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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone...

This weekend several friends and I are going to be camping in central PA just outside Rickets Glenn State Park. We will, of course, be bringing along our 7 moth old GSD Frisco (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/introductions-welcome-mat/276474-howdy-south-jersey.html) and our 11 mo old female GSD/border collie mix. We also plan to hike the majestic waterfall trails inside the park, and I'm curious: Is Frisco too young for the hike?

It's about a 5 mile loop with a slight elevation climb (a very easy trail by human standards). I just wanted to get some advice before heading out this weekend. Frisco gets plenty of daily exercise (at least 2 mile walks each day) and is definitely in shape. Do you think a hike like this will be okay?

Any and all advice is welcomed!
 

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He's definitely not too young for the hike! My dog Chama went on her first backpacking trip when she was 3 months old and started 5 mile hikes at 8 weeks old. She lived to be 14 years old and continued to enjoy hikes well into her old age. Have fun and be sure to take plenty of water for them.

I like this water bottle: H2O4K9 - The water bottle for dogs.
 

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Thanks for the reply! I was hoping that was the case. Figured I may have been worrying needlessly. He's gonna love it.
 

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Jack,
I am sure the previous answer is OK, for the average Dog GSD as a pet... You might be just fine, and can take your chances.. HOWEVER..... I am going to Breed, not my Show dogs but Black Working Dog sort, and I have a 6 mo/ 3 week old Male, and a three month old female. First of all my 6 mo almost 7 month old, is big, like going about 77 lbs, but I need good hip and elbow scores at 12 months old to Breed them. His growth is slowed down a bit on the RAW diet..

Here is the problem: Any extreme extended or repetitive exercise, hour throwing a ball, 5 mile hikes, bike riding alongside running, any extreme extended or repetitive exercise CAN stretch out the hip sockets and elbow joints as they have not hardened up yet... Mine will not be jumping out of or into the truck (built an alloy ramp) or will lift assist. Shorter walks, extended play with same sized dogs using all muscle groups, short ball fetch sessions a half dozen or ten goes, that sort of thing is great. Play with other dogs in my larger dog runs, of the same size, using all the muscles in their bodies is actually good for them. What I have learned comes from other Breeders and my own experience, and my advice is that to be on the safe side, I WOULD NOT do long hikes with a young puppy. Seven Months is young!!

These dogs are very large, and it is too easy to forget how young they are. Those soft cartiledge joints do not really harden up until 12 months. For me, caution rules, and I will not push the boundries... I did the wrong things like this with my oversized Show Dog Dakota, and now at 10 y.o. he is on anti-imflammatory drugs for hip and elbow dysplasia:(. He is back to frollicking like a puppy and happy, but the drugs will no doubt shorten his life. With my new Working Dogs sorts, I am not going to forget how young they really are, and will curtail any longer term repetitive exercise until they hit that hard joint 12 month mark...

He is your best friend, you can take your chances, but not sure I would go that far. They look big, but at 7 months they are still BABIES... :wild::wub:

Kind regards, GSD Lover in Oz...
 

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There is not one shred of evidence that taking a 7 month old german shepherd on a 5 mile hike will harm them. There are very responsible breeders on here who hike with their puppies.
 

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Not a breeder, but we hike with our 8 month old dog and have been hiking with him since about 5 months. The hikes have gotten longer as he's grown, but he enjoys them a TON!
 

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Well, you may well all of you be right... But my 10 year old is dying of hip and elbow displaysia, because I let him go too hard and too young...

I am now maybe being over cautious... HOWEVER, the caution comes from Breeders of a larger Working Dog sort, and they have very low hip and elbow scores. Since I have a ten year old, that has the stretched sockets and joints, and further I want to breed this larger Working Dog sort, I am erring on the side of caution.

My puppies play all day, play and sleep, and I will not add to that 5-7 mile sort of 10 kilometre mountain hikes on top... That kind of a hike for us might be that length, but with them on the run around and sniff and chase, and blast about it could be 10 miles long or more...

You all do what you want, but I wish I had erred on the side of caution with Dakota my Alpha Male dying, living in pain on medication with joint dysplasia that I most likely contributed to by letting him go along on things like this when he is young. Maybe I am too cautious, maybe my Breeders are too cautious and want to insure low hip and joint scores... But I wish I had erred on caution side with my 10 year old. My advice stands. A 5 mile hike could be 10-15 mile for a young dog that looks large but is still a baby at 7 months.

Cody yelped this morning, and when let out did not want to play with the other dogs.... My heart goes out to him, even though healthy on the RAW diet now, the damage to the joints is already done and it makes me very sad. :(

I wish someone had taken the time with me, to do what I have done here trying to help. For a few extra months of caution, I could have many more years of a healthy Dog...

Kind regards, and good luck...
 
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