What age is appropriate to begin jogging with your dog? (Obviously, at six months, Gabby is way too young, but I'm thinking ahead ). My vet told me I could start very slowly at 12 months, but I've heard so many different things...
Is it recommended to put the dog on a flexi- type leash so that they can run on the grass, etc, instead of next to you on the sidewalk? Or is a six foot leash better? I know off leash is preferable, but I live in the middle of a city and even the parks get car traffic.
Oh, and how do you build up? Is it better to start with something really small like a quarter mile and then build up?
18 months to 2 years MINIMUM. They have finished growing and their growth plates have closed by then
Dani, Rider & Rookie
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And please watch yourself w/a Flexi. There are some very basic manners-training points that your dog should be rock-solid on:
- with me (to return the dog to your general vicinity),
- easy (so the dog doesn’t go pinging to the end of the lead and injure him/herself),
- heel (when you need absolute control, such as at a traffic intersection),
- leave it/drop it (because dogs on retractable leads can pick up some nasty stuff under trees and in gutters),
- around (useful for untangling a dog from a telephone pole or stop sign).
Serious injuries have resulted from the misuse of flexible leads; extreme caution is the order of the day.
I copied this from a post I made about exercise in the 'Our Best Advice' thread;
Jogging: Jogging should NEVER be attempted with a dog under the age of 18 months (although waiting until the dog is 24 months would be better), however occasional jogging with a well conditioned adult can be a good exercise. Note the "occasional" part -- the reason behind this is because dogs are not natural sprinters. Running continually without stopping is not natural for a dog and, done too much, it stresses the joints even with an adult. Therefore if you want to jog with your dog, firstly make sure he is in good shape. Secondly, only jog with him a handful of times per week -- this will give his muscles time to recover. Finally, try to run him on a soft surface such as grass or a dirt track. You should also take sensible precautions in regards to weather -- NEVER run in the heat and bring plenty of water for your dog.
If off leash is not an option, yes I would favor a Flexi. However, take note of dwecks advice -- your dog should be trained and well behaved before you use one. I would also build up in short sessions -- walk for 2 minutes, jog for 2 minutes, walk for 5 minutes, jog for 5 minutes, and so on.