it was just more land with tall grass to run through, then splash, he was half way in!

my heart started pounding because im positive there were gators nearby.... i got him out as fast as he would leave.....
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top