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Name changed and changed a few minor details as think our dog walker comes on here.
Recently got a puppy. She’s almost 4 months old.
We use a dog walker and have asked that she’s not walked more than 20 minutes at a time, due to this being the recommendation and her being so young. So dog walker was doing 30 minute visits.
So today dog walker asked if she could walk her with 2 other dogs, around a national trust type place. She said she’s got a dog buggy, so if puppy gets tired then she can get popped in there.
I came home this afternoon and puppy is absolutely hanging. She’s slept for about 5 hours in a row which she never does.
Turns out that dog walker thought puppy was having so much fun that she let her walk for over an hour.
Am I being precious or should I be annoyed about this?
She said it’s fine to exercise them this much as a one off from puppy age, but honestly my pup can barely lift her head out of her bed.
I’m all for wearing dogs out, but she is absolutely shattered. The most she’s walked previously is 20 minutes and she’s only been allowed out for walks for the past 2 weeks after injections.
Just worried by how lethargic she looks.
God I sound really moany don’t I?
Maybe I shouldn’t be moaning about a dog being walked too well?!
But it’s had a knock on effect of her not wanting to leave her bed even for a wee.
She ate barely any lunch as she couldn’t be bothered to get up either.
Depends. I would be furious because I have a giant breed and you have to be exceptionally careful not to damage their growth plates.
A one off probably wouldn’t be an issue with a smaller dog but I would worry if the walker knowingly went against your wishes.
She’s a mid size breed.
I just feel bad that she’s completely and utterly zonked out.
I will be requesting it doesn’t happen again.
Dog walker almost thinks of it as an achievement that she’s so worn out that she’s refusing to wake up.
I’m not so thrilled. I don’t think it’s great for her to miss an entire day because she’s sleeping?
And it’s not great for her joints either surely?
With an older dog I’d be thrilled, but she’s not meant to walk for an hour until she’s 12 months old according to guidelines.
I am in between. Having a puppy run about with older dogs I think is great and yes it does zonk them out especially as it's the first time.
However, 1 hour at 4 months and you haven't build up to it slowly is too long for me unless I had been there to sanction it iykwim.
My dog walker walked my puppy on his own for a while before he was allowed to join group walks and by that time we were doing a lot of off lead walking ourselves so he was up to it. As for the guidelines it is absolutely your say so on whether you and the walker follows them. I didn't much with off lead walking but at 4 months we were doing more like 30 mins off lead walking without any other dogs.
Of course the puppy was having fun. But that’s not the point is it? I’d be cross.
You don't sound moany at all. You sound very sensible and like you understand what your pup does and doesn't need right now.
A dog that young (or of any age, really) shouldn't be walked to the point of exhaustion. As already mentioned in another post it can be damaging for their developing bodies.
What qualifications /experience does your dog walker have? I'm surprised that a professional dog walker would go against your very sensible walking plan, and also be pleased with how tired your pup is.
Mental stimulation is just as important at this stage as physical exercise, super lengthy walks aren't always beneficial.
Dog walker is insured, experienced and was recommended to us.
I don’t think she regularly has puppies to be honest, and she was doing 1:1 visits to us. So 10 minutes of play and toileting and a 20 minute walk.
I think she just wanted to kill 2 birds with 1 stone today by walking them together today.
Puppy has brightened up slightly now.
But I’ve never seen her so wiped out as she’s been today.
I wouldn’t worry too much as a one off regarding the puppy but I would be annoyed with the dog walker.
I'm glad pup had perked up ☺️ you must have been worried.
I can understand why she may have wanted to include your pup on a group walk to save time, socialise etc etc, but she needs to put the pups needs first while it is so young. Did she not use the dog buggy at any point? They are a really great way to help dogs get used to the outside world.
No she said dog was having a lovely time and happy to walk for an hour!
She probably was but it wiped her out.
What sensible dog would choose to sit in a buggy when others are running around?
I would be miffed.
My pup is six months old and as Working Cocker, he would happily walk ten miles, and then turn round and ask to do it all again. He doesn’t know when to stop and certainly wouldn’t have done so in a group walk setting with other dogs to spur him on.
If she is otherwise a good walker, I would let her know I wasn’t impressed and ask her to make sure she did not do it again, but would otherwise let it go.
I think I would be less worried about the health impact on the puppy - it is a one off - and more concerned that my walker had gone against what I had asked.
If you cannot trust her, then find someone else.
As a one off today’s walk wouldn’t bother but but what would bother me (one off or not) is the dog walker going against your wishes.
I don’t think it was done maliciously.
I think she just saw pup having a great time and socialising and decided as a 1 off it was fine.
In a month it’s the first time she’s asked to walk her with other dogs, so as long as it’s not all the time then I’ll try to be more chilled about it!
I would tell the walker that your dog was wiped out for so long you think she overdid it and best stick to x amount of minutes for now. You aren't going in all heavy but you are saying again you don't want her walked for too long.
The guidelines aren’t about whether the puppy is happy or not, it’s to protect their long term healthy physical development.
I would be pretty pissed off it was me.
Agree with what most others are saying. I wouldn't worry about a one off long walk for a puppy but I would be furious with the dog walker.
In fact, dog walker has just text me saying that after today she thinks mine is ready to do the social walks once a week.
I know that realistically she won’t want to go in the dog buggy, although she is kept on a lead as she’s so young, so she’s not running or circling.
If it’s not too much for her then I don’t necessarily mind, as she’s been so easy today, but if it’s going to damage her joints then I won’t agree.
What do you reckon? Is an hour once a week too much?
Or shall I stick to a 30 minute 1:1 visit?
I wouldn’t regularly do an hour at 4 months. Maybe slowly work up to it?
Our dog walkers are lovely people but don't seem to know about the guidelines on lengths of walks, and I think regard us as being a bit pricessy about insisting that Dpup didn't do too much more than was and is appropriate for his age.
Ultimately you're the owner and the dog walker will not be the one left with the issue and associated costs and potential dog in pain. So do what you believe to be right.
I agree @Wolfiefan
Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t being precious.
Will build up slowly.
I wouldn't if it were mine. At that age she will so easily pushed to do more than she can by the excitement of the older dogs. I think I would be more concerned about her injuring herself (torn ligaments etc) than joint development problems - though might be wrong in doing so.
Battendog was about 8/9 months old before he joined a walker for an hour with other dogs once a week.