Hi everyone! I am new to having a lab, my older dog is a 5 1/2 years old Morkie, and does not require a lot of exercise outside of the home because of his size. I have a couple of questions related to exercise.
My lab is currently 12 weeks old. How many walks do you take your pups on daily?
In the future I plan to take him on runs with me. If you run with your dog, at what age did you start? I have read that it is not good on their joints as puppies and to wait until they are older, and then slowly build them up distance wise.
You want to encourage free play off leash on soft surfaces, dogs naturally take breaks and go fast then slow in play. that's all good.
You want to be careful with anything on leash, which is called "forced exercise". The name is not because the dog cannot follow, they can run circles around us. But because it's not a natural exercise for dog to go straight for long periods and the hard sidewalk/pavement is bad for growing joints. It can cause long term damage you won't know until hey are older.
the rule of thumb is 5 minutes of "forced exercise" (walks) per month of age until growth plates are fused. you can do a bit more but don't double it. Do multiple trips in a day.
Again, you want to do more "free play" exercise like playing in the yard, at the park (if the dog has all their shots and be UBBER careful about POSITIVE SOCIALIZATION, the dog parks and public places can just b ea place where puppies get bullied which is not at all proper socialization).
For running you must wait until the growth plates are done growing. For a lab this is 18-24 months of age (two years old)