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Hey guys! As a new and first time GSD owner I’m back with more questions! I’ve been trying to find a solid answer for how much exercise my pup needs, but I can’t seem to find something that gives a pretty clear answer. I’m deathly afraid of overworking her and hurting her, so I was wondering how much she should actually be exercising? She turns 7 months January 18th. She’s never chewed or really shown signs of being bored and is over all a pretty calm dog but I want to make sure she’s getting her exercise requirements.
We usually play fetch 30 minutes in the morning and fetch again when I get home from work for about 30-45 minutes or we go for an hour walk. On the weekends we usually go to a nature park and walk and she’ll sleep the rest of the day. Is this too much? Or not enough?
Any help is appreciated!
 

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The reason it's hard to get a definitive answer is that dog's energy levels vary so much. IMHO a bare minimum is 30 minutes to an hour a day, running, exploring, or actively playing (fetch, tug, etc.) off leash. I've never been a big fan of just walking a dog, as it really doesn't exercise the dog much (though they do love exploring, even at that pace!).

That being said, my pup was going on 3+ mile hikes with me from about 5 months on, and because she was constantly running ahead and back and to the side and all around, for her it was probably at least 8 miles! So for her walking a couple miles wouldn't have seemed like exercise, it would have been a good prelude to exercise!

I don't think you should worry too much about over exercising your puppy, as long as it's not forced exercise, as in taking her out for a 10 mile run with no breaks even when she shows signs of fatigue. Or repetitive jumping, or something along those lines. If your puppy spends a fair amount of downtime sleeping, and isn't showing any signs of boredom, chances are she's getting adequate exercise.
 

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I don't think there is any specific "right amount" of exercise. This depends on the individual dog and lifestyle you have as an owner. If you increase the amount exercise then chances are your dog will come to expect this, so as long as you can consistently provide the same amount of exercise and stimulation then the sky is the limit I suppose! My girl is 11 months and would not be satisfied with the amount of exercise you provide, but if your dog is calm and does not seem to have any boredom related behaviors, then I don't see any real problem.

The main thing to avoid at this age would be jumping from heights or excessive diving around that might cause injury or wear, but as long as it's safe there is no real reason to limit exercise. Make sure that the diet / exercise balance maintains your girl at a lean body condition, this would be the primary concern for overall health.
 

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I don’t if I posted this in the right place or not but I just brought my new German Shepherd home 2 days ago. He’s about 5 months old and he’s super skidish and he only wants to be in my bed room or in his kennel. If you take him out anywhere else he'll just run to one of the spots and hide. And with him doing that he barely eats or drinks and it’s hard to work with him and train him. I haven’t even got him leash trained yet because of this. I’m in need of help!
 

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Exercise needs for almost 7 month olde

Like mentioned above it totally depends on your lifestyle.

For us we take our dogs outside off leash to our condo’s dog park once a day 5-6 days a week for anywhere from 30-1hr. (The dog park is a pretty big size and has up & down hill sections with dirt & grass areas plus a walkng path that’s about a mile loop. 9/10 it’s either empty when we go or it’s the same dogs there).

We usually go on a long lead hike about once a week. There isn’t many off leash areas where I live. (Surbs in southern Cali). Plus I still don’t trust them 100% off leash if not in an enclosed area. We are working on that.


We also play inside throughout the day. Hide and seek with the ball. My fiancé wrestles with them. The pups also play together a lot. And little training sessions.

We have outside time on our patio where they chew on their elk antlers on the patio while I read or we people/dog watch.


We also try to provide a lot of mental stimulation as well.

They have their elk antlers they get 3x a day for small Periods is time (like while I’m reading in bed at night, every morning after breakfast before their nap, and usually while I’m watching tv). I will feed them one meal in their Kong’s as well.

I have also started to teach them each a new command (like spin or back up) and we will practice it periodically throughout the day. We took a break with learning new stuff for about a month while we desensitized Layla to dogs and worked on their structed walking leash skills.


They’re are 9 months now. Our first snow trip is planned for next month. And our first beach trip shortly after to get them ready for the beach visits in the summer.
 

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I forgot to mention to also use the flirt pole when the dog park is empty or even inside (we have very open living room/dining with just a couch and tv)
 

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Don't forget that while physical exercise is good and necessary, mental exercise can also tire and dog and satisfy his need to not be bored. If you combine play with training it's great for them. 10 minute training sessions in the evenings are good to do.

"A good dog is a tired dog". Your dog's behavior will tell you if he's getting enough exercise/stimulation.

On rainy weekends, when our 1 yr old dog can't (doesn't want to) get out much, he's needy and restless.

On nice weekends, after a 5 mi walk in the AM, he'll sleep most of the rest of the day.
 

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As a newbie to this -presently looking for a pup can I ask how much training can a 10 week old pup have and how does that amount contribute to his exercise needs?
 

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Your dog is always learning. Reward what you like, correct problem behaviors. Just because you don't think you are "training" doesn't mean your puppy isn't learning.

Your second question is impossible to answer. What type of training? 2 ball to teach a solid retrieve and out? Absolutely. Sitting in the front yard learning to be calm as kids ride bicycles past? Not so much.
 

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A great deal of how much a dog at any age can do depends on weather conditions. We live in South Florida where it's hot most of the year & even hotter the rest of the year and my 7 month old GSD is very sensitive to the heat. So for us it's not the amount of exercise that limits our activity with him it's the temperature. I walk him every day for at least 40 minutes sometimes twice a day but until it gets a little cooler we won't be doing more. Anyhow we have read that puppy exercise should be limited to 5 minutes per month of age until they mature. I don't know if that is right or if it applies to all dogs but to be on the safe side we follow that advice. Our pup is mid to high level active & its impossible to keep him loose inside the house for very long because he can drive us nuts so he spends a lot of time inside his indoor pen. It would be great if we could work him to the point where he will spend some time sleeping during the day but until it gets cooler we won't be pushing him too much.
 

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At about 7 months, Juno (female; 55 lbs) was doing approx the same time of exercise, but probably in four time slots. 4 x 20 minutes with some breaks and some intense fetch. We also trained about 4 - 5 per day in 5 min intervals. Outings every three days, long or short.

At 9 months, we do more fetch over longer distances, and some tug of war etc. Juno appears happy and healthy. She sleeps well and is active and alert, so I think her needs are being met. She's always super excited to leave the house.
 

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Hey guys! As a new and first time GSD owner I’m back with more questions! I’ve been trying to find a solid answer for how much exercise my pup needs, but I can’t seem to find something that gives a pretty clear answer. I’m deathly afraid of overworking her and hurting her, so I was wondering how much she should actually be exercising? She turns 7 months January 18th. She’s never chewed or really shown signs of being bored and is over all a pretty calm dog but I want to make sure she’s getting her exercise requirements.
We usually play fetch 30 minutes in the morning and fetch again when I get home from work for about 30-45 minutes or we go for an hour walk. On the weekends we usually go to a nature park and walk and she’ll sleep the rest of the day. Is this too much? Or not enough?
Any help is appreciated!

One thing to be aware of - because GSD dogs are at risk for hip dysplasia, it's not a good idea to walk them for more than 5 minutes per month of age while they are puppies. So for a 7 month old dog, if you are taking her on a leashed walk, it should be limited to 35 minutes or less. If she is off leash, you can increase the time somewhat because she can take breaks to rest when she needs to. Also, avoid anything that might put too much pressure on her joints such as jumping from a high surface.

With my 6 month old puppy, I gave him enough exercise by splitting up play sessions into several throughout the day. So I'd walk him for half an hour first thing, have 4-5 short (10 minute) play sessions throughout the day and then another 30 minute walk in the evening. He got enough exercise and also some attention throughout the day but without stressing his joints. Sometimes instead of the morning walk I'd take him to the dog park - when we did that, we'd go for about 40 minutes.
 

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One thing to be aware of - because GSD dogs are at risk for hip dysplasia, it's not a good idea to walk them for more than 5 minutes per month of age while they are puppies. So for a 7 month old dog, if you are taking her on a leashed walk, it should be limited to 35 minutes or less. If she is off leash, you can increase the time somewhat because she can take breaks to rest when she needs to. Also, avoid anything that might put too much pressure on her joints such as jumping from a high surface.

With my 6 month old puppy, I gave him enough exercise by splitting up play sessions into several throughout the day. So I'd walk him for half an hour first thing, have 4-5 short (10 minute) play sessions throughout the day and then another 30 minute walk in the evening. He got enough exercise and also some attention throughout the day but without stressing his joints. Sometimes instead of the morning walk I'd take him to the dog park - when we did that, we'd go for about 40 minutes.
No offence intended at all. Just sharing my perspective. Not all dogs are the same by any means.

I have a working line pup, 4 months old. By your recommendations, he should get a couple 20 minute walks and 40-50 minutes of training time in per day. That is drastically underestimated. If Valor only got that much exercise, there would be all kinds of issues.

This morning, I went out with both GSDs for about half an hour. 3 laps around the property to get things moving. 3 laps around the obstacle course. Worked on sit stays and cursory vet exam.

Loaded up in the truck and spent 2 hours at a state park, hiking the trails, jumping over and walking along logs, fetch in the pond and up this big hill, lots of sprinting recalls. It was almost 3 miles that I walked, so the dogs did much more.

We stopped by a friend's house on the way home. He's got a huge, very clean pond that we played fetch in to rinse off, and then played fetch into the tall grass so they had to use their noses. Another hour there.

Came home. Had breakfast. Went back out in the yard to burn off after meal zoomies. He's just settling down for a nap.

He's a perfect dog inside, outside, in a store or restaurant, meeting strangers and strange dogs.

I know you are having some problems with aggressive behavior and the dog not being interested in food. Maybe some of that has to do with being bored and having pent up energy and frustration.

It's also my belief that if you don't properly exercise and environmentally socialize puppies, they are at far greater risk for injury as adults.
 
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One thing to be aware of - because GSD dogs are at risk for hip dysplasia, it's not a good idea to walk them for more than 5 minutes per month of age while they are puppies. So for a 7 month old dog, if you are taking her on a leashed walk, it should be limited to 35 minutes or less. If she is off leash, you can increase the time somewhat because she can take breaks to rest when she needs to. Also, avoid anything that might put too much pressure on her joints such as jumping from a high surface.

With my 6 month old puppy, I gave him enough exercise by splitting up play sessions into several throughout the day. So I'd walk him for half an hour first thing, have 4-5 short (10 minute) play sessions throughout the day and then another 30 minute walk in the evening. He got enough exercise and also some attention throughout the day but without stressing his joints. Sometimes instead of the morning walk I'd take him to the dog park - when we did that, we'd go for about 40 minutes.
While I do I agree you should be careful not to over exercise a young puppy, I think the times you use are far below the limit. I wouldn’t for instance, take my 6 month old with me biking, an hour hike on somewhat flat terrain is fine.
 

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No offence intended at all. Just sharing my perspective. Not all dogs are the same by any means.

I have a working line pup, 4 months old. By your recommendations, he should get a couple 20 minute walks and 40-50 minutes of training time in per day. That is drastically underestimated. If Valor only got that much exercise, there would be all kinds of issues.

This morning, I went out with both GSDs for about half an hour. 3 laps around the property to get things moving. 3 laps around the obstacle course. Worked on sit stays and cursory vet exam.

Loaded up in the truck and spent 2 hours at a state park, hiking the trails, jumping over and walking along logs, fetch in the pond and up this big hill, lots of sprinting recalls. It was almost 3 miles that I walked, so the dogs did much more.

We stopped by a friend's house on the way home. He's got a huge, very clean pond that we played fetch in to rinse off, and then played fetch into the tall grass so they had to use their noses. Another hour there.

Came home. Had breakfast. Went back out in the yard to burn off after meal zoomies. He's just settling down for a nap.

He's a perfect dog inside, outside, in a store or restaurant, meeting strangers and strange dogs.

I know you are having some problems with aggressive behavior and the dog not being interested in food. Maybe some of that has to do with being bored and having pent up energy and frustration.

It's also my belief that if you don't properly exercise and environmentally socialize puppies, they are at far greater risk for injury as adults.
I actually agree with you that all dogs need enough exercise. So do people, actually. GSD dogs in general are active dogs and not suitable for couch potatoes.

However, they are also liable for hip dysplasia, which is a painful condition. Since my dog is a rescue, I did the research to make sure I cared for him in a way that would not trigger him getting this condition.

I doubt my dog is a working line dog. My last GSD was not - she was AKC registered and I'd made sure her parents, grandparents, etc., had not had hip dysplasia. But, anyway, she was a really mellow GSD. Which meant I could give her an hour long walk each morning and then a 2-3 hour hike 2-3 times a week and she was totally chill. No behavioral issues. On days I did not hike with her after work I would play with her for about 30 minutes.

If I'd had a working line dog the situation would have been different. But I made sure NOT to get a working line dog because I was working 50 hour weeks and did not have the time to give such a dog what it needs. I currently know someone who has adopted a Belgian Malinois, and it was a horrible decision on his part. The guy is a couch potato. Not a good match.

BTW, since you have a working line dog, I assume you know the dog is not genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia since you know the dam, sire, lines, etc.

As far as my pup's aggressiveness - up to a few days ago there were no problems. I've taken him to dog parks, on walks, to visit friends, to the store - and no issues. He's been fine with other dogs, with children, with cats... but a few days ago he did start showing issues with my mother. So we started to work on that. He's been really responsive since we started to address the problem. Right now, he is a 10 month old non-neutered male. His testosterone levels are at their highest - I have read that 10 months is around the time that adolescent GSD males have the most elevated testosterone levels. I am thinking that might have something to do with his behavior. He might be testing the hierarchy? I am not planning to neuter him until he's at least 18 months since I've read that is best for large breeds.

At any rate, yesterday (as an example) I took him for an hour long hike in the woods off leash - he got to climb hills, swim, etc. Then we visited a friend of mine who also has a 10 month old puppy. The two dogs played nonstop for about 2 hours. When we got home, we did a 10 minute training session with my Mom. In the evening, he and I went for another half hour walk/play session. Most days he gets about 2 hours of good activity. I notice that he is well behaved and mellow for the most part.

Re. his lack of appetite - when I first got him, he had constant diarrhea which I think suppressed his appetite. (As a rescue, I'm not sure what his diet was like before I got him, but I did research to try to find the best diet for him that I can afford). We got that taken care of, but we live in Texas and we were dealing with 110 degree heat. Again, that did not do good things for his appetite. He is now eating better but I was still concerned he was not eating enough based on what the label of the dog food bag said. Thanks to some other people on this site, I've come to the conclusion that it's probably fine. He is lean, but it's probably better at this point for him to be a little too thin than the other situation, particularly given this breed's propensity for dysplasia, which can be exacerbated by being overweight.

Basically, I am trying to give my boy the best life possible. So far, he's an awesome dog. When I took him hiking yesterday, several people I met on the trail complimented me on how well behaved he was and could not believe he was only 10 months old. Part of this is because of his weight (he's 90 pounds) but part of this is that he just acts more mature than most puppies.

For example, when I saw another dog or a family with young children, I'd call my dog to me. At one point he was running full tilt - even so, he immediately skidded to a halt, turned around and trotted back to me.

Of course, I also think part of the reason I get compliments is that people in general do not train their dogs. I find it bizarre how many people have dogs that act like hooligans.

At any rate, feel free to offer any suggestions/advice you have. I'd rather have too much information than not enough. Just keep in mind that this is (most likely) NOT a working line dog.
 

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While I do I agree you should be careful not to over exercise a young puppy, I think the times you use are far below the limit. I wouldn’t for instance, take my 6 month old with me biking, an hour hike on somewhat flat terrain is fine.
I based my times on research I did... research into large breed puppies (Great Danes, GSD, etc.) indicates that when you walk on leash, you should keep it to about 5 minutes per month of age. But off leash times can be higher because the dog can stop and rest as needed.

So, for example, when my dog was 6 months, if I took him to an off leash park, I'd usually let him play until he let me know he was ready to go home. But if I took him for a leashed walk, I kept it around 30 minutes. I was erring on the side of caution because he's a rescue, so I have no idea if he is genetically sound when it comes to hip dysplasia.

If you've got a dog from a breeder and you know the parents, grandparents, etc., were genetically sound, then you probably have a lot more leeway. Just my thoughts. :) Everyone has to do their own research and of course we can discuss and share on here. It's always good to hear what other people have to say.
 

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I actually agree with you that all dogs need enough exercise. So do people, actually. GSD dogs in general are active dogs and not suitable for couch potatoes.

However, they are also liable for hip dysplasia, which is a painful condition. Since my dog is a rescue, I did the research to make sure I cared for him in a way that would not trigger him getting this condition.

I doubt my dog is a working line dog. My last GSD was not - she was AKC registered and I'd made sure her parents, grandparents, etc., had not had hip dysplasia. But, anyway, she was a really mellow GSD. Which meant I could give her an hour long walk each morning and then a 2-3 hour hike 2-3 times a week and she was totally chill. No behavioral issues. On days I did not hike with her after work I would play with her for about 30 minutes.

If I'd had a working line dog the situation would have been different. But I made sure NOT to get a working line dog because I was working 50 hour weeks and did not have the time to give such a dog what it needs. I currently know someone who has adopted a Belgian Malinois, and it was a horrible decision on his part. The guy is a couch potato. Not a good match.

BTW, since you have a working line dog, I assume you know the dog is not genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia since you know the dam, sire, lines, etc.

As far as my pup's aggressiveness - up to a few days ago there were no problems. I've taken him to dog parks, on walks, to visit friends, to the store - and no issues. He's been fine with other dogs, with children, with cats... but a few days ago he did start showing issues with my mother. So we started to work on that. He's been really responsive since we started to address the problem. Right now, he is a 10 month old non-neutered male. His testosterone levels are at their highest - I have read that 10 months is around the time that adolescent GSD males have the most elevated testosterone levels. I am thinking that might have something to do with his behavior. He might be testing the hierarchy? I am not planning to neuter him until he's at least 18 months since I've read that is best for large breeds.

At any rate, yesterday (as an example) I took him for an hour long hike in the woods off leash - he got to climb hills, swim, etc. Then we visited a friend of mine who also has a 10 month old puppy. The two dogs played nonstop for about 2 hours. When we got home, we did a 10 minute training session with my Mom. In the evening, he and I went for another half hour walk/play session. Most days he gets about 2 hours of good activity. I notice that he is well behaved and mellow for the most part.

Re. his lack of appetite - when I first got him, he had constant diarrhea which I think suppressed his appetite. (As a rescue, I'm not sure what his diet was like before I got him, but I did research to try to find the best diet for him that I can afford). We got that taken care of, but we live in Texas and we were dealing with 110 degree heat. Again, that did not do good things for his appetite. He is now eating better but I was still concerned he was not eating enough based on what the label of the dog food bag said. Thanks to some other people on this site, I've come to the conclusion that it's probably fine. He is lean, but it's probably better at this point for him to be a little too thin than the other situation, particularly given this breed's propensity for dysplasia, which can be exacerbated by being overweight.

Basically, I am trying to give my boy the best life possible. So far, he's an awesome dog. When I took him hiking yesterday, several people I met on the trail complimented me on how well behaved he was and could not believe he was only 10 months old. Part of this is because of his weight (he's 90 pounds) but part of this is that he just acts more mature than most puppies.

For example, when I saw another dog or a family with young children, I'd call my dog to me. At one point he was running full tilt - even so, he immediately skidded to a halt, turned around and trotted back to me.

Of course, I also think part of the reason I get compliments is that people in general do not train their dogs. I find it bizarre how many people have dogs that act like hooligans.

At any rate, feel free to offer any suggestions/advice you have. I'd rather have too much information than not enough. Just keep in mind that this is (most likely) NOT a working line dog.
My point was that I very much disagree with the exercise outlines you gave in your post. According to this post, you don't abide by them either.

I'm aware of HD and the things that cause it. I'm also aware of the ramifications of sheltering a puppy. Hence my particular suggestions. If you are interested in my take on the subject, I have a couple recent threads concerning puppy exercise and HD.

I'm glad things are going well for you and your dog.
 

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My point was that I very much disagree with the exercise outlines you gave in your post. According to this post, you don't abide by them either.

I'm aware of HD and the things that cause it. I'm also aware of the ramifications of sheltering a puppy. Hence my particular suggestions. If you are interested in my take on the subject, I have a couple recent threads concerning puppy exercise and HD.

I'm glad things are going well for you and your dog.
Thank you! :)

Actually, I DO abide by them - the guidelines are for walking ON LEASH. Off leash the rules are much more relaxed because the dog can rest as needed. So when my dog was 6 months old, I kept the leashed walks to 30 minutes or less, but if he was off leash, we exercised for longer periods. I actually still keep the leashed walks to about a half hour or less, not because I have to but because I really prefer hiking on off leash trails. It's more fun for both of us.

One thing that someone on here pointed out was that I might want to be careful though about steep elevations. The other day I was marveling at the sheer athleticism of my dog - this is one reason I love this breed - and how he jumped down an 8 foot drop like it was nothing. And someone on this site pointed out that this could be really bad in terms of his joints. So even though he seemed to enjoy it (I was carefully climbing down the side of the hill while he just leaped off the edge instead of going down the path), I'm going to avoid those really steep areas until he's older.

Live and learn, right? I am going to check out your threads. More information is always good.
 

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My point was that I very much disagree with the exercise outlines you gave in your post. According to this post, you don't abide by them either.

I'm aware of HD and the things that cause it. I'm also aware of the ramifications of sheltering a puppy. Hence my particular suggestions. If you are interested in my take on the subject, I have a couple recent threads concerning puppy exercise and HD.

I'm glad things are going well for you and your dog.
So I found one of the threads you indicated, and while I am not through the entire thread yet, one thing that I agree with - gradually building up distance.

This might be part of the reason behind the guidelines - you gradually increase the amount a dog walks on leash each month. I used to run cross country and we'd do the same thing - you don't immediately run 10 miles. You gradually increase distance, speed, etc.

Anyway, I will continue to read up everything I can. I want my dog to have a long and healthy life.

Also, sorry to hear that you've had a hip replacement, etc.
 
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