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Our male GSD is 7 years old and lately he's been spending most of his time lying down. The last time they brought him to the vet, the vet said that his hind legs were starting to get weak, which was common with GSDs (I gathered that from looking around the net and this forum too), and that he should get a lot of exercise.

I let my dog sleep in my room during the night. I let him in at around 10pm and at 5am he wakes me up to be let out, so that's about 7 hours of lying around in my room. It's a habit that we're both used to. My sister has been telling me to leave him outside so he can walk/run around during the night if he wants to, and that me letting him stay inside during the night might be contributing to the problem with his hind legs.

Is that true? I'm completely clueless here so I would appreciate some feedback. I'm going to go see the vet tomorrow and I'll ask about it but I'd like to see what you guys think as well.
 

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I don't know that much about DM, but what I have read says regular exercise combined with rest is important. Walking, swimming etc.. to build muscle and rest to allow muscles repair and grow. If your dog gets regular exercise each day then 7 hours of down time sounds good to me, but again I'm no expert. Hopefully someone with experience will come along.
 

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I highly doubt having him in at nite will contribute to his problem. The majority of dogs sleep at nite, sick or otherwise.

Swimming is a good muscle tone builder, low impact. Walking, hiking, I would also consult with a chiro/acupuncurist which he may benefit from..Laser therapy as well.
 
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