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Exercise vs. energy level in the house

2051 Views 17 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  superbob76
Hello all... this my first post here.

My wife and I got a GSD that we absolutely love. She does all the things that normal puppies do (both good and bad!), sometimes it's quite trying and other times it's just so rewarding.

My question is this: She's 13 weeks old. The energy level inside the house is utterly unstoppable; bouncing all over the place, running around constantly at top speed, chasing her tail knocking over everything for 10 minutes or more, all kinds of things. Sometimes she will get so fired up that she'll be laying on her side chewing on something for 10 or 15 minutes and then she'll start "running" in place on her side on the carpeting for several minutes. I know, GSD's have high energy, but there isn't anything we can do to keep her calm or even occupied for more than a few minutes at a time inside before she's jumping over 3 foot child gates or biting through walls (or hands). Obviously, the dog has limitless energy.

So how are you supposed to drain this energy out of her if you are limited to a relatively slow 5 minute walk at a time? The energy level is constantly this high all day long, from her 6am pee until 11:30 bedtime save for maybe 30 minutes or an hour of downtime during the day. Literally, 30 minutes of sleep.

We've taken her to the park and kicked a ball for her to chase running around the field to tire her out, but apparently even this is going to do damage to her body. We don't want to damage her joints and bones by overworking her, but unless we simply leave her locked in her cage all day and let her out only to eliminate and a few minutes of exercise she is a holy terror.

I don't want to come across as someone who didn't expect a high-energy puppy, but it seems unreasonable to expect to limit her exercise to the point where she is getting most of her energy burnt tearing around the house at top speed and jumping up on things instead of out on a walk or chasing down balls or swimming in the ocean.

I do appreciate your suggestions (especially on behalf of my wife, who is attempting to handle the puppy on her own for most of the day and is subjected to the madness). Thanks everyone!
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Welcome to the board!

Why do you think your puppy cannot go for walks, swim and chase balls? A tired puppy is a good puppy! I don't mean that you need to take her jogging or make her fetch a ball up and down the stairs but she absolutely needs more exercise, socializing and training.
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Puppy Zoomies!

I don't subscribe to the thinking that puppies have to be coddled to protect their joints.

Certainly, you don't want to tie a leash to a puppy and go on a forced march, or, worse, a bike ride with a pup in tow.

But if allowed to go at their own pace, a puppy can do a lot!

Get that puppy out of the house and into a park and let her run, chase a ball, stop to pee, eat a flower, chase a butterfly, chase you---all this at her own pace. If she wants to stop, let her. When she seems pooped, take her home for a nap.

But you are correct--5 minutes a day of slow walking is not NEARLY enough activity to wear out a puppy. And a tired pup is a good pup.

BTW--Welcome! You've hit the jackpot here on GSD info. Most of us could never have made it without this site.
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My Zeus is a little over three months, roughly the same age. He goes for a ten-fifteen minute walk, twice a day. I think the general rule of thumb is that you can walk a pup as far as you want but you can't run or jog. The puppy will usually lay down or try to if it gets tired. If you feel a 10-15 minute walk is too much for her, you could certainly give a a five minute break in between, or even just power walk her for 5-10 minutes.

That being said, inside the house in between walks you can play fetch with her inside the home, or outside on soft surfaces. It's okay to run around playing fetch for a few minutes on soft surfaces, but hard surfaces will hurt those growing joints.
Originally Posted By: GSDOwner2008I think the general rule of thumb is that you can walk a pup as far as you want ...
if you are prepared to carry her back
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Wow there are a lot of people who read this board! Great to see!

Our pup will go non-stop on a leash for a very very long time, over an hour. And that's not us dragging her along either, that's with her trying to run at full speed out front at a pace that would quickly tire my wife and I out if we were to actually try to match that pace.

At the park, if there are other dogs there, she will chase other dogs and actively try to get them to run around for longer than we can spend there. It's just amazing how much energy this puppy has. Should we "cut her off" even though she still has loads of energy? At this point she's getting at least three walks a day plus an hour in the park either chasing a ball or chasing dogs, and she still goes nuts within 30 minutes or so of getting home.

Thanks everyone!
Do you have a treadmill?

Lol, just kidding, although I have seen people use them. If you can, just walk her around your neighborhood, maybe walking 1 hour at a time? If I were you, I would let her romp around the park until she gets tired, that would probably take a lot of time, but at least when you got home you'd have a calm pup! My Zeus is this way, after his walk around the neighborbood, which is probably a 20-30 minute walk, he's super tired, so we let him rest, and after he rests for a bit he's up and wanting to play some more!

You know what's really sad? When both the dogs are walked together and they get home, panting heavily, laying on the cool tile on their sides, and they're still trying to wrestle with each other! I wonder if Zeus ever really gets tired sometimes.
Originally Posted By: GSDOwner2008....but you can't run or jog.
You can run or long as you do it on soft surfaces and it's not a forced exercises with you pulling on a leash.

Swimming would be an excellent excercise and tons of fun.

The key is to avoid exercise and things that put stress on the joints, such as jumping.

But get out there and let her do her thing.

Originally Posted By: RobertM Should we "cut her off" even though she still has loads of energy?
You are the one in charge. You need to determine start and finish-while keeping the eye on the puppy's well being. Chances are good the puppy will outlast you so you will need to determine when to go to quiet time. But if you get more exercise with your pup, the quiet times will come easier-even if it's shortlived.

Make as much of the puppy time as possible-it's short lived.

And get that camera out! The people here who read also love pictures!

You might want to put your general area in your profile. That way as you look for places and other places, people in your area can make better recommendations for places to go.

to the board. You will enjoy it here.
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Since Jesse was 8 weeks old what we did was walk him 3 times a day every time we saw puppy hyper moments, we put a leash on him and went for a good walk for about 15-20 minutes every time, some rare days he ended up getting 4 walks a day. Now that he is 7.5 months his energy level has kicked up a notch and it is summer time he gets 2 good walks a day morning and evening and swimming in the afternoons. Daycare 2 days a week for 7 hours each to play with 20-25 dogs in warehouse environment that is monitor by doggy nannies. We also play fetch with him
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Originally Posted By: GSD07Welcome to the board!

Why do you think your puppy cannot go for walks, swim and chase balls? A tired puppy is a good puppy! I don't mean that you need to take her jogging or make her fetch a ball up and down the stairs but she absolutely needs more exercise, socializing and training.
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Masi is 11 wks old and is an energizer bunny:))) We go for daily walks, go visit friends with other dogs , and she gets alot of play time outside (supervised of course) with my other dogs,,Especially my aussie Jynx, who is missing loads of neck fur I might add, but it definately wears her out.

Masi takes probably one nap during the day, ( I need to do things so she's crated for a couple hours mid day) but otherwise pretty engaged in being a "puppy" :)))

She's also got one of those huge indestructible balls, that she is obsessed with, that tires her out :)))

I definately agree with GSDo7..
Exercise is VITAL for a puppy to grow normally (and so we don't go insane!)

Here's a site showing how important it is:

And here's a day out with my 16 week old GSD puppy...

2 mile offleash walk with friends, my 2 dogs and THEIR 2 dogs...


Hey mom, why are you way over there????

And she had NO problem with the 2 miles to go back to the car!

BTW, at over 4 yrs old, she seems to have made it well thru all the exercise...

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Il ove the energy your dog displays. You did not mention anythiong about the dog destroying stuff, like your fiurniture.

My only suggestion. If you can, take the dog swimming, about 30 -45 minutes wil lcalm the dog down a bit
Originally Posted By: GSD07
Originally Posted By: GSDOwner2008I think the general rule of thumb is that you can walk a pup as far as you want ...
if you are prepared to carry her back
Been there, done that
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Enjoy your puppy!

Just use common sense.

They're a bit, no, a lot like kindergardeners. They don't know when to quit.

So just play and watch for signs of fatigue, or, this time of year, overheating. And, like others have said, soft surface and watch the jumping.

Puppies love balls, and free romping around the grass.

Now that you can relax a bit, take time to post photos of your baby playing.
I agree with Luca_sil and others, you should not be overly worried about 'damaging' your puppy by letting her run, jump, and play as hard as she wants. Just use common sense with activities. Avoid games that make her stop abruptly and turn quickly too much (i.e. when throwing a ball, try to make it so she can catch the ball in stride and not have to stop short, etc.)

The treadmill comment someone made shouldn't be considered a joke either - if you have one, teach her to use it!

Welcome aboard, and best of luck!
Oh, your post has brought back memories ... I didn't think we'd make it through the first couple of years! We found that the only way to really tire her out was to take her to the dog park and let her run with the other dogs. We did this every day for one hour. (I didn't know anything about stressing the joints, and we had no problems.) Twice a week, I would drop her off at doggie day care for 1/2 day. There was a swimming pool there that she loved to play in. Things to chew also helped in expending energy.

It's amazing what a difference an evening at home would be if she had gotten a good amount of exercise vs. not. If she hadn't, she wouldn't leave us alone. Up, down, up, down, bring the ball, chase the tail in circles ... it was exhausting. But if she had gotten her exercise, we could kick back and watch TV or read, and all would be calm.

It helps when they get a little older and more proficient at coming when called. We'll hike in the local mountains, and I'll just let her off the leash. She'll run up the trail and back to us and up the trail and back to us. By the time we're done, she's gone twice or more the distance that we have.

Good look in finding what works for you, and enjoy your new puppy!!
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Thanks for all the replies!

We've just been taking her back over to the park and having her run around either by chasing a thrown tennis ball or a kicked soccer ball. On the walk back, there's a big sand playground that she loves to run around in at top speed until she runs over to us, digs a hole, and lays down in it, just totally wiped out. We've also taken her to the beach and let her swim... she was a bit nervous at first but after she figured out that nothing bad was happening to her she would swim back and forth between us.

As requested, I've got a few pictures. These are actually from 2 or 3 weeks ago, I've got to get the newer ones up.

*edit - Yes, she really did just hop into that baby carriage on her own. I guess she was done walking at that point!
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