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Hi, I got my first golden pup when he was 8 weeks. I bought him from a bad backyard breeder, which I did not realize at the time, but have since learned my lesson. Other than feeling guilty about giving the creep my money, I know I made the right choice and Wrigley and I are inseparable and I will never leave his side. I spent 2K in vet bills the first 2 months to get rid of every parasite you can think of and worked hard to get him to a normal weight and nutrition level. You name it, he probably had it. He has been back to the vet quite regularly all with good results. The vet says he is clearly healthy, and a good weight. I feed him the best food and homemade snacks or fruits and veggies and a real raw bone here and there. We have a big yard, I exercise him regularly. When I say I exercise him regularly, I mean he gets walked at least 2.5 miles a day, has plenty of play time in the yard, fetch, etc. I am not an athlete or anything, but I am consistent to make sure my pup stays healthy and happy. I can normally tell when he needs a walk to run off some of the crazy puppy energy and I am committed to exercising him daily. I am also trying to improve my daily exercise so I have been upping it a bit recently. Recently I have taken him to a park that has a 3 mile slight incline trail around a lake. He loves it cause he gets to see all of the ducks and geese. I typically walk it twice for a total of 6 miles. I am nowhere in perfect shape and can stand to lose a few pounds. I was sure I would tire way before him. As it turns out, just after the 3 mile mark, he poops out and wants to lay down. He just lays there panting and will not move. I was amazed, I thought these dogs have tireless amounts of energy. I let him rest for 10 mins, and he finally got up, walked another 25 steps or so and wanted to lay down again. He just seemed tired. I tried a couple of more times, but then thought I might not want to push him. I tried again a day later and he did the same thing, just about the same time. Is it that he is use to 2.5 miles and 3 is just too much or in your opinion is something not quite right? It is not hot, I tried water (he does not drink it so I assume it not thirst). For such a young pup (10 mths), I would not think he should tire that easily. I mean he still runs around in the yard and will be active, but obviously he is not walking 3 miles or active for that amount of time. And this is walking-not running. And I am not a speed walker per se. He also will play about 10 rounds of fetch in the yard, but then he lays down and decides he is done. When I take him to the vet, he says he seems perfectly healthy. I believe in instinct and this just puzzles me especially with everything I have read about the breed. I thought I was not going to be able to keep up with his abundance of energy based on what I read about the breed, but I made a commitment to do so. I am just perplexed. I can't decide if I am being over paranoid or if I should truly push back on the vet and pay for the tests. His good health is obviously my main priority so I will pay for what it takes to make sure he is taken care of. I just wonder if I am overly concerned. Obviously, I am going to take him back to the vet. But I was interested in your thoughts, for those who have raised Golden's. Is this normal. Are some just less active then others? What should the vet be testing and looking for? Thanks for your input.
 

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Kate
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Your pup is still growing and you may be overdoing it with the exercise at this point.

If there are any issues with joints - they generally fall apart if the exercise is upped too fast and before these dogs build up muscles to keep things tight. Generally speaking this is why I was told to gradually build up distance with Jacks while he was under a year, and still gradually building up distance until he was two and I had a look at his hips.

My Jacks has hip dysplasia (both hips), but he has a lot of muscle built up and he's a very athletic dog. We generally walk 3 miles a day, but when hiking it can be anything between 5 miles to 10 miles tops all at once. And with him, I have never seen him stop and lay down during these long hikes. If anything, I know he needs a break when he peels off to munch on grass.

It may be your dog just doesn't have the muscles or strength to keep going after 3 miles. But it may be he is self-regulating exercise because of discomfort. Your vet can only rule out things like heat stroke or other signs of illness. The only way to rule out internal concerns is by running blood tests or having xrays done.
 

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It's really hard to say in your case. How's his endurance normally? Given his young age, you may not want to push him too hard until he's more fully developed. Our first Golden would run and fetch for seemingly ever, he was always go, go, go! But when he had had his fill of fetch or what have you, he would just plop down and do the same as your pup. De Novo is much more low key. He's only 7 months but many times he'll just stop and refuse to keep walking—and it's not because he's tired!
 

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Murphy's Human, Kam
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You're not alone. I think in December it was an almost daily experience with refusing to move, laying down, etc. Hasn't done that since first week of January. Reality is that they can't tell you that cold hurts their bones or their joints are aching due to a growth spurt. He's now 11mths. Some days he can run around and play for 40 minutes at a time, other days, he's done after 20minutes. So I just keep our walks to about 20-30 minutes (1-1.5km) and let running around in the yard be the other part of burning off energy. We go out 2-3 times per day versus one long walk.
 

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no endurance

please bring your pup to a cardiologist for an ultrasound. Hopefully is just he is young and that is as far as he can walk now but our beautiful boy Toby died in his sleep at 14 months one afternoon. Up till then he could run like the wind and never tired. We too bought from a bad backyard breeder with no health checks in place. toby died from SAS - subaortic ventricular stenosis - something which is bred out of a line from good breeders - they never breed a dog with a know heart murmur. Our vet never heard a problem but only a specialist can tell. We now have a new puppy - 10 wks. from a great breeder with 5 generations of heart checks in place. Don't wait if he is showing signs of any problems with endurance run to a specialist. no one should have to suffer like we did.
 

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Brady Aedan Finch and Wren
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I would agree a trip to a clinic might be in order - many breed clubs will put on health clinics where substantial discounts are given.

Having said that, I need to gently disagree with the SAS statement - the chances of a puppy being born to parents who have been cleared of SAS (the golden retriever heart clearance looks for SAS) and have 5 generations of clearances behind them does not guarantee a puppy cannot have SAS - the chances are greatly reduced but there are no guarantees with living, breathing puppies. This is part of the reason all dogs should be tested and cleared rather than relying on the parents having cleared - the heart clearance is not a DNA test (yet).

And dogs with heart murmurs not caused from SAS can still be given their heart clearance and be bred. Which is why a cardiologist should do the clearance exams since they have the equipment and expertise to determine the cause of any heart murmur heard - there are many causes of heart murmurs and not all are problems.

please bring your pup to a cardiologist for an ultrasound. Hopefully is just he is young and that is as far as he can walk now but our beautiful boy Toby died in his sleep at 14 months one afternoon. Up till then he could run like the wind and never tired. We too bought from a bad backyard breeder with no health checks in place. toby died from SAS - subaortic ventricular stenosis - something which is bred out of a line from good breeders - they never breed a dog with a know heart murmur. Our vet never heard a problem but only a specialist can tell. We now have a new puppy - 10 wks. from a great breeder with 5 generations of heart checks in place. Don't wait if he is showing signs of any problems with endurance run to a specialist. no one should have to suffer like we did.
 

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Owned by Josie
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Hopefully it is nothing serious. My first golden could swim and run for hours around the house, but, if you tried taking her for a walk, she wouldn't go past the mailbox, which was 100 yards from the house. :) She would sit her butt down and wouldn't budge. Taking a walk just wasn't her thing. She lived to be almost 14. :)
 

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I fully realize that no animal can come with a 100% guarantee against all disease even with the best pedigree - that comes without saying. What I meant was that having lived through the pain of losing a pup who had no health clearances the chances of getting a healthy pup are much greater by going to a reputable breeder with multiple generations of testing having been done. When my boy is 2 I will have him tested as well whatever the cost. Once you have been done that road you never want to travel it again.
 

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I had a similar concern for a while. I'd play Frisbee at the park with Rowdy around that age, and he'd quit after 4 or 5 catches. I don't know for sure if he was tired, sore or if he'd just lost interest. Same thing would happen when he was retrieving from the water. Now, he's about 14 months, and he goes much longer on both. The downside is that whereas we used to come home, and he'd sleep for a few hours -- now we get home, and he barely slows down at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thx

Thanks all for your feedback. I took him back to the vet and the vet said again he is super healthy. Good weight, coat, muscle mass, gums and he seems in exceptional health. He seems to believe it is just some stubbornness on his part and part of his personality. He said this is not unheard of for these dogs to do this. I guess I will just keep a close eye on him for now.
 
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