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Puppy walkies length according to age
  • I did find a couple of vaguely related posts but didn't get the answer I was looking for. How long should / can a puppy be walked for at 2, 3,4,5 6+ months? Isn't there some sort of guidance saying number of months old plus 5 or 10 or something is the number of minutes you could walk the pup? I mean, you can overdo it can't you? I don't mean just making them too tired, I mean exercising them too often too young can cause joint issues, particularly hip dysplaysia? Thanks.

    [changed category ~mod.]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2013-11-05 20:18:39
  • We took Onyx on a 10.5 mile hike when he was 4 months old, a complete accident, we got lost after about 2 miles and didn't find our way back for a while. We continually tried picking him up and holding him and he just kept fighting to get back down and keep walking. He ended up probably walking 6-8 miles on his own at that young age. We felt horrible but he seemed to love it. He slept in the car for 30 minutes on the way home, then he played for another hour or two non-stop once he got back home.

    Every puppy is going to be different, some are very high energy, some get overwhelmed easily. I definitely do not recommend a long hike like that for any dog under a year, but the only thing anyone can really say is to play it by ear. If you dog loves walks and has way too much energy, take him/her out and throw a ball around a lot, but the first time you think he/she is getting tired I would immediately stop.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
  • ^ agree
    There's no applicable data for this. Go out for a 2 mile walk, if it's good with him go for 4- or do a short but intense hike etc. See what the little shib likes
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Kind reminder: the longer you walk your shiba as a puppy, it will build up stamina with him/her: my friend trained his dog (not a shiba) for long walk/hikes/jogs when his puppy was young. And now that his dog is 2+ it takes him quite some effort to tire his dog out. He regrets doing so as he is no longer as active as he was before but must get off his lazy butt to avoid a destructive dog.
  • Benji's breeder was very insistent that puppies should not be walked more than the number of months + 5 minutes, starting with 2 months and 10 minutes. She said puppies that were exercised too much were not building muscle and bone but converting their food into energy for the walks. Any other opinions?
  • natashanatasha
    Posts: 122
    I've also heard that exercising them too much when they are young is bad for their joints and bone structure. I believe they should be at least 18 months before they start doing hectic exercise.
  • Yes this is what I'd heard, hence my post. I was pretty sure that's common knowledge but I've not owned a puppy before so wanted to know what the general age "rule" is. So, no offence intended at all to anyone, just an observation, but I am very suprised to hear a lot of people on here saying it's ok to take a 2-6 month old puppy on long or intense hikes / walks. Surely that's damaging to their joints etc? Also, I want to try agility with him eventually and I know from research that I should wait until he's 18 months old, suggesting there should be a limit on exercise for very young puppies? Basically, I know exercise should be limited when very young so I just wondered what the limits were. I thought it was something along the lines of what jacquieandbenji said. Rings a bell. Thanks for all the feedback :)
  • Small/medium sized dogs like shibas have far less joint and muscle issues than bigger dogs, which is why it is not that important with small dogs. If you have a great dane or something then by all means do not over do it because they are prone to all sorts of issues. Shibas though are pretty healthy and don't deal TOO much with joint issues so you shouldn't have to worry too much about it.

    Regarding the agility, that can be damaging at a young age because of jumping and landing on joints that aren't developed fully. I would say 12-18 months is probably the youngest you would want to start something as intense as agility training. Onyx is 15 months and we are probably going to start looking into getting a home agility course for the back yard in a few months.
  • Kiba0713Kiba0713
    Posts: 259
    I'm sorry I'm really confused by this post and curious- months old plus 5 minutes? Are you guys saying that a 4 month old puppy should be walked for 9 minutes (4 + 5)? I dont understand...that cant be right lol.

    edit: Also, for my two cents, Kiba's about 4 months now and his trips outside range from about 10 minutes (for like a 6am bathroom run etc) to an hour walk around the neighborhood.
    Post edited by Kiba0713 at 2013-11-06 13:13:39
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    The main thing you want to avoid is long walks on pavement, and lots of jumping, which is not good for developing joints. If you let the pup romp around in grass after doing their business, they will tire when they are good and ready.
  • No I think you start off with 10 minutes for 2 months old, then every month the pup gets older after that add 5 minutes to the walk, so 3 months would be 15 mins, 4 months 20 mins, 5 months 25 and so on.

    Then from 6 months or however old, you can go for however long.
    Post edited by Nahatalie at 2013-11-06 14:02:52
  • Kiba0713Kiba0713
    Posts: 259
    Oooh lol that makes more sense. I knew that couldn't be right. Yeah his walks average 20 minutes I'd say, but we usually try to do a longer one once a day so he gets the exercise since its a small apartment, but its not strenuous and he stops to sniff or sit and munch on a stick here and there.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    I'm normally a numbers person like that, but with exercise I don't think it works. The thing is, if you limit your pup's "outside" time because a chart says so, he won't necessarily be tired, and then you'll have to exhaust him indoors to make up for it.

    In my experience, those numbers are not near enough exercise!

    Another thing to keep in mind, you want to avoid taking your puppy to areas other animals frequent until he has all of his shots around 4 months. So you shouldn't really be "walking" for some time.

    Just keep it low impact on grass or a yard at first and you'll be fine. :)
  • No well, obviously I'll play it by ear, I won't have him on a stopwatch and demand he stops moving at exactly 15 minutes or something lol. I was generally getting at the walkies, just leash time, he'll have plenty of back garden romping time! And we have a house with a large lounge / diner perfect for indoor play times, so lots of other non-walkies exercise will be on offer to tire him out!
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Pet level casual agility classes and dog parks/dog daycares are the only places I have really seen too young (IMO) dogs/puppies on equipment. The conscientious and competition level trainers I am aware of, for both Agility and Flyball (my primary doggy sports), would never even think of putting a puppy under 6 months on a piece of equipment that requires impact or jumping. The foundation training like targeting and retrieving, can safely happen as soon as the puppies are walking and mentally able to learn more complex behaviors.

    I am doing a class geared towards Performance Skills for Puppies right now, but was told the earliest I should start doing an actual Foundations class is 6 months old (no jumps or impact or traditional equipment yet). For Flyball on my team, dogs can't do jumps with height until they are a year old, same with full on box work.

    So, although hip dysplasia and LP occurs in the breed (as well as most small or toy breeds), running on grass and turf/sawdust is fine at early ages, to their hearts content, but limit activities that result in a lot of repetitive impact (like serious jogging on hard surfaces) until the growth plates have closed. I know several Border Collie and Aussie owners who even X-ray yearling puppies to check on growth plates before allowing them on real equipment.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    +1 on what @Bootz said. I did this when Tatonka was little, and since he'd never quit we'd do a few hours around the city and sometimes on hikes. He doesn't really do anything at night if he's not tired but some days I misjudge the distance and find him standing on the other edge of the bed and staring at me very early in the morning (3 am). If I've done well, he'll wake up after me and does it in stages and only gets out from bed when I physically force him to. :P
    Monkey!
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    This is an excellent thread! I walk Yuki much longer than 15 minutes at a time (he's 3 months old now), but he is also a HIGH energy puppy! I'm ok with him building up his stamina as he gets older. :) We do about 30-60 minutes at a time. But we aren't jogging, I'm not a super fast walker, and I do let him stop to explore things (especially in the morning). This is really helpful for me to be cognizent of, as I hadn't thought about it being too much.
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Our routine of physical activity for 5 month old Oki on an average day is currently a 15 minute walk first thing, 1 hour play time with the puppy sitter middle of the day, then an hours walk in the afternoon when I get home. He also does puppy agility (does involve equipment but focussing on contact points so takes it very slow, and there's never any jumping) once a week. Once home from a walk, he's still quite active all evening and requires a lot of attention and play, but can be calmed down with something to chew. He almost always crashes out for the night at 9pm. I think his activity level is apprpriate at the moment, perhaps a bit too much really, but the hour long walk is always on grass so hopefully not doing him any harm.
  • My 10 weeks old is going crazy. I don't know where he got all his energy from.
    I let him out to our backyard (grass+concrete surface) every 4 hours. He will just play, explore and run in the yard for at least 1.5 hours and still being hyperactive when we get back to the house. Sometimes,(I don't know what he is doing), he will run super fast in circles in my backyard. There's no way that I could stop him. You can tell he is tired but he just didn't want to sleep. It takes some time to calm him down, may be ignore him for a bit or give him something to chew. Hopefully this won't do much harm to him.
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    I find that Oki has a bit of a mad half hour where he Shiba 500's in the back garden and becomes really playful. Just when it's starting to go from funny and fun to tiresome for me, he crashes out; next thing I know he's lying on his side ready for a belly rub and some sleep! Suits me fine.

    During this mad half hour today though, he got a bit escalated and started barking at me which he's never done before. I immediately ignored him and after about 15 seconds he calmed right down. I know he'll likely turn into a devil dog, but on the whole, Oki is very well behaved currently. Fingers crossed he stays like that! Though I know there'll be challenges ahead...
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    LOL @ shiba 500!!! haha. Yuki will do that for a short period of time, but he gets higher levels of exercise, too. He's a VERY busy boy!!! I shortened Yuki's morning walk to 30 minutes today. :)

    I feel SO guilty when he is in the kennell all day long, though. My husband is sick and getting off of his 24 hour shift and asked me to take him. I've had him all day in his kennel twice now, with morning, lunch and afternoon walks all at least 30 minutes (usually longer), and potty breaks four times during the work day-- so two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
    Post edited by devonmlewis at 2014-03-14 11:46:23
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Just wondering...what's the longest walk you'd take a 6.5 month old Shiba on? In a few weeks we're going on a long weekend in the countryside with loads of friends, one couple has a tireless cocker. I expect we'll be going on lots of long walks. I imagine the terrain will be fields / woodland and pretty flat. Oki will be 6.5 months old. He's 5 months old today, and he goes on an hour long walk every afternoon and that's the right length for him energy wise (still unsure as to whether or not that too much for his young joints...). Just wondering if 2 hours would be too long at 6.5 months, or if it's ok to even take him for 3 or more! It would be 2 full days in a row (one day either side of that travelling).
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    Is the cocker spaniel the one Oki was playing with and wouldn't stop?? I'd probably do a 4-6 mile with breaks every few miles. But I'm a new shiba owner, so that may be too long or too little. I just learned about this shorter exercising period for Yuki, so I've been cutting his walks down a bit so I don't over exert him. If you're taking breaks at either end I'd think you'd be ok.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Nahatalie

    Just try to keep the walks with Oki on soft surfaces like Grass, mud/dirt vs paved roads/trails that have concrete.

    The idea is to put as LESS stress on their joints as possible.

    Remember mental stimulation can tire them out just as much as physical!
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Yes...it's the same cocker! But now, with a bit of persuasion I am able to get Oki to stop playing with other dogs, once they/I/owner had enough. If needs be I'll have to keep his lead on so I can guide him away. It's a large house so we should be able to keep the dogs apart at times if needs be. I am hoping, now Oki generally is more in control of himself and they're both older, that they'll settle down a bit...maybe not! I think I'd "cope" with the puppy play craziness a lot better now. Now I know a lot more about dog body language and how to handle things. We'd only had Oki less than 2 weeks when they came, and I was all overwhelmed with puppiness. I had no idea 2 pups together could be so mental! Looking back, I do feel silly about feeling so stressed about it.

    As for the walks, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be much concrete involved. Another couple we're going with have a toddler and she won't be able to go far so we can always tag along with them!
  • devonmlewisdevonmlewis
    Posts: 182
    We walk Yuki on concrete every day (there isn't a choice sometimes), but now that I think of it, the walks we go on in the morning and evening (two main walks and trails) are all dirt! How interesting. One is on a dirt road that leads to the wetlands and the other is at the base of our ski hill (there are little trails all over here that he loves exploring).

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