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My wife and I are worried about the effects of running on our 8 year old dog. Is a daily (or 3-4 times per week) 1 mile jog around our neighborhood OK? It is not fast at all ( about an 11 minute pace).

Any advise would be greatly appreciated

Chuck
 

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We have heard that a lot of Shepherds have hip problems. I think our greatest concern is that this will bring those problems on.
 

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When Luc was 8 he was regularly running distances far in excess of that - a bit younger, but his longest run is 40k (just under a marathon). When he was 8 he was still regularly running 5-20k at least a couple of times a week, and he did an 80k hike in ~20 hours over 2 days.

Running will not create hip problems, though if your dog has hip problems, it may exacerbate them. I'd start slow and see how your dog does. A daily run of 1 mile should be good exercise for your dog though, it's a gentle introduction and will allow it to build up muscle. I say go for it and see how it goes!
 

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We have heard that a lot of Shepherds have hip problems. I think our greatest concern is that this will bring those problems on.
Best bet is to get a hip X-ray from your vet. He or she can advise you on a proper conditioning program for your dog. They need to be conditioned, just like we do.

Some GSDs have so much heart and so much desire to please that they won't let on if they're in pain. A good X-ray will tell the story. I always get elbows done as well.

Running won't cause hip dysplasia--that is genetic. But it can be painful for a dog with poor joint structure. The vet will let you know whether running or walking is best.
 

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One mile is nothing for a healthy, active dog, even daily. He either has hip problems or he doesn't, that amount of running isn't going to cause an issue that's not already there. Have you ever had his hips x-rayed?

My boy Keefer turned 11 years old last month and I still take him out for 3-5 mile hilly hikes occasionally. I've never run with him, and he's not used to daily exercise but does just fine at those distances, even as an older dog that isn't conditioned to daily exercise.
 
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