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Well, first, I really appreciate you taking the time to advise me (everyone?) on this. :)

I am just now figuring out how to get her to play with me. Instead of walking her so much I just play with her in the field. Since I'm starting to learn her personality and how she likes to play, I have only been walking her a few days a week, usually in the mornings, and not for more than about 30 minutes or so at a time.

I've been looking for puppy play stuff on meetup and on craigslist. No luck so far but I'm gonna keep trying. The breeder has two puppies she is starting to train in French Ring. If I could ever get a hold of her I bet she'd let me bring Gwen over to play with them.

I'm not familiar with Ellis or Leerburg. I'm doing basic obedience stuff (sit, down, stand etc.) using a book Cristine Dahl wrote (
Good Dog 101) for this. Regarding the trainer, I don't know what method he uses. I do know he is very anti-compulsion/anti-traditional/anti-military style training and absolutely hates Cesar Millan. He has titled a few dogs on the national level and several on the west coast in French Ring and his dogs and his students' dogs appear to be supremely happy and excited, especially when it's their turn to get out and do some training.

Our puppy, when she is old enough and has a good obedience foundation, will be trained in French Ring so long as I can continue to make the training classes. I don't intend to title her or really even push her that hard. I'd consider myself quite fortunate if she even makes it to the brevet level. I'll take her as far as she seems happy going I suppose. As long as she'll defend my wife and our home then I'm good.

I tend to be something of a hypochrondiac with my own life and have been applying that to my puppy. lol Logically, I know that there isn't really anything to worry about, but there is always that nagging concern that because things haven't gone perfectly, something will go wrong.


No problem then - trust me, you'll appreciate that! :)



I guess that stuff is region specific, but try googling puppy play classes in your area. You may want to try area-specific web forums also. Alternately you can also stalk popular dog-walk areas - parks etc.



Charging marker words sounds like Ellis/Leerburg stuff :) I really like Ellis system (I'm not really into aversives, but apart from that I think Ellis is really great). Is your trainer using his system?



To be honest, I'm not sure. It's something about growth plates and the way joints develop, but if you want a more professional answer, you'll have to talk to a vet - that goes for the x-ray stuff as well (although I'm pretty sure x-rays aren't needed). A lot of people over-exercise their dogs and they go on to work out just fine - AFAIK it simply increases the likelihood of damage, it's not a sure thing by any means. Unless you've noticed any irregularities with her, I wouldn't be too concerned (but again, consult a vet if in doubt) :)
 

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lol sometimes she can be really stubborn about coming outside. She's really attached to our air conditioner! :D

We take her off leash hiking and whatnot already. She acts just like the videos you posted (I saw those while researching this topic too - they're great vids thanks!) and pretty much runs around having fun. She acts much like Glory B does. The first time we came up to a mountain stream she just leaped in and hasn't looked back since. She's a great swimmer, though she can't go for very long before getting tired.

I wish we knew some people like you to take her out with. She'd absolutely LOVE hiking with other puppies and dogs.

I am guilty of jogging her on pavement a few times (in retrospect, for a lot longer/farther than I should have even considered) once or twice while she was in her seventh week, but as soon as I found out that's bad I stopped.

She generally handles stairs, up and down, just fine, but from what I had been told stairs are a bad idea for them so when she doesn't wanna go down them I just carried her. I thought it was absurd too but meh, I'm still learning about large breeds and figured better safe than sorry. She learned how to negotiate stairs, more or less on her own, from day one.

ARE YOU KIDDING? You are carrying her?

If our 'working' breed can't do 8 steps then there is seriously something wrong with our breed. You don't need x-rays to know a NORMAL puppy should handle this. It's a great lesson in their learning body awareness and coordination. Which learning you are STUNTING by not letting them work it out and use their brains to figure it out.

We do NOT want repetitive exercise (jogging on pavement) or jarring exercise (jumping on and off the bed 100 times a day). But NORMAL is what happens in our day...

This is my 'normal' puppy and what is NORMAL exercise (off leash is best):
YouTube - Glory B (11 wks) and Bretta Lee (5 yrs) Hiking in the Woods

YouTube - Hiking the Poconos w/Friends and their dogs
 

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With my black lab.. when 10 weeks old, I started to let him chase me on the golf cart.

After awhile he got faster than the golf cart. I first started running him about half a mile when I got him. Then as time moved on, he could go 1.5 miles. He turned out just fine. Which is good.. at my place (corporate housing) my patio was on the second floor (basicly ontop of the garage) and one day he jumped off the roof onto the ground which was roughly 12-14' just so he could chase the golf cart. No broken bones or nothin. He was about 6 months when this happend..
 

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Holy crap lol

Well I am glad to hear he came out ok! :D



With my black lab.. when 10 weeks old, I started to let him chase me on the golf cart.

After awhile he got faster than the golf cart. I first started running him about half a mile when I got him. Then as time moved on, he could go 1.5 miles. He turned out just fine. Which is good.. at my place (corporate housing) my patio was on the second floor (basicly ontop of the garage) and one day he jumped off the roof onto the ground which was roughly 12-14' just so he could chase the golf cart. No broken bones or nothin. He was about 6 months when this happend..
 

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What I have always been told and read is to limit FORCED exercise. They can do as much off leash exercise and playing as they want (as long as it's on soft surfaces, not concrete) and will stop when they get tired, but long leash walks or high-impact exercises like doing jumps or jogging should be avoided with puppies.
 

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Charging marker words sounds like Ellis/Leerburg stuff :) I really like Ellis system (I'm not really into aversives, but apart from that I think Ellis is really great). Is your trainer using his system?
Actually "charging" is a clicker training term. My guess is Leerburg got it from reading about clicker training.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
We take her off leash hiking and whatnot already. She acts just like the videos you posted (I saw those while researching this topic too - they're great vids thanks!) and pretty much runs around having fun. She acts much like Glory B does. The first time we came up to a mountain stream she just leaped in and hasn't looked back since. She's a great swimmer, though she can't go for very long before getting tired.

I wish we knew some people like you to take her out with. She'd absolutely LOVE hiking with other puppies and dogs.
One of the other great things about attending dog/puppy classes is you get to meet other dog nuts and can meetup AFTER classes or on other days for meet ups and walks in the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter #49

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I know the benefits of using a clicker, I just don't want to have to always carry one around. I tend to be forgetful and leaving behind a clicker would probably cause me more problems than it would solve.

It also helps that my trainer uses words and it's won him a bunch of competitions so I think it'll all work out in the end. :D I don't think he uses marker words though.



While you can use words, for most of us (specially in the initial training stages) it's just not the same. Humans talk ALL THE TIME. A clicker only means one thing, all the time.

Why Can't I Just Use My Voice? | Karen Pryor Clickertraining worth the free registration

Why Clicker Train?
 

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Yeah, I found this out after "forcing" a few pavement jogs/walks on my 7-8 week old puppy. I tend to have a very OCD-type personality so, as is probably obvious, I am quite paranoid of any potential permanent problems. :crazy:

Yes, I know I'm a little crazy.

:wild::crazy::wild::crazy::wild::crazy::wild:



What I have always been told and read is to limit FORCED exercise. They can do as much off leash exercise and playing as they want (as long as it's on soft surfaces, not concrete) and will stop when they get tired, but long leash walks or high-impact exercises like doing jumps or jogging should be avoided with puppies.
 

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I know the benefits of using a clicker, I just don't want to have to always carry one around. I tend to be forgetful and leaving behind a clicker would probably cause me more problems than it would solve.
Not really. The only time I make a point to carry the clicker is if I am planning to do a training session and training something new-- the clicker/rewards are faded once the dog knows the cue. I don't regularly carry one around with me otherwise. Not having it has never caused a problem even with my terrier who was pretty much exclusively using clicker training.
If I need to mark a behavior when I not doing a training session I just use a marker word, although it does not have the same impact as the clicker it works when needed. You don't need to carry a clicker everywhere.
 

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As to taking your dog outside to socialize etc before all shots are done, well, I think it is safe to say in what countries where it is mandatory that all dogs have their vaccines and where no stray dogs etc exist, I see not many reasons why your pup should stay at home locked up in such a circumstance. However, if you live in a country with many stray dogs and whatnot, yes, I believe then it is best for your pet to stay home. That is my humble opinion as I had dogs in a country where no stray dogs exist and I went out with them when they were 9 weeks, no problem and now, I live in a country with stray dogs and I will simply not take it out until it had all the shots. I do however invite neighbours and their dogs over of which I know are properly trained and vaccinated.
 

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My 4 1/2 month old GSD is just FULL of energy. She is at the moment running back and forth on the balcony tipping over her food and water bowls. We played with her bamboo tug toy for 15 minutes, practiced obedience for 20 minutes, and went on two walks around the apartment complex two times, and she still has energy!!!

Can I actually engage her on a light jog to drain some of that energy? Or would I be risking hip dysplasia issues?

I live at an apartment complex, so she does tend to use the stairs quite frequently and does get walked on pavement and occasionally around the university grounds where there is plenty of soft grass. Could this be a future issue?
 

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And I see mis-information from breeders going from 'NO stairs for our breed until a year old (?????)' to 'Only short leashed walks around the block for the first year' (?????)
I find the stairs thing a little funny. How about people who own a split level homes. I have a split level and no stairs till a year. LMAO. I mean I wont be carrying down a 50lbs GSD and I am sure my wife wont be either...

As for exercise I go to the local off leash area and let sasha run around. We walk the trail and she stays with in 10 feet of me at all times. As for leashed walks I use an extendable leash that goes out to 15ft. Reason why is she pulls and if she is on a long leash she wont. She does good on short leash after some some obiedience training. Other exercise we do is go up to the local Jr High football/soccer field and I let her off leash and I throw a ball with her for about 15 mins. She seems to like it. I try to keep everything somewhat short as within 15-30min.
 

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Just got back from taking Rocky and Kopper on Kopper's first off-leash hike. Rocky and I have been hiking off-leash together since he was about 6 months old and he knows the rules, so he was great for showing Kopper the ropes. Both boys stayed within sight at all times and were very good. We hiked for about 40 minutes and didn't get nearly as far as we would have if it had been just Rocky and I, but when the puppy sat on his little butt and started whining I knew we were done. Now he's sleeping peacefully.
 

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I wonder about the stairs issue. My pup has learned to go up the stairs (18 steps total) on the 3rd day he was home with us. We carry him down but he knows how to get up on his own. Of course he's not going up the stairs a million times a day, once he's up in the office, he stays there with dh.
 

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Great thread!! I kept seeing all of these "warning" things about exercising your puppy. I firmly agree with all of you that hiking, off leash walks, stairs, and everything (when not forced) is good for the puppy!! Every summer I go back to Idaho to our cabin up in the SNRA (Sawtooth National Recreation Area) and do hiking. I am hoping I can go this summer and take Glock. He will be 5 months the end of June, and do some hiking with him! Just have to figure out how to get him up there... Don't really want to take my truck with gas being the price it is!!
 

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I'm happy to have read this thread too. I'm still worried.. I have no car so I have to walk him on the side walk to get the bus to go to the park, and go back home. Park is really far away (when I go I stay out 2 hours), and there is no grass in my area. I have stairs, hard flooring, so it is really hard for me to control him not to run around the house. When I play with him at home there is allways some pounding on the ground. I'm soooo paranoid too right now..... I can't wait to take him to get his first x rays at 6 months!
 
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