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Debbie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...for a 5 month old? We walk 95% of the time on pavement unfortunately. We walk about 1-1 1/2 miles morning and night. I don't let her run but we do walk at a moderate pace. She stops to smell things of course and then there's the people greeting so it's not a constant pace. I've just heard warnings about growing joints and bones. I don't want to overdo it. But it seems like she lives for these walks and it really helps with her energy level the rest of the day. (This thread wasn't generating many responses in the puppy forum so I thought I post here too. Thanks in advance for your help!)
 

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The rule of thumb I was taught is 5 minutes for every month old they are, until they are fully grown around 2 years. So at 5 months, 25 minutes at a time.
 

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Chester & Murphy's Mom
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Good question....I was wondering this myself. I think we are walking Murphy to long he is only 3 months and walking about 1/2 hour or more.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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I think Doodle has it right especially on pavement. I sometimes take my guys to fenced in ball fields to give them a good chance to run on grass.
 

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The rule of thumb I was taught is 5 minutes for every month old they are, until they are fully grown around 2 years. So at 5 months, 25 minutes at a time.
I agree with this, I think I have heard about this rule before too...
 

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We tried to follow the slow growth exercise plan with Maya. They recommend soft surfaces when possible, but also stress the importance of exercise. Here it is from http://www.jrsgoldenangels.com/slowgrow.html

8 wks. old = 1/2 mile, 4-5 times weekly

10 wks. = 1 mile, 4-5 times weekly

12 wks. = 1-1/2 miles, 4-5 times weekly

14 wks. = 2 miles, 4-5 times weekly

16 wks. = 2-1/2 miles, 4-5 times weekly

18 wks. = 3 miles, 4-5 times weekly

Do not jog, bike, or otherwise roadwork a young Golden under 4 months of age. Prior to beginning these types of
more stressful exercises, it is advisable obtain a preliminary OFA hip evaluation. Only puppies with a preliminary
rating of “Good” or above should be considered candidates for this more serious athletic training. Always build speed
and distance very gradually.
 

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In the Moment
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I think extensive exercise..... jogging, roadwork and the like is not advised until growth is achieved at over a year of age. I certainly wouldn't be jogging or working a dog of 4 months or so. Very young dogs can get their exercise by playing in the yard. MHO
 

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Enzo's mom
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I walk him half hours everyday(approximately 2KM), but I think free running is better.
Anyway, Enzo cannot off leash in normal park (since he will run away), so I just can walk him:(
 

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Debbie
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think extensive exercise..... jogging, roadwork and the like is not advised until growth is achieved at over a year of age. I certainly wouldn't be jogging or working a dog of 4 months or so. Very young dogs can get their exercise by playing in the yard. MHO
What is meant by roadwork? Do you mean walking on the road, or in our case a paved bike path?
 

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My Molly loves to run off leash playing fetch on the grass or at the beach. She is just over 4 months old - am I exercising her too much? I would not know how to stop her from running.
 

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In the Moment
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Do not jog, bike, or otherwise roadwork a young Golden under 4 months of age. Prior to beginning these types of
more stressful exercises, it is advisable obtain a preliminary OFA hip evaluation. Only puppies with a preliminary
rating of “Good” or above should be considered candidates for this more serious athletic training. Always build speed
and distance very gradually.

When I said roadwork, I was referring to this which I assume to mean jogging, biking or walking (leashed) on hard surfaces for an extended period. I still believe jogging, biking, or long distance, leashed walks on hard surfaces are best left to when growth is complete. Certainly playing outside unleashed is wonderful for them..... great exercise and they can self limit themselves and start and stop when tired. If you do a search, I believe you'll find threads discussing this and several breeders inputs.
 

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In the Moment
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Here is an older post from Monomer which I think is very helpful.

monomer

Old Guy
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern, mid-western, lower Peninsula of Michigan... and then go just a tad to the left
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Let me try and explain some of what I know about the CHD vs exercise dilemma... (also bone structure/formation vs exercise)

The ends of the longbones (these are any of the 'long' bones that compose the legs) have what are called 'growth plates'... these aren't directly attached to the bones but are connect by a soft cartilage type of material. As the 'cartilage' (I don't think its the exact correct term to use but it'll do) grows further out the part nearer to the bone, calcifies into bone... this essentially is how the bone grows. CHD can happen several different ways but the bottomline characteristic is that the bones at the joints don't fit together very well... and this can lead to arthritis and painful lameness. Puppies are never born with CHD, rather it develops during the rapid bone growth period (around 4 to 10 months of age). It is said that genetics determines whether a dog will have CHD or not, but diet and exercise can have a large effect/influence upon the degree to which this genetic defect is expressed in the adult... meaning a dog could have a mild case of CHD and yet never have to suffer from this joint defect (or the arthritis stemming from this) or maybe only suffer in old age because of a proper diet and exercise regimen during puppyhood... on the other hand if that dog had been allowed to become over-weight during puppyhood and participated in lots of bone jarring activities during growth he most likely would suffer a seriously painful life with arthritis and lameness.

When longbones grow too fast, the calcification process cannot keep up and too much soft cartilage is now between growth plates and real bone thus it cannot support the weight and pounding without 'giving' some and so is subject to bending and deforming near and at the joint so when it finally does calcify things aren't quite straight or won't fit together quite as well. That's why Large-Breed puppy food has lower calcium content as well as lower calories and often lower protein per Kg of food as 'normal' puppy food... this is to stem the rapid bone growth to something more manageable and to keep the puppy's weight down (resulting in less stress on those growing bones)... not to worry, the puppy will still grow to whatever height his genes have programmed him to be, it will just take a couple of months longer to attain.

Exercise is a two-edged sword... it's absolutely necessary for strengthening the leg muscles... its these muscles that hold the leg joints tightly together. This is important because a tight joint will lead to a deep socket formation in the joint (a highly desirable thing for sure) and will allow less 'slippage' which could otherwise result in micro-fractures to the growth plates and even deforming these plates, which can surely result in painful, debilitating arthritis in later years. The development of these muscles must keep up with the bone growth rate otherwise there can be problems... so exercise is vitally important. One the other hand, too much exercise or more importantly, the wrong kind of exercise, can also cause micro-fracturing of the growth plates. So the 'conventional wisdom' usually states... no forced exercising (which means encouraging puppy to continue past his/her natural limits), no jarring type of exercises (like jumping, descending stairs, running on hard surfaces, jumping into and out of the car, etc), and finally to avoid any dangerous conditions where your puppy's legs could splay out and really stress those soft joints (like slippery floors, ice, etc.).

Now to my own recommendations...
Avoid excessive stair climbing and descending when possible... avoid all jumping movements until at least 10 months old and then introduce it very slowly over the course of the following 6-months... some walking on hard surfaces is okay if your puppy is not over-weight but use your common sense here... if your pup likes swimming (its a zero load bearing exercise which strengthens the muscles with minimal joint stress) do all he/she wants... Finally, have many short play sessions per day, every day and quit when puppy quits (puppies tire very quickly but also recover very quickly as well... so take advantage of this). For a really young puppy (like 8-10 weeks old) 6 or 7 short (10-15 minute) play sessions a day isn't too much... and as your puppy ages SLOWLY increase the time duration (still according to your puppy's natural limits) and begin reducing the number of play sessions per day. Suggestion is 3 sessions (20-40 minutes) for a 5-7 month old and 2 sessions (30-60 minutes) for a 9-month to a year old... remember these are just approximate suggestions and not rigid rules... always use common sense about these things. And BTW, running on hard surfaces for extended periods of time in consider very jarring to tender young joints so the 'jogging with puppy thing' would not be a good idea until puppy is at least 10-months old and even then it must begin at very short distances and SLOWLY the distances can be extended over time as puppy's pads and muscles get conditioned for it... there is also concerns about weather conditions because dogs cannot cool themselves anywhere near as efficiently as humans and so many dogs have died while out jogging with their owners... this is especially true of 'colder weather' types breeds such as Goldens.

EDIT: I'd like to add that though growth plates can "close off" as early as 10-months in smaller breeds, typically for Goldens it is suggested that growth plate closures most likely happen around 14-18 months. So I think its safe to begin slowly introducting more jarring type of activities after about 10-months to a year of age but shouldn't be fully participating "all out" until closure is complete... that would be stuff like full height jumps in agility or jogging 8-miles on hard pavement, etc.
 
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