Exercising puppy, how much is too much?(14 Posts)
My last dog was quite sedentary & would happily have 2 walks of 30 mins a day or 1 walk for 20 minutes. He liked to play in the garden or just follow me around & sit & watch while I did my daily jobs.
My new puppy is a working breed & has so much more energy. She is now 13 weeks & loves going out. Initially she would have 2 short 10 min walks up & down the street, with lots of stops if she saw new things. Now she walks to the park 5 mins away & has 10 mins off the lead then walks back, this is twice a day. I play with her in the house, but often let her settle herself on her bed or in her crate.
However, last week the day after her wormer she was ill, off her food & really lethargic. I took her to the vet incase it was the wormer. The vet said not & it could be growing pains or over exercise & she needed 3 days rest.
I felt really bad, but took the advice & have not let her out. However, she had been nuts in the house, running, jumping, generally being a whirlwind. This is fine, we have just spent time playing games with her & letting her in the garden.
But as she is so active, I do wonder if all the running & jumping will harm her joints more than the walking. What do others with working breeds do to tire them out?
With our older dog (now a young adult) we stuck to the 5 mins per month rule pretty religiously. Occasionally she had a good long walk at the week-end then a rest the next day.
With current pup we will be as strict, if not stricter.
We have been lucky that they have been OK though - in crate to calm down, regular training etc. Are you taking him to training? I am sure if I hadn't done so much training our older dog they would be far more of a whirlwind.
I have booked her in for puppy classes, she's due to start Saturday.
This morning she had a 15 min walk. Came back played & ate & was asleep in front of the fire on & off for 4 hours. Now she's up, has eaten again been out in the garden & has all her toys out in the kitchen. She's currently bombing up & down the kitchen jumping up me & all the furniture & ragging her toys around like she's demented.
Maybe I was just lucky with my old dog?
How much training are you doing with her at home? You may find that doing short (no more than five minutes, if that) bursts of training, getting her to use her brain, will wear her out more than just physical exercise.
Sounds like a typical boisterous puppy to me. The general rule of thumb is five minutes walk per month of age, so fifteen minutes would be fine at the moment. You could do fifteen minutes of mental play instead, it will wear her out just as much.
Do you have a crate you can put her in for a time out? Sometimes puppies get a bit overexcited and need a safe quiet place to relax.
This is her, prior to going bonkers! We do have a crate in the kitchen that she goes in of her own accord. I have put her in it a few times when she gets too full on.
We could do more training with her. Any suggestions? She got sit & leave it really quick & will wait at the door for us to go in first. DH tried 'down' with a treat in his hand but she scratched him to bits so he had to abandon that one.
I think ours would be like that if we let them - we have strategically placed stairgates to protect the house and us from their barmyness.
Sounds like she could do with weekly classes (I'd continue with the down command and she will quickly learn that scratching = no treat. Maybe wear gloves whilst getting to that stage).
Sounds as though you are doing the right thing with regards to exercise (5 mins per month pretty standard). A few other suggestions.
Give some of her food in a puzzle feeder, gets her brain working and that may tire her.
Keep up with the training for down and any other commands - you'll need to do it anyway as she'll be a big dog and the mental stimulation can stop the hyper trend.
Where you mention her having 'all her toys out', try to restrict to only one or two permanent toys and introduce others for short periods as a treat so they retain novelty and she is not overstimulated.
Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely put some of the toys away.
After the 1st week the exercise time was creeping up. Its difficult as she loves running around & we want her to socialise. We have had friends & their pup round to play but that didn't go down well. I'm sure we'll get there, I think I'm just used to an old obedient dog & have forgotten the puppy stage.
We did shake a paw and high five fairly early on and also taught her to catch as it really didn't come naturally. We also played find it with our dog where we made her sit in her bed and then hid bits of food around the kitchen for her to sniff out. 2 short games of that really used her brain and she still likes to play it now. We also got a cheap ball to put some food in so she had to work out how to get it out by rolling around etc.
I have a 16 week old lurcher, she is having two walks a day, each one about 20 mins, occasionally longer. Mostly pavements at the moment as everywhere off road is just sooo muddy. We do puppy class one day a week, she goes in the garden for wees/poos. Sleeps a lot! Does this sound ok, 2 walks a day does not seem much but I don't want to harm her joints.
PS: she is beautiful (& I'm impressed she hasn't eaten her lovely bed!).
You can put three cups down for her with a treat under one and see how long it takes her to find the right cup. Or work on getting her to stay in one place whilst you move around and away from her. I taught my mother's Mal to do things like go to the back of the hall and sit until called forward when visitors rang the bell because she was so very very barky and jumpy. I don't know how much of this your girl needs but the Mal used to conk out after ten minutes' work
Socialising may work better on neutral ground at first.
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