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Sorry - just clarify this walking rule for the dim (i.e moi!)

(5 Posts)
needastrongone Tue 08-Jan-13 12:41:27

Sorry, I just need a bit of clarification - again!

Our Springer puppy is 12 weeks and has been out and about for approx a week now.

Firstly - does playing in the garden count towards his exercise quota? It's huge is our garden, we are lucky, think small field size. It's all mud, soft grass or wood chip. We play a lot in there and train. Sometimes he charges around for a good 20 minutes like a mad thing then zonks, sometimes potters for 15 mins, has a mad 5. We do a lot of training in there too on recall. Not surprisingly, he loves it as there are so many smells and exciting stuff. Usually out for half an hour but not 'on the go' for that length of time. 3/4 times a day.

We have been taking him out too on his lead (TRYING to clicker/treat/stop start with lead walking, he's fine-ish until he senses he's going home then pulls like a bugger, I make him sit, treat etc but that bit of training is going slow!). Also trying to make the tarmac walking short until we get to fields etc.

Yesterday, we were out for about 20 mins max as he's rather unsure and whimpers a lot, we went slow.

Went to see the vet yesterday as he has a cyst that we thought was a lump from his 2nd injections, she said 20 minutes on soft ground is fine, especially as he pottered and sniffed. Not too much at all.

Today, I underestimated how long it would take for us to get to another field and we were out 40 minutes, although he did a lot of sniffing and stopping and I let him off lead in the field (he stayed close). I feel terrible as he zonked straight after his lunch, although coming home was quite tiring for him mentally, so much stop start etc while I tried in vain not to let him pull.

Will probably let him walk to the top of the street and back this evening, 10 minutes.

Is this all ok? I am happy and confident generally with him, it's just this lead thing and walking lark I am worried about.

needastrongone Tue 08-Jan-13 13:05:42

Just to confirm - the mad 20 minutes in the garden is usually first thing, after a full night asleep. Or a mad 10 minutes just before bedtime!

And - We are training him a lot, plus I stick his food in boxes, Kongs, balls etc so I guess he is getting mentally tired too?

Of the 40 minutes, about 10/15 on tarmac, with a lot of sniffing and stopping when he walked nicely on lead as 'reward' (plus chicken!!)

tabulahrasa Tue 08-Jan-13 14:16:57

The garden doesn't count - it's anything he can't or won't stop by himself, walking with you, chasing another dog, anything that he can't or won't stop doing when he gets tired.

needastrongone Tue 08-Jan-13 14:29:28

Thanks tab. Just getting confused but seems we are ok then! He does tend to go to the door when he's had enough.

needastrongone Fri 11-Jan-13 14:47:56

Just thought that I would post this as I specifically asked the Vet this yesterday as we were there for something else.

Yesterday, we walked with my friend and her dogs for half an hour down a mud track. Puppy did a combination of running around with the other dogs, pottering, sniffing, playing etc, all off lead. He wanted to play in the garden afterwards!! He's 12 weeks.

Anyway, I asked the Vet if this was too much and about the '5 minute rule' She said, this doesn't really apply to a hardy breed like a Springer with no known hip problems (that applies to our specific dog, whose parents have low hip scores even for Springers and the breed itself) and that 30 minutes like this was absolutely fine and not too much 'for a Springer'.

She said the rule is largely to stop some foolish owners taking their dogs on 2 hours lead walks immediately they are able to and also breed specific, so she wouldn't have told me the same thing had our puppy been a Lab, for example, wo have a breed history of hip issues.

She did check over his hips to see if there was any discomfort, he just licked her face smile.

Just thought the information was interesting that's all.

Today we wandered with the dogs for 40 minutes, same pace though. That did zonk him so I won't go so far next time and it will be garden play/training for the rest of the day.

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