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Ok, so my Pepper is 5.5 months old, and EXTREMELY energetic. More so than any puppy I’ve ever owned. I cannot tire her out with just play, even with a flirt pole, and she quickly gets bored with fetch. So, I have to resort to other things.

Three days a week, she goes to daycare. Playing with the other dogs all day gets her good and tired, and she loves being there.

For the other four, I’ve been using a combination of my local dog park, and a dog friendly pond/lake for swimming. Swimming is my preference, gets her exhausted and is easy on the joints.

However, some days, the dog park and pond are vacant, and she doesn’t like to play by herself. Plus, it’s getting too cold to swim. So I’ve been starting her on hiking. We stick to easy trails, and we hike on dirt paths only, no rocks or asphalt. I monitor her carefully for any signs of getting tired or sore, but she’s been perfectly fine, happy and bouncy the whole time, even trying to run towards the end (I don’t let her). I keep it less than two miles, and we average a slow pace of 40 minutes even for that. I don’t really consider it forced exercise, because she WANTS to keep going. Even fusses a bit when it’s time to go home.

Is this ok? I know she’s young to be hiking. I take the best care I can of her joints. I didn’t let her climb stairs until 16 weeks, and I give her a glucosamine treat every night (vet says it’s fine). Both parents and all four grandparents had strong, healthy hips, so no genetic risk of hip problems.

Is this ok to continue as long as we keep our pace and distance short, and I carefully monitor her?
 

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EVERYTHING has to do with physical exhaustion how about MENTAL STIMULATION... She is @ the correct age for discipline. With all that energy you may very well have your work cut out for you...
 

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I took my 5 month old puppy hiking, usually about 3 1/2 miles or so, it's good for them! I think where people say to use caution is where you're running long distances on-leash, or forcing the puppy to run or walk after they're showing signs of fatigue. If your puppy is still wanting to run near the end of your hike, she's fine!
 

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She's not too young for hiking, I'd say. Mine has been hiking since around the same age. As Tim said, it's constant, structured running that is discouraged for young pups. As for hiking, or playing in the park, the pup may choose to stop whenever she must. Even during hiking.
 

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My puppies are 6 months old. My male Odin is extremely entergetic. I found what tires him out the most is physically and also mentally stimulating him at the same time.

We have a pretty big dog park in our condos and it’s usually empty.

I will walk around the dog park while playing fetch and also using commands.

So I will tell him down, throw the ball and then start to walk off. I’ll give him the come command and he comes to me wherever I am, then the drop it command. Tell him down or sit again and then throw the ball and repeat.

I find this really helps.

Or for mental and physical Exercise at the same time we play hide and seek. When he’s off doing whatever he is doing I’ll run behind a bush or something then call his name. I can see him through the bush looking around and I’ll keep calling him till he finds me.

Some days when it’s both him and sister, that’s usually enough because she’s really annoying and is constantly chasing him. So he gets worn out by running away from her.

He also likes jogging by my side on and off leash and I always let him set the pace if we do. We usually just run at the dog park when no one is there and he chases me.

We are constantly playing at home too. Fetch with a huge soft chuck it ball (yes in my condo). Tug. Or I’ll just start giving him commands to follow.

He’s constantly in my face so I’m always having to do something to get his energy out or else he starts to be extra whiny and needy.
 

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Major, a 90#, one year old male, still gets the zoomies. His battery never seems to run down. I've seen him play with my son's dogs until they are so exhausted they collapse. I'm told things will get better in a year or so - keeping my fingers crossed.
 

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I've been taking my pup on easy hikes since he was 3 months old, he loves it and I truly believe it's great for them. Going over varied terrain really teaches them body awareness and what to do with those oversized paws, not to mention the treasure trove of tantalizing scents and sights! I take my other two dogs along as well and there's just something about running free in a pack that does something for their soul. I believe, anyways! It's important to not overdo it, go at their pace and take little breaks. We do about a two to two and a half mile hike that takes us through mountains, a fall, and two excellent swimming ponds. Perfect for everyone which includes my now 5 month old GSD, 2 year old Dobe/GSD, and 10 year old pit bull. Plus it is MUCH more fun than running on a sidewalk anyway!

I forgot to mention that hide and seek is a favorite game for the two boys, my old lady pit prefers to supervise hehe. I also do TREASURE HUNTS which they all equally indulge in, they must sit in a separated room and wait til I'm finished hiding treats around the house and tell them go. Brinks my dobie mix is the best at it so I usually have to give a couple hints to the other two.
 

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Taking to the trails is one of the first things I did with max and Luna when young pups often off leash. Photo of Luna was a pup with max and topper -her second day home helped them get all use to each other and then max has a pup with topper in the trails. Both winter pups.When max was pup we got him last week of December and that winter the entire ground was covered with snow and ice so glad his paws got to hit the fallen pines and ground as soon as they did. He learned how to pull a light sled when a pup. We also did agility tunnels, hide n seek, learned cool things on YouTube for pups to keep busy.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've been taking my pup on easy hikes since he was 3 months old, he loves it and I truly believe it's great for them. Going over varied terrain really teaches them body awareness and what to do with those oversized paws, not to mention the treasure trove of tantalizing scents and sights! I take my other two dogs along as well and there's just something about running free in a pack that does something for their soul. I believe, anyways! It's important to not overdo it, go at their pace and take little breaks. We do about a two to two and a half mile hike that takes us through mountains, a fall, and two excellent swimming ponds. Perfect for everyone which includes my now 5 month old GSD, 2 year old Dobe/GSD, and 10 year old pit bull. Plus it is MUCH more fun than running on a sidewalk anyway!

I forgot to mention that hide and seek is a favorite game for the two boys, my old lady pit prefers to supervise hehe. I also do TREASURE HUNTS which they all equally indulge in, they must sit in a separated room and wait til I'm finished hiding treats around the house and tell them go. Brinks my dobie mix is the best at it so I usually have to give a couple hints to the other two.
Wow, that looks like a GORGEOUS hike. I’d love to keep Pepper off leash, but I live in the Maryland-Delaware area, and all the best hiking areas (except one, and even then in limited areas) are very strict about dogs being on-leash. I’m technically breaking the rules by using a 24 foot flexi, the leash is supposed to be 6 feet long. I’d much rather have her off-leash like yours. Looks more natural and free.
 

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Taking to the trails is one of the first things I did with max and Luna when young pups often off leash. Photo of Luna was a pup with max and topper -her second day home helped them get all use to each other and then max has a pup with topper in the trails. Both winter pups.When max was pup we got him last week of December and that winter the entire ground was covered with snow and ice so glad his paws got to hit the fallen pines and ground as soon as they did. He learned how to pull a light sled when a pup. We also did agility tunnels, hide n seek, learned cool things on YouTube for pups to keep busy.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Gorgeous pups! We’re looking forward to winter hikes here. Pepper was born in May, and she’s never seen snow before. I can’t wait to see how she reacts.
 

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I took my 5 month old puppy hiking, usually about 3 1/2 miles or so, it's good for them! I think where people say to use caution is where you're running long distances on-leash, or forcing the puppy to run or walk after they're showing signs of fatigue. If your puppy is still wanting to run near the end of your hike, she's fine!
Shadow has been hiking since I got her! At 2-3 weeks old I would let her harass the other dogs for a few minutes and then carry her until she got squirmy. I never let her walk for more then a few minutes at a time. By 4 months she was up to a couple of miles or so. If she got tired then we rested. I kept an eye on distance from the truck, and on at least one occasion I carried her sleepy self back.
I to exercise growing pups on their terms. No forced marches, no high impact.
 

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Thank you! I’m lucky where I live offers so much in the way of outdoor recreation, but it’s also one of the main reasons I chose to move here. I live in the Blue Ridge foothills, upstate SC but also frequent western NC. That particular preserve I take them to where they run off leash has very low traffic, you basically have to know about it to know about it hehe. We do rarely run into people, all three have great recalls and i clip them onto leads when we do encounter others on the trail.
 

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Thank you! I’m lucky where I live offers so much in the way of outdoor recreation, but it’s also one of the main reasons I chose to move here. I live in the Blue Ridge foothills, upstate SC but also frequent western NC. That particular preserve I take them to where they run off leash has very low traffic, you basically have to know about it to know about it hehe. We do rarely run into people, all three have great recalls and i clip them onto leads when we do encounter others on the trail.
I need to work on Pepper’s recall some more. If we’re inside, free of distractions, it’s perfect. Outside, especially if there’s something interesting nearby, not so much. But she’s still a baby. All we can do is practice.
 
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