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Discussion Starter #1
Taedyn is 6 years old, and I believe it's totally possible for me to over exercise her.

This is my daily routine:
* One mile walk
* Play catch
* Lay in the office at work for 8 hours
* One mile walk
* Maybe play catch
* Light playing, training and resting the evening away

There are times, though, that playing catch totally wipes her out. She'll be so tired she can't eat, and will lay around panting for an hour or more. I'm interpreting this as a bad thing, so I'm trying to avoid getting her to that state. Am I correct in my assumption?

However, I'm not predicting the correct stop time. What are some signals that enough is enough? I try to stop when she starts jogging instead of sprinting to catch the ball, but that may be too late. Are there any other signals that they're getting too tired?

I bring water out with us, but it's somewhat difficult to get her to drink it because she just wants to focus on the task at hand. She will drink on command, though, so I try to regularly tell her to drink.
 

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I don't know every dog is different
if you walk her before work don't walk after and just play catch
just a suggestion
 

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Is she overweight??? Where do you live, is it really warm/hot there? GSDs have thick coats so maybe she is just getting too warm and that is why she is panting like crazy.
I don't think you can ever overexercise an adult GSD. A puppy for sure, but not an adult. They can go on forever, unless there is a medical problem behind it, or if they are overweight.. Obviously some dogs need more exercise than others, depends on what lines your dog is from also..
To me your exercise routine sounds just fine, I know my 2-year old can walk 2 miles a day and play at least another 30-45 minutes of fetch. He will get a little tired but won't be panting for hours unless it is really warm out, but then I won't run him that much. But when he rests, he is fine to play again!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She's not overweight, if anything she's underweight. She's 70lbs, 26" to the shoulder. The vet said that's perfect for her and to maintain it, but everyone I meet tells me she's underweight.

I'm in the northeast. The temperature is picking up these days, but she started this before it got warm. I go out somewhat early, and I still have to wear a light jacket.
 

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Did she have MORE energy before? Your exercise routine sounds just fine to me. She should not be overtired because of that routine

Do you think there could be a medical reason behind it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She didn't used to actively play catch before, so it's difficult for me to evaluate any changes.

She'd hoard rocks, and would only go after the biggest one - eventually running out of rocks as she'd have the biggest one around. As such, it took me quite awhile to get her run regularly for things I throw. She previously would only run when running with me, and I certainly can't run that much!

Over time she started chasing any rock or stick, but would still stop once she got a really good one.

Now she's on to tennis balls, and she is absolutely driven to get them. Nothing in the world can distract her while we're playing catch.

I think it's safe to say that she started getting exhausted after our switch to tennis balls, and her reliably going after them.

So if it's true that she shouldn't get so tired like that, maybe I should make a stop to the vet.
 

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I really don't think you are over doing it. the GSD were breed to move all day and of course I don't have a heard of sheep either so I may be wrong, the only thing that seems to make my wgsd tired is 2 hour session at the dog park. He runs at top speed with any new dog that enters the park. I would say he is just to hot. does he try to sit in the shade or digs holes and tries to lay in them? if yes, I would say that is it..
 

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Just to be on the safe side, I would at least call the vet and ask the question, they know your dog and what health problems she might have had in the past, maybe this is too much exercise, TO ME it sounds just fine and the dog should NOT be overly exhausted.
 

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Panting, stopping while playing, not eating, lying down in the middle of a game -- these are also classic symptoms of pain. If Taedyn were my dog, I would put her on light duty immediately and bring her into the vet and get her a full work-up.

She may have injured herself and you don't realize it. She may have an orthopedic problem that's starting to develop. Some diseases and disorders first show up with as simple a symptom as heavy panting, so I would have a full work-up down. Blood (both CBC and a full chem panel), urine, and depending on other factors, I'd ask my vet about thyroid tests. The vet will listen to her lungs and heart. Also, I'd ask my vet to examine her carefully for orthopedic issues. Every major and minor joint, from hips to individual toes.

While Taedyn isn't a senior, she is at that age where even though things could look perfect at her annual exam, something might not have been noticeable then but it's starting to show up now. The sooner we can double-check, the sooner we can either 1) get reassurance that everything is fine and that it's just the heat, (which is good news!) although you should probably still take it easy because the heat is probably still too much for her. Or 2), get on top of whatever is going on with her from a veterinary viewpoint, because knowing sooner is almost always better than finding out later.

Good luck!


edited to add: I know that you said it's not that warm, but what I consider warm is what one of my dogs considered HOT, and my other dog considers very comfortable. So like people our dogs have different comfort zones. Just something to keep in mind!
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
edited to add: I know that you said it's not that warm, but what I consider warm is what one of my dogs considered HOT, and my other dog considers very comfortable. So like people our dogs have different comfort zones. Just something to keep in mind!
Dante prefers it to be under the mid-60's. In the winter I actually set my thermostat at 66 just to keep him happy
 

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Seems very low on the exercise. Could something be bothering her? Has she had bloodwork done lately? My boxer slowed when we finally realized her knee hurt. She is very stoic and showed no signs of pain. I just thought she was getting old but after several acupuncture visits (and blood work to be sure) she is back to her fiesty self.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I called the vet, and the vet tech didn't seem to think her long panting after exercise was a sign of a problem, but we scheduled an appointment anyway. I mentioned I wanted to have a full bloodwork done.

When I last saw the vet a month and a half ago, she gave her an excellent bill of health. Said her heart and lungs were great, and no sign of any problems with her joints.
 

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I would add a tick panel to those blood tests...at least a Snap test for Lyme and Ehrlicia.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, back from the vet.

Says her heart, lungs, joints and coat are great. Although, she says that she appears to have an allergic reaction in her eyes, and that most likely her tiredness from playing is from an allergic reaction in her lungs constricting her breathing. She recommended benedryl before playing.
 
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