Restricting exercise in puppies

(24 Posts)
Helenluvsrob Fri 03-Jan-20 18:45:25

My cavvie is 5m now.
He’s just getting into the swing of walking well off and now on lead as well. It’s really nice to walk with him. Husband and I did a walk through the parks locally - mixed off and on lead and grass and pavement.
Before we knew it we’d done 2hrs and 6km.

He loved it - well maybe not the very last 10 mins

We have built up to this - some days he gets a single long walk and a A run around the garden , some days 2 shorts walks. 3 days with the dog minded.

But should we not be doing this ? I’ve read mixed stuff about restricting exercise for puppies- but also that you get healthier cartilage devtt eg loo ent with exercise and of course fat puppies are not a good thing either.

What does the doghouse think ?

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Fri 03-Jan-20 18:53:27

At 5 months of age my cocker would get around 30-40 mins of off lead exercise on soft woodland surface twice a day.

I was very relaxed on the restricted exercise as I understood it to be more on lead pavement walking to be the problem. However, I certainly wouldn't have done 2 hours which you did as that to me would be too much in one go.

My dog was not overweight at that age but we did more training than simply long walks.

Booboostwo Fri 03-Jan-20 19:02:16

I thought I was relaxed about the guidelines, e.g. I let my puppies do the recommended time for their age, off lead but 2-3 times a day, but I would not have done 2 hours with a five month old. If he got to the stage where he was telling you he was tired, you really pushed him and there is no need to take this kind of risk. In six months he will be able to do a lot of walking and then you’ll have years to enjoy the long walks.

Helenluvsrob Fri 03-Jan-20 19:05:41

Okydoke we will go back to the 20 mins twice a day. I’ve had very confi ting advice including from the breeder ( my friend) who doesn’t restrict at all as she has 2 older dogs and her pup does what they do .
It’s just now he’s got the idea he will just keep going.

OP’s posts: |
adaline Fri 03-Jan-20 19:19:32

I think two hours at 5 months of age is way, way too much - sorry!

However, as a one-off it's highly unlikely to do much damage. Just go back to shorter walks until he's older.

Puppies (and even adults) don't need hours of exercise a day - the more you exercise a dog, the fitter it will become and the more exercise it'll need to get tired. Brain games and training will tire them out much more and won't damage their joints smile

Stellaris22 Fri 03-Jan-20 19:47:42

Depends on the breed. I have a basset and it's very strict with them because of their heavy bone structure. Five mins per month of age, no jumping or going up/downstairs. But other dog breeds will be easier, but I'd always walk less with puppies.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 04-Jan-20 07:48:46

When I'm off my phone I'll find a link to an article that debunks the five-minute 'rule'. It recommends keeping puppies away from stairs and minimising high-impact exercise, at least for large breeds, but otherwise, do as you like (within reason - not exhausting the puppy).


Motorina Sat 04-Jan-20 08:44:37

This gives a pretty good summary of the research evidence.

WHO recommendations for children age 5 and up are a minimum of an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day.

The five minute rule is an internet myth. Sorry.

Wasail Sat 04-Jan-20 08:58:17

Motorina, I was about to link to the same article!
Exercising puppies is fine as long as they do not have any underlying dysplasias.
Avoid repetitive stress type exercise like ball chucking and frisbee. Jumping onto and off furniture and going up and down the stairs is okay in pups but probably shouldn’t be encouraged.

BiteyShark Sat 04-Jan-20 09:04:50

I always thought that 'rule' was to just get you to stop and think about the type and amount of exercise rather than something bad is going to happen if you go over it.

Dragging a puppy around the hard streets for hours isn't a good thing in my head but letting them run about under their own steam in a park is fine given they can stop and sniff and run when they want to.

For me taking a 5 month puppy on a 2 hour walk when they 'didn't enjoy the last 10 mins' to me says that they have exhausted them beyond their abilities and pushed them too far.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 04-Jan-20 09:06:02

Motorina, that was the article I meant, too.

FurryMuzzle Sat 04-Jan-20 09:56:36

I never stuck to five mins per month but also tended to do lower impact off lead walks in grass. I would never walk until the dog was anything more than a tiny bit tired either.

At five months my last dog (spaniel) would walk about 45mins at a time.

kjhkj Sat 04-Jan-20 10:03:31

I asked the vet about this for our rough collie puppy (now 7 months) and she said its a myth and that they need much more exercise than that. She said its sprung up because of a very small number of breeds who struggle with longer walks.

Dpup had a two hour walk yesterday and is currently out with DH for another.

Girliefriendlikespuppies Sat 04-Jan-20 23:05:20

I've been fairly relaxed with exercise and my puppy but agree with pp that you over did it on that walk op.

My 7 month old terrier puppy managed a 3 and a bit km walk Ystd (mostly through fields) but I wouldn't expect further than that atm.

Spotty528 Sun 05-Jan-20 07:36:15

We took our 4 month old to a forest yesterday and before we knew if he’d done an hour and a half. We just lost track of time but he was absolutely loving it-it was all off lead, sniffing and digging and meeting lots of other dogs and people.

We do shorter 10 minute walks on pavement but for off lead, sniffy walks like yesterday it’s usually about an hour.

Motorina Sun 05-Jan-20 07:44:38

It’s amazing how they all differ, isn’t it? At 7 months my youngest did 12 miles including summitting Pen Y Fan, and would have been more than happy to carry on. But beagles are basically designed for long days on rough ground.

BiteyShark Sun 05-Jan-20 08:23:06

A gundog trainer told me not to use long walks to 'tire' my young dog out. All it does is make them fitter and fitter and you end up in a vicious circle of needing longer and longer walks. Fine if that's what you plan to do for their lifetime but otherwise a shortish energetic walk for their cardio exercise but then lots of other stuff to tire and work their mind. When I cut back on the walks and did more 'mind-work' it exercised my cocker much more than a 2 hour walk would have done.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 05-Jan-20 09:27:10

Agreed, Bitey. Nothing seems to knacker my energetic working-line dog more than being parked in a sit stay and left to it for five minutes. The sheer effort of will involved in sitting still seems to exhaust her.

Cushycat Sun 05-Jan-20 11:20:56

At 5 months of age my cocker would get around 30-40 mins of off lead exercise on soft woodland surface twice a day

WAY too much for a young spaniel!

FleaTrainerExtraordinaire Sun 05-Jan-20 12:05:40

Based on what Cushycat?

Genuine question.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Sun 05-Jan-20 21:00:22

I was sold on the 5 min per month guideline until I saw the behaviourist who fostered my pup post that article earlier.
DPup (nearly 6 month) did an hr walk today, no signs of tiredness at all, quite the opposite. But he's a lean collie/lurcher type, he just seems to lope along with no effort.
But still whilst it's dark, it's half an hr morning and night, with a quick game of football at lunchtime and a play in the garden or park with the children after school.
When it gets lighter we will up it to 45 min twice a day. Walks in park & beach.

Hovverry Mon 06-Jan-20 21:10:02

It depends on breed. Big slow-growing pups need far less exercise than bouncy little ones. My hyper-active terrier is running and playing most of the time he’s awake. He’s lightly-built, fast and agile, very different from a clumsy Labrador pup.

kjhkj Tue 07-Jan-20 08:32:34

Surely the key is to check the specifics for your breed with your vet. Otherwise you're just generalising. My rough collie puppy is big but he needs and wants loads of exercise.

Booboostwo Tue 07-Jan-20 08:39:42

Thank you for this thread. I am quite surprised to find that, as many posters have suggested, there is no evidence for the 5 minute rule. I was generally following it, but won't anymore as I believe in evidence based recommendations. I will still avoid stairs, jumping and walking until tired with puppies, but forget about the 5 minute rule.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in