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Kate
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But I was confused by your last two statements above...I know that puppies bones are soft and the joints are not even 'seated' for a few weeks. Until this happens exercise should be limited. Like you say low to medium is best with young dogs. Then you seem to contradict that and say "mine go 2-3 mile every day"...because they are high energy dogs!
I am sure I am misunderstanding your comments, please clarify if you will?
That comment referred to the age of the pups we are discussing here (8 month olds and older) in relation to the amount of food that the dogs are fed. The bags recommend too much food for a lot of dogs out there, particularly those owned by people who are either sedentary or absent during the day (so the dogs are sleeping 8-12 hours a day).

8+ month old pups = different conversation than 8 week old pups.

Young puppies don't go for walks. In fact, the longest walks I typically do with a baby pup is up the road and back home, which a month later gets extended to a 1/4 mile walk (very short 15 minute walk). A month later we might start working up to a 1/2 mile, etc....

Normally I'd stay under a mile for a growing dog - but mine are high energy and very powerful dogs. You go by the dog you own.

Personally speaking they do more harm ramming into each other while running outside on those days I skip a walk.... we had frigid temps the past weekend and uh.... no walks = my dogs tearing it up outside (and thank goodness they have room to run). o_O My 7 year old got a much needed laser treatment this morning to get some inflammation in his shoulder/neck area down after he got double teamed by his sons. >.< He goes back next Tuesday for a 2nd treatment and if needed will get a 3rd treatment the following week.

*And taking a 2 mile walk is about 30-45 minute relaxed walk. It's not jogging and or heavy exercise for the dogs - especially young dogs.
 

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I am very rigid about my dogs' weight. I weigh them weekly and keep Purina's Body Condition System chart near the scale. I will adjust their food intake amounts based on my observations and planned exercise for the week.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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Well I would have to say you are lucky but you are switching a puppy off the puppy foor 5 months early so chances are youre getting fast growth early and then compensating for it with adult food. Just glad that hasn't caught up to your dogs to this point. for decades it's been shown that slow controlled growth is best for developing joints. I think this is why before we talked about how your pups are fairly heavy at an earlier age but slow down before most pups do.
 

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At 76 pounds, I would say your boy is doing fine. The reality is there is no ideal weight for a Golden Retriever. It all depends on the dog. I have known a 49 pound Golden Retriever, a 135 pound Golden, and everything in between. Some Goldens are small, some are medium and some are big. Our Max, who is 9.5 years old now, weighed 99 pounds at 8 months, 30 pounds at 11 weeks, and has been around 135 pounds his entire adult life. But Max is 28 inches tall at the shoulder, very long and has a very large bone structure. On the other hand, our 2.5 year old Rocky, is 73 pounds, and right at the breed standard. Rocky and Max are cousins. Both are fed Purina Pro Plan Large Breed kibble. Just keep an eye on your dog's weight and body shape, and enjoy him. Golden Retrievers are the best! Photos are of Rocky about 1 year and Max at 12 weeks and 3 years.
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Not too big if you want a 100 lb. adult dog. I think you should take a look at how much you are feeding your dog. My guess is it is too much.
 

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The rule of thumb we use to determine how much to feed our dogs is 10 calories for each pound of goal weight. Thus, if you want your dog to weigh 80 pounds you would feed your dog 800 calories per day. In our case, we feed Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Dry Dog Food. It is about 400 calories per cup. Max's goal weight is 130 pounds. We feed him 3 cups of Pro Plan per day, or about 1200 calories total. With treats, he gets a total of about 1300 calories per day. If we followed the Purina guidelines for Max's weight, he would be fed 6 cups per day--twice as much!! By comparison, Rocky, who is only about 75 pounds, gets 2 cups per day, or about 800 calories. However, when both dogs were puppies, and growing, we fed them more, based on how much they were growing and how they looked. The amount we feed now is for mature, adult dogs.
 

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There very much is an ideal weight and an ideal height for goldens - 23-24" (+/- an inch) and 65-75 pounds for the boys. Barring an exceptionally tall or heavier boned dog, a male golden should fall into that range.

Kaizer is 24-25" at the withers and I think he looks best at 75-77 pounds, he's almost 5. He's actually a little fat right now (79 pounds!) so we're working on slimming him down again. He is an active dog (his energy level has NOT decreased as he's gotten older!), but I think it was a supplement I give him that put the weight on him faster than I anticipated. That plus his metabolism finally slowed down.

My point is 80 pounds is a LOT for a young dog - my 5 year old just barely hit that weight, and he's much taller than your boy (although he's not heavy boned). I agree with the suggestion to look at a body condition score - I like the chart made by Purina. I think it's easy to understand. Basically if you run your hands down your dog's side and you can feel his ribs without putting any pressure, then theoretically your dog is at a good weight.
 
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