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Per the thread title, I'm quite out of shape and I'd like to start working with my dog to get in better shape and to give him more activity, as our 2-3 mile walks don't seem to be enough!

Before I purchased my GSD I did a lot of research and most of what I found said that you should avoid running with a GSD until they are at some magical age (I've heard anywhere from 12 months to 24 months) and then they're ok to go for up to 2-3 miles. From what I read, it says that this activity is hard on their hips and can cause them damage.

From my perspective, when I take my dog to the dog park on days when he really needs some exercise, I think he bolts (sprints is too light a word) for at least an hour straight. At a very conservative 8MPH, that is 8 miles of running, jumping, tackling, dodging, nipping, slobbering, and general bliss. In reality, I think it's more like 10-12 miles.

Meanwhile, me, at <too heavy a weight to mention> can walk 3 miles and am either bored or tired and want to stop. I'd like to change this, and I'd like to think my dog could keep me company. I can go in 1/4 to 1/2 mile light jogging "sprints" until I have to stop and walk. Personally? I think my dog would be fine for distances of 1 miles to 4 miles, even. But I'd really like the opinions of anyone out there who's either run with a GSD or gotten in shape through the happy ownership of a GSD. Thanks for the tips and God Bless - happy easter.
 

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I know what ya can do. Get another GSD!:) The exercise will all be taken care of while you sit there and watch while they never get tired of romping around with each other - wadya think:)
 

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Start out with long walks with your pup until you arent tired at all with the distance then go to jogging short distances and when you get comfortable with that, set a new goal to jog until that goal is easy and just keep kicking your goal up a notch when you attain it :) also i love pilates great for core training. There are tons of dvds on it :) i used it when i was in ballet to strengthen. Good luck and go with what works and feels the best for you :)

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What about getting yourself a bike? That would be a great way to exhaust your dog while also building up your strength as well.

Since you are already going on 2-3 mile walks maybe try making them into walk/jog intervals to build up your capacity. But this still won't completely exhaust your dog.


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In addition to my daily 2 miles in the neighborhood I am doing a daily 1 mile offlead and off trail walk in the woods. I have a loop that is in a safe area and I figure he runs and trots at about 4 to 5 miles during that time. I worked with him for offlead reliability since day 1 though.

Planning to buy a treadmill for him for this summer. We also play a good bit of fetch.
 

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I followed a couch to 5k app on my phone going from completely sedentary and the opposite of athletic to running a 5k this past October . I highly recommend it! Or the suggestion to get a second dog is spot on too! Lol
 

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I did the couch to 5k program on my phone. It worked great. I didn't take Freyja with me as I was training. I tried the first day but when I went from a jog to a walk she was less than willing to stop.
 

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"and then they're ok to go for up to 2-3 miles. From what I read, it says that this activity is hard on their hips and can cause them damage."

Nonsense.
 

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I wouldn't get a second dog. You will find it too easy to stay on the couch while letting the dogs entertain themselves, and they will then focus on each other for companionship leaving you as the third wheel. You need to be the focus of your dog's existence.

Stop worrying about your dog's hips. Based on your description of your physical state and the dog's activity at the dog park there is no way you will out-exercise your dog. That hip discussion is really for younger dogs still developing and dedicated human runners who might overdo it.

Kudos to you for wanting to get into shape, and to take your dog with you! One thing that is guaranteed--once you start that routine with him, he will be the best running buddy ever. He will remember when that time of day comes for the run, and will plant himself in front of you and stare you down until you get up and grab the leash!

Just set the pace, distance, etc. for you--the dog will keep up and be just fine. Please come back and post and let us know how it turns out!
 

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Swimming is another excellent way to exercise, if you're close to water or have a pool.
That's pretty much all my puppy can do when it gets too hot during the summer.
 

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Gradually work up to jogging most of that distance with your dog....then gradually add more distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds like you all don't think I have that much to worry about. While I'd like to get a second dog, that's just too much dog!

We'll start running today.
 

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There is no reason a healthy adult GSD could not run with you. Mine does. Remember, the AD, endurance test in Schutzhund, is 12 miles. It is something you need to both get in shape for, but it us totally doable.


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Does your GSD have ball drive? Get one of those tennis ball launchers or a rope Kong or similar toy... I have one of those pimple balls on a piece of fire hose... my guy is a natural retriever and can chase it for hours:



It tough as advertised and typically lasts 4-5 months. Two or three 15-20 minute sessions a day mean he's exercised, I can stay dry under the deck, and my lawn gets aerated! Makes for a decent workout for me, too! (check out this vid) http://youtu.be/bwXvfdM6G9M
 

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WD easily does a 7 mile hike. I do 7 miles, he probably 10. He is 14 months old and it doesn't face him at all. I have also started biking with him for about 2 miles several times a week.
2 - 3 miles with a healthy one-year old is a piece of cake.
 
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