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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I rollerblade with my 80lb 10 m-o puppy around 3-4 times a week. I do it to burn his energy (physical) and to 'give him a job' by pulling/maintaining heel position, plus I'm an active person (hence getting a GSD pup lol). I go about 2km (1.3 miles) each time, concrete pavement and grass. I don't put a backpack on him when we rollerblade, but I do on his walks. Both are great ways to burn his energy. He keeps up with me, but again, perhaps that's solely because he's still a puppy so he has extra+extra energy. I'm pretty confident 2km is not too much and won't hurt his joints/growth plates, but I would like other opinions. My question is, what are your opinions on the distance? Do you think it's still too hard for a 10 month-old or we can push another 500metre or so? Any opinion and input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!
 

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IMO 10 mo is too young for that type of exercise. I biked with my amstaff years ago around that age and she wound up tearing her Acl. Hard lesson learned.
18 mo to 2 yrs is a good age. I will be biking with my dog when he is around that age. Better safe then sorry.
 

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Eh, it really is early to do anything like that, and too early for a backpack IMO. Standard advice is he steers the intensity at his age. I have an 11 month old who is 85 pounds, he looks like an adult, and I am DYING to start running with him...but, you will have this dog his lifetime. Let his growth plates close before you do anything where he is has no choice but to continue the pace. They close about 18 months.

With my 11 month old now, he will play super hard then go take a break on his own. He would not do that if he was leashed to me and I was on wheels :) They are self limiting at this age.

Right now I am all about going out and experiencing new environments with him. We do an hour walk most days, or I will play with him in the yard with his football, or just play tug with him. We also do frequent 10 minute blocks of training when I am working from home or when he is on the road with me for work. We also go to IPO training most Saturdays. He does maybe 1/2 hour of training there when it is his turn, including bite work. Some weekends I take a 1 hour hike with him. Point is all these things, he can take a break if he needs it and I can read him to see when he is done. That is hard to do while wheeling on anything.

How is everything else going with him? I remember you coming here asking for advice and you were going with a trainer. Going well?
 

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One thing I will mention that the others didn't, even if the dog will happily continue to run and doesn't seem tired or ready to stop at all, it is still bad for his growing joints and bones. If you set a child in front of an all-you-can-eat buffet of pure junk food, the child won't stop eating the junk food either. He/she doesn't know it's bad. It's up to you to limit him even if he can't limit himself. Some dogs will literally go until they drop. They just can't help themselves when they are having fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you ALL for the inputs! That reminds me that the most important thing now is to get him to experience all sorts of different things. About the rollerblading... What I will take from all your inputs is I am going to shorten the distance to 1.5km (1mile) AND to slow down the pace. I don't think I'm going to drop it all at once, it agrees with us too much, hahha. Definitely going to up the game as he gets older, especially when he hits 2 years. Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
One thing I will mention that the others didn't, even if the dog will happily continue to run and doesn't seem tired or ready to stop at all, it is still bad for his growing joints and bones. If you set a child in front of an all-you-can-eat buffet of pure junk food, the child won't stop eating the junk food either. He/she doesn't know it's bad. It's up to you to limit him even if he can't limit himself. Some dogs will literally go until they drop. They just can't help themselves when they are having fun.
Yeap, that's what I thought too. I think it's in the breed that they just want to please us all the time, and that means sometimes trying to keep up with us no matter how worn out they are. I will keep that in mind. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
IMO 10 mo is too young for that type of exercise. I biked with my amstaff years ago around that age and she wound up tearing her Acl. Hard lesson learned.
18 mo to 2 yrs is a good age. I will be biking with my dog when he is around that age. Better safe then sorry.
Whaaaat? Sorry to hear that! Definitely going to slow down the pace and cut some distance!
 

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Eh, it really is early to do anything like that, and too early for a backpack IMO. Standard advice is he steers the intensity at his age. I have an 11 month old who is 85 pounds, he looks like an adult, and I am DYING to start running with him...but, you will have this dog his lifetime. Let his growth plates close before you do anything where he is has no choice but to continue the pace. They close about 18 months.

With my 11 month old now, he will play super hard then go take a break on his own. He would not do that if he was leashed to me and I was on wheels /forum/images/smilies/smile.gif They are self limiting at this age.

Right now I am all about going out and experiencing new environments with him. We do an hour walk most days, or I will play with him in the yard with his football, or just play tug with him. We also do frequent 10 minute blocks of training when I am working from home or when he is on the road with me for work. We also go to IPO training most Saturdays. He does maybe 1/2 hour of training there when it is his turn, including bite work. Some weekends I take a 1 hour hike with him. Point is all these things, he can take a break if he needs it and I can read him to see when he is done. That is hard to do while wheeling on anything.

How is everything else going with him? I remember you coming here asking for advice and you were going with a trainer. Going well?
Thanks for the input! The thing is I rollerblade with him because both of my ankles are screwed up. I do hike with him once a month, he loves it too although I'm not fully confident to let him off leash yet. Even then, I try to find hiking spots with minimum challenge, so it's more like trekking than hiking per se.

Yes thank you for remembering! I've got him a trainer and he's now getting A LOT better. I've definitely gained more confidence as an owner on how to handle his excitement. He still jumps and nips, but definitely less than before, and I know now how to let him know it is UNACCEPTABLE. We have anothed 2 sessions, hoping he will improve each time each day! What I realised is it's more OUR JOB as an owner than the dog itself, but I enjoy the challenge. It's my responsibility.
 

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I don’t think you are overdoing it with 2-2.5km session at a reasonable pace which the dog appears comfortable throughout. I think I was running around 10km on asphalt with my GSD when she was around that age. She is pushing 6 now, and in peak form with OFA good hips, elbows. The only recommendation I would offer is to keep your dog thin. Leaner the better.

Each dog has different capabilities though. So I don’t think there is a clear answer, as you probably know other than use common sense and watch your dog closely and ensure full recovery between workouts.
 

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I don’t think you are overdoing it with 2-2.5km session at a reasonable pace which the dog appears comfortable throughout. I think I was running around 10km on asphalt with my GSD when she was around that age. She is pushing 6 now, and in peak form with OFA good hips, elbows. The only recommendation I would offer is to keep your dog thin. Leaner the better.

Each dog has different capabilities though. So I don’t think there is a clear answer, as you probably know other than use common sense and watch your dog closely and ensure full recovery between workouts.
Very true; each dog has different capabilities. Good to hear someone's been exercising their young dog hard without any injuries!
 

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it isn't about the dogs capabilities. from a strength and endurance point of view, the distance and speed isn't likely to be an issue. The problem is that at 10 months old his joints and bones are still growing. Repetitive impact on a hard surface (asphalt) can cause permanent damage that may not show itself for months or years.
 

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My younger dog was over exercised when young, before I got him. It totally wrecked his shoulder and he has almost no muscle there to this day, and he is now just turning 5. He still limps when he over does it, which can be just playing in the yard with our other dog. Obviously, it severely limits what I can do with him.

I would take the advice of other people here and not risk having a lame dog for the rest of his life, as my dog is and will always be. I'm sure I'm overly cautious because of my experience, but I would wait to do any forced exercise at least until the dog's joints have matured.
 

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I don't think distance and speed is so much the problem but you setting the pace at his age is problematic.

As others already mentioned, manmade surfaces such as concrete or asphalt is never a good idea at any age.
 
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You are getting pretty good advice from people here who work their dogs in sport, so you have to consider that if anyone knows how to pace athleticism in the breed in a safe and timely manner with a healthy strong adult as the outcome...it would be them. And they are telling you to wait for the most part.
 
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