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Hello everyone!

I wanted to create a little introduction for Nixon. He is an energetic pup who loves water activities, obstacle courses and little morning runs. He is a purebred from all star agility parents, currently five months old. Thus far we have completed puppy "Pre School" and are now enrolled in "Kindergarten", loving every minute we spend training and at the park together. Nixon is extremely curious and meets new friends daily. Honestly love watching him grow and wanted to share his updates with interested readers.


Had a few questions

What level of activity is appropriate for this age? Have a favorite IQ increasing toy? Toys y'alls pups love? Unique training tips?

- Morgan
 

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Nixon is really cute! I hope you stick around, the forum is a great place to learn :)
Be careful with morning runs, your boy is way way too young to do any kind of forced exercise. He's not done growing yet and repeated pounding can damage his joints. Generally, it's okay to run him when he's 18 months when the growth plates are closed, but I think it's better to hold off until 2 years or even 2.5 years. Each dog is different obviously, so it's my understanding that growth plates close at different times for each dog too. There was a graphic that showed when each growth plate generally closed by, I'll see if I can find it for you.
As far as what he can do...Off leash exercise is so much better because he can self regulate he can pick and choose his own pace and how often to stop. Swimming is the best exercise I think. If you can take your boy swimming, do that! I hike with my boy frequently, although I don't think I started hiking with him when he was 5 months. When he was that age, we did a lot of walks in public places working on manners lol.
Hopefully someone can help you with the rest of your questions, Kaizer isn't a huge fan of toys (but that may be a matter of me not finding the right toy) and I don't use food toys (I've always used his meals as training opportunities).
 
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Nixon is really cute! I hope you stick around, the forum is a great place to learn :)
Be careful with morning runs, your boy is way way too young to do any kind of forced exercise. He's not done growing yet and repeated pounding can damage his joints. Generally, it's okay to run him when he's 18 months when the growth plates are closed, but I think it's better to hold off until 2 years or even 2.5 years. Each dog is different obviously, so it's my understanding that growth plates close at different times for each dog too. There was a graphic that showed when each growth plate generally closed by, I'll see if I can find it for you.
As far as what he can do...Off leash exercise is so much better because he can self regulate he can pick and choose his own pace and how often to stop. Swimming is the best exercise I think. If you can take your boy swimming, do that! I hike with my boy frequently, although I don't think I started hiking with him when he was 5 months. When he was that age, we did a lot of walks in public places working on manners lol.
Hopefully someone can help you with the rest of your questions, Kaizer isn't a huge fan of toys (but that may be a matter of me not finding the right toy) and I don't use food toys (I've always used his meals as training opportunities).
I agree with this post. Nixon needs to wait until his growth plates close before doing any heavy duty exercise/agility work.
As for toys....when Bailey was a puppy I bought him a ball which was made by Kong that allowed me to hide treats inside of it. It was supposed to "challenge" the dog to figure out how to get the treats out of the ball. It took about 5 minutes for Bailey to figure out that he he took the ball to the top of the stairs and dropped it down the steps by the time it reached the bottom the treats would have shattered and fallen out. So much for "challenging" him;)
 

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Thank you for the information! I had not realized activities may be a little too strenuous for him. Will continue with public walk and off leash exercises. Will test out the challenging toys and see if he enjoys them as well.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Nixon is adorable. It sounds like you guys are off to a great start. Exercise is really important but one thing I don't see written often is that the more exercise we give them the more endurance they have which then means we need to give them even more exercise to tire them out. I believe pups can use about 10 to 20 minutes of heart pumping activity once or twice a day with additional lots of fun training to engage their brains. I don't want to build up so much endurance that I need to exercise/play activities for 2 hours at a time. They are retrievers so as they grow they will be able to do it anyway. Of course each pup is an individual so my words are just in general. I always believe it is just as important to teach a pup to settle/relax also. Some pups have an off switch naturally others need to be taught.
 

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Nixon is super cute, keep taking classes and practicing every day on basics with him. One of the best things you can introduce is a formal retrieve - where he returns to heel with a bumper and waits while you throw it and release him to retrieve it again. There are great videos on line to help teach it and you can also purchase a DVD by Jackie Mertens "Sound Beginnings" which is worth every penny for teaching basics and working on retrieving instinct. It takes some time just like any other skill but it is wonderful to have this skill. Also teaches self control.
 

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What a sweet boy! He is adorable. When Foster was young I was very cautious about too much exercise because I read that it can be hard on their joints in the long run. I believe you aren't supposed to run them for long periods of time especially on hard surfaces. We were also cautious about stairs. In the beginning, he would really indicate to us when he was done walking. He would just lay down on our neighbor's lawn and refuse to move until we carried him home :)

As he got older and bigger we started going to the dog park. Again, with throwing the ball you have to be careful about how they stop to get the ball. It can be hard on them if they are running fast and then do a sudden stop. But he is so much happier and better behaved when he gets 30 minutes to an hour of rigorous exercise each day.

As far as toys, our boy is obsessed with tennis balls. His puppy kindergarten teacher told us he is not food motivated at all, he is tennis ball motivated...it's true. He also chews through any fabric or cloth toys within minutes, regardless of whether its labeled "non destructible." So the only toys he has are Kongs in various shapes, plastic teething rings, Nylabones, and most recently he really likes his Nylabone antler.
 
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