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Discussion Starter #1
I'm hoping this is the right spot for this, I checked around and it didn't seem to fit in the health section.

I was hoping someone with more GSD experience could help me verify that our dog is getting a good amount of exercise. Currently, he goes about .9 miles a day (at about 2.5-3mph) in the morning before the sun rises, but he wants to go further and he's bored. He runs in the yard, tirelessly.

He had a recurring health problem that kept him from being active for a long time, but he's clear for a normal amount of exercise. It was **** keeping him so inactive since he has tons of energy. He is 4, pretty large (90lb/not fat) from a working line. His parents and grandparents were (West?) German and had Schutzhund titles.

Any idea as to how far or long he should be walking at say, 3mph? What about 5mph? We can go 2x daily.
 

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Depending on his level of fitness you may have to build him up a bit. But if you are talking about on leash walks, I've NEVER been able to get near tiring out my adult GSD's.

Now leash off, that's different. And they've still been able to go way more MILES tearing along trails than I am. So if I do 5 miles of a trail, they are going back and forth for at least triple the distance and WAY faster much of the time.

This is my almost 12 week old and this was over 4 miles total and this was headed back to the car.


A few weeks later, longer hike with more hills and a river!


Making playdates with friends are even better!

 

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I do agree to build his level of fitness up slowly, since he has been sick and it is summer. When you have him at a good point, incorporate some training into your walks. This will keep some of boredom down.
 

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I walk mine 3-4+ miles at a time, or they run around at the park for an hour or hour and a half, chasing balls and swimming in the bay. But I have no idea how many miles per hour our leash walks are. :thinking:
 

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If you build him up, you can take him biking at least 8 miles without a problem. You will have to keep an eye on your dog and figure out when enough is enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Wow! I guess it's more dependent on me getting to his level. Originally, it wouldn't have been a problem, but from 3mo to about 3 years he was on rest and *cough* I joined him! I'll get us up there, he only recently got cleared and we've worked up from .25miles. Doesn't sound like much, but we had to start from essentially scratch with the leash (my fault, totally). We've added about .25miles a every other day, but maybe I should slow down the addition when we get to longer distances? I'll have to think about that.

I'll look up some trails for us. Thank you so much, it's nice to have an idea of what we should be doing. I knew it we needed to get to at least 3-5miles, but it's great to know more!

Edit: Thanks everyone! For the record, it wasn't an illness so much as he had stress fractures in his legs. They kept recurring from 3mo to about a year old when we put him on a very low activity schedule and a special diet. They've healed up entirely and we've spent the last year working up his activity level (via fetch and yard games) and now he can run and play like normal. He has a clean bill of health now, thankfully!
 

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I think that it depends on the surface you're on...i'm not 100% sure. I was told by my breeder that i shouldn't over do it on pavement until my dog was 1 and 1/2 and her hips were fully developed. Natural surfaces are safe (like hiking!! :-D). I really like what maggie said. When im out in the woods i can unleash my dogs and they just do their own thing while staying close by. I only do this in low traffic areas though, because I'm not sure about other obnoxious dogs. My dogs dont like being jumped on (at this point in their training, its a really bad idea)! I have a 30ft training lead for my female just in case these dogs show up. Theres just so much impact on tar...if you think about it, it really hurts your ankles to run barefoot on the sidewalk! I'm newer at this too, this is just what works for me at this point :).

Maggie: you've given so much great advice ty ty ty!!!!!!!!!
 

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My four year old mix will go for 2-3 mile runs with me in 90ish degree heat with no problem....and still have energy to run around an open field for at least a half an hour. I also found that once I started taking him running with me (around two years old for my dogs) that his energy level increased; just like a person -- if you exercise you have more energy. Trails are great too!! Although watch out for tick season if you live anywhere in the south...they're really bad this year. My male LOVES hiking and I love being able to take him hiking, although sometimes finding an empty trail (with no other dogs) can be a challenge; I like letting him off-leash but he likes to go to say 'hi' to any dog he sees.

Just build up to more exercise, don't go at a pace that's too quick for you or your dog...there is a such thing as "too much working out".
 

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Is there any place for him to swim or walk through water? We live on a lake and have two creeks that feed into it and they love running up and down the creek, jumping through the water- really wears them out.
 

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I only walk my GSD at night time, we go for about an hour to an hour and a half and we walk 2-3 miles a night
 

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I walk Miya 3 miles daily split between two walks in the morning and evening rain, snow or shine. If it is summer time, I try to walk her early in the morning and late in the evening as she is solid black and she warms up quickly. If it is winter time, I wear a headlamp in the dark to be visible and ice cleats for grip on unshovelled sidewalks. I also throw in some tug time, fetch, and obedience to wear her mind out a bit more.
 

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Depending on his level of fitness you may have to build him up a bit. But if you are talking about on leash walks, I've NEVER been able to get near tiring out my adult GSD's.

Now leash off, that's different. And they've still been able to go way more MILES tearing along trails than I am. So if I do 5 miles of a trail, they are going back and forth for at least triple the distance and WAY faster much of the time.

This is my almost 12 week old and this was over 4 miles total and this was headed back to the car.

YouTube - Glory B (11 wks) and Bretta Lee (5 yrs) Hiking in the Woods

A few weeks later, longer hike with more hills and a river!

YouTube - German Shepherd puppy hiking in the Poconos

Making playdates with friends are even better!

YouTube - Hiking the Poconos w/Friends and their dogs
I love seeing the GSD running in the forest like that! And playing in the water how fun! I will let my Onyx run off leash also on our morning walks through the potato fields he loves it. When we get home after an hour walk he is tired and ready for a nap. :groovy:
 
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