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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have had "Langdon" since he was almost 2 months old... He is SUPER well behaved and surprisingly amazing on his leash. I have been running with him since he was 2.5 months old... (Contrary to what I read, our vet said it was okay to bring him out and begin exercising with him at 2.5 months old). So, I started it out pretty easy and we have been slowly increasing the distance we are going.

We are doing about 10 minute miles and he absolutely LOVES going for runs. I guess I have two questions...

The first is, how far is too far? We have done up to three miles (so thirty minutes) and I want to go for a four mile run/jog tomorrow (forty minutes). Is this too much?

My second question is, I live in Wisconsin and its pretty cold when we are out running. He wears a sweater when we go out for a run, but should I worry about his paws and/or face?

Thanks everyone!
 

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Running at a pace that you (the human) set at four months isn't good for his growing joints and bones. Walking that distance with him being able to set the pace, stop to sniff, be on grass or a softer surface than asphalt might be alright, but no vet I know would approve road work with such a young pup. As for the temperatures, you do need to be cognizant of how cold his feet get or whether ice balls are building up. Some boots might be the ticket in your winter temps. Let your youngster grow and mature properly, and you'll have a great running companion for many years to come.
 

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The biggest concern is the surface you are running on. Puppies joints are still developing and hard surfaces can be hard on them. Try to stay off pavement until they are are least one year old.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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Sorry to forget your second question. Golden's can handle pretty darned cold weathers so the coat is most likely not needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the great info! I'll be sure to let him take the reins tomorrow and see what happens!! The distance itself, isn't too far though, right?
 

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I would never ever run a pup this young at all ! Free style walks on varied terrain is OK, but this is still a developing very young dog. Just because they seem to like it, does not mean it is good for them. Way too much too soon.
 

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I have to agree that it's worrisome to run a pup this young on a leash. Pups/dogs are built for stop & start rather than to go at a steady pace. Why take a chance with your pup's orthopedics? Some human parents run with 3,4, and 5 year olds but. . . The forming of joints is a surprisingly delicate process in a baby dog. Even long bones are in four soft "pieces" and must fuse together. I'd change vets pronto. I am one to really exercise my goldens w/2 and 3 hour hikes daily. BUT, you wont catch me overdoing it with a pup bc the guilt and worry when there is an orthopedic problem cannot be overstated. If something happens to this dog's hips/ elbows/ bones in 3 months, you'll have to wonder. I'd play it safe and delay the gratification a while. Take this pup for walks in the woods. Just my opinion. . .
 

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Musher's Secret is a good protector for the paw pads. Just google it.
 

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I've heard however many weeks old a pup is, that's how many minutes a DAY he should be walked. (4 months, 16 weeks, 16 minutes). We urged our last golden to do a lot of walking as a young pup and he ended up having surgery for OCD. Whether it was caused by exercise we don't know. We're also in Wisconsin. Marty wears boots when walking in the snow if it's REALLY cold out and we wash his feet after walking on the road to get the road salt off.
 

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Is this even a real question? I can't believe there is a vet or breeder alive who would O.K. a pup this young running like this.
 

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If you are concerned, maybe contact a vet school that specializes in working/sport dogs.

Yes my puppies are walking (well..I walk! They run!) that long, but this is off leash walks in the woods. Exercise is good for puppies. There are studies that working young horses on the track can decrease problems later. But there are piles of studies on how dangerous extensive athletic activities are for kids.

I have a friend who is a serious distance runner. Her dogs are regularly going for 10+ mile runs. She adopted a 9 month old mix recently and really debated on what to do. Mushing people start running their 6 month olds distances... but... the kid information -really- scared her and she's waiting until her boy is mature before going on distance runs. For -now- she is giving him appropriate off leash activities when she can (...lives in a town iwth a super small yard), going on super short runs (less than a minute at a time...walking for a bit, then a run) to teach him how to run, lots of stretching and muscle building activities, etc..

Talk to a specialist. Exercise your puppy but I would recommend adjusting with your schedule unless the athletic/working dog vet says otherwise (and we'd looooooove to hear their recommendations!)

Re temps: If it's below 20, my old dog needs a coat. If it's below 0, we just don't go out, but if we would be, they'd have coats. If it's below 15, my dogs would be wearing boots (...that's the temp at which they stop and hold up feet!). We don't get as much snow as you but I talk about this often with a WI dog friend... when snow has that crunchy layer on top... YES boots. Because that's just a few days here...we only go out in snow shoveled areas to potty. But if we had more of it, we'd ahve boots. That icey layer can seriously cut up feet. But this is also a question for the athletic/working dog specialist.. I think coats -are- important when it's super cold...I know CleanRun (an agility magazine) has talked about this in the past....something about keeping muscles warm to prevent problems... anyone remember the specifics?
 

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Hi everyone,

I have had "Langdon" since he was almost 2 months old... He is SUPER well behaved and surprisingly amazing on his leash. I have been running with him since he was 2.5 months old... (Contrary to what I read, our vet said it was okay to bring him out and begin exercising with him at 2.5 months old). So, I started it out pretty easy and we have been slowly increasing the distance we are going.

We are doing about 10 minute miles and he absolutely LOVES going for runs. I guess I have two questions...

The first is, how far is too far? We have done up to three miles (so thirty minutes) and I want to go for a four mile run/jog tomorrow (forty minutes). Is this too much?

My second question is, I live in Wisconsin and its pretty cold when we are out running. He wears a sweater when we go out for a run, but should I worry about his paws and/or face?

Thanks everyone!
Being cold is the least of my concerns. A puppy this young should not be running 3 miles. It is far too long for his growing bones and joints.
 

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Being cold is the least of my concerns. A puppy this young should not be running 3 miles. It is far too long for his growing bones and joints.

I have to go snowshoeing twice a day these days: a short round (~1mile) with the puppy and then a good 5mile hike with the grown ups. I don't wanna overdo it with my 3 month old.
 

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I wouldn't jog with a dog under the age of 2 years. A friend of mine learned the hard way, both parents of her pup had excellent hips and clear elbows. So from day one she took puppy on long hikes (2-3 hours) and her mom did the same later in the day. Weekends they went hiking in the mountains, puppy carried a pack...

When he was just about 2, he started limping and yelping on a backpacking trip, so they took his pack off, rested him for a day and then hiked back out (they were 3 days in). Took him to a vet where they were shocked he could even walk - there was NOTHING for hip joints, worst the vet had ever seen. I don't think surgery was even an option (either at the time or because of the damage, his legs where in place mainly with muscle). He lived another year, kept very lean and on lots of pain meds before that didn't work anymore and they had to put him down because of the pain...

I would find a new vet for sure, either this vet is on glue or figures you'll want to pay him big bucks for the health issues caused by jogging with a young puppy. I'm surprised your breeder did not discuss this with you, most breeders have something in their contract that if you jog or over do it with your puppy they will not honor any contracts as far as hips/elbows go.

Lana
 

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I wouldn't jog with a dog under the age of 2 years. A friend of mine learned the hard way, both parents of her pup had excellent hips and clear elbows. So from day one she took puppy on long hikes (2-3 hours) and her mom did the same later in the day. Weekends they went hiking in the mountains, puppy carried a pack...

When he was just about 2, he started limping and yelping on a backpacking trip, so they took his pack off, rested him for a day and then hiked back out (they were 3 days in). Took him to a vet where they were shocked he could even walk - there was NOTHING for hip joints, worst the vet had ever seen. I don't think surgery was even an option (either at the time or because of the damage, his legs where in place mainly with muscle). He lived another year, kept very lean and on lots of pain meds before that didn't work anymore and they had to put him down because of the pain...

I would find a new vet for sure, either this vet is on glue or figures you'll want to pay him big bucks for the health issues caused by jogging with a young puppy. I'm surprised your breeder did not discuss this with you, most breeders have something in their contract that if you jog or over do it with your puppy they will not honor any contracts as far as hips/elbows go.

Lana
I've heard this same story far too many times.

"Contrary to what's been read here", a vet says this is okay.
If anecdotal evidence from longtime breeders and owners on so many of the issues we see in Goldens isn't considered, why do we even bother offering it...
 

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I'm surprised your breeder did not discuss this with you, most breeders have something in their contract that if you jog or over do it with your puppy they will not honor any contracts as far as hips/elbows go.


Our breeders and trainers have spent more time on joint and bone protection than on what to feed them! This is just common sense. IMO.
 

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At what age do puppies growth plates typically close/fuse (not sure on wording)?

Not meaning to hijack, but I always wondered, I knew "over doing it" was definitely possible, I always wondered when I see people getting a puppy to do stairs "cause it's cute" -is there a point where that is all too much/too soon as well?

And because I compare everything to horses....I wouldn't back a horse until well into their 2 year old year (closer to three) for another growth reason -I know dogs and horses age differently, but that's where my background in that would come from. Big drama in the Thoroughbred race world for 2 year olds racing, too young!
 

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I have to go snowshoeing twice a day these days: a short round (~1mile) with the puppy and then a good 5mile hike with the grown ups. I don't wanna overdo it with my 3 month old.
This is me too- a big workout for the big dogs and a special outing for puppy.
 

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The growth period typically ends between 18-24 months. Prior to this there should be no formal "running or jogging" with the dog. Letting them run around on their own in the house or in a fenced yard is a very different situation. Here they stop and start at their own pace. You should only walk your pup at this point, and the rule I was taught is 5 minutes walking for every month old, so 4 months=20 minutes at a time. The repeated pounding of their immature bones/joints on pavement is what will do the damage. As for temperatures and their feet, we use mushers secret very successfully, especially as protection on salted/sanded winter roads.
 
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