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Hi all. I no this topic has been touched on (as I first conducted a search), but my question was not addressed in any of the earlier threads.

I have a 19 month-old golden named Mustard that I have been taking running with me lately. I have gleaned, both from the breeder and other websites, that it's best not to run much with goldens until they are at least 1.5 years, and that goldens are not particularly well-suited to longer distance runs. I started running with Mustard a few months ago -- mostly short romps (1-2 mi.) at the end of my runs. Now that's he's older I've been taking him on longer runs (6-8 miles.)

Though the prevailing wisdom is that any sort of repetitive concussive activity like running is perilous for dogs that are prone to hip displaysia, when I run with Mustard we are almost exclusively on a trail surrounding by fenced open fields. Typically, I let Mustard off-leash and he wantonly chases prairie dogs and eventually catches up with me. I read that running is problematic for goldens if a) it is on a hard surface like pavement or concrete and b) they are made to keep their human's pace.

I'm hoping that what I'm doing will mitigate the risks of hip displaysia for Mustard. Does anyone have any experience with this type of open-field running with their goldens? And if so, did you experience any problems? Mustard really seems to love running with me, and I haven't noticed any hitch in his giddy-up so far, but I don't want to ruin him either.

Thanks in advance for all responses!
 

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well, I'm no expert, but I would guess that the probability of hip dysplasia is mainly genetically determined. I would think that a lot of running strengthens muscles around the hip and thus stabilizes it?

If I'm outta my league with this, others will correct me :)

The Pud (half lab/half golden) runs all the time. I've worked with long-distance sled dogs before and the Pud has a fast, smooth, powerful gait and an incredible fast trot that equals the best I've seen on Iditarod dogs. We skijor/bike many many miles, summer or winter. She's never shown any signs of lameness from it...
 

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Good point -- Mustard's parents had OFA good and excellent hips respectively. I screened pretty carefully for a breeder for that reason.
 

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Most of what I have read deals with dogs running on hard surfaces. If your pup is running on something other than pavement you should be fine.
 

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I don't know about dogs, but horses can develop severe problems if they are worked on hard surfaces so I think the same would be true for dogs.

When younger (and he was still not young since he was a rescue), my GR would go on pretty long trail rides. Soft surface and like you said - side trips to investigate. I never noticed any problems until he got much older and then I believe it was age related not exercise induced.

Like Pudden's mom said, sled dogs run a lot of miles and do very well. I'm sure field and trial dogs cover a lot o ground as well.

It still might be good to ask your vet, but I think that since the exercise was intorduced gradually he will probably be fine. Good luck. It sounds like he has a great life.
 
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