How much exercise is too much?
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Thread: How much exercise is too much?

  1. #1
    loveMurdoch is offline Junior Member
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    Red faceHow much exercise is too much?

    Hello everyone!

    First time poster, first time lab owner! I'm sure I'll be sneaking around in the shadows of this forum from here on out.

    I have a five month old, 47 pound chocolate lab. He, as I'm sure all labs are, is pure ENERGY! It seems no matter how much exercise I give him, I'm always tired before he is. I'm wanting to start a new exercise program for myself (anyone else trying to lose that last darn ten pounds?), and since the weather here in Florida is finally cooling off a little bit I want to take Murdoch with me. However, I'm concerned if there is too much exercise for a puppy his age and weight. The routine I'm wanting to do walk/jog routine on our local bridge which is a poplar jogging spot... said causeway is on a pretty gradual incline, and a round trip over the river and back is about 2.25 miles long and maybe an hour, given the fact that I'm really out of shape! lol

    Would this be too much for him to handle? A mile is nothing for him, and 20 minutes is nothing for him. I'm mainly worried about the stress this could potentially put on his developing bones... not so much worried about wearing him out. That's a god send!!

    Any advice? Or, does anyone have an exercise routine that they are able to involve their labs in? Is there such thing as too much exercise for a lab puppy?

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    A safe bet is 5 minutes per month for a puppy. I would not allow a puppy to jog with you until it was fully grown, definitely not at 5 months. You can do damage to growing joints.
    Tammy
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    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    no on leash running until he is 18 months and he is done growing. the repetitive impact on his growling joints (on pavement) is terrible for his body and long term health. This goes for jogging/biking/roller blading with him on leash. Yes absolutely he has the energy and can keep up, but issue is the negative impact on his body.

    Young dogs need offleash free play. Fetching, playing wtih other dogs, off leash hikes in the woods/beach/trails, etc. these are the best types of exercises to "tire out a dog".

    They also need MENTAL exercise, training is great for this. as are things like games (hide and seek) and brain games and feeding from a kong/tug-a-jug/kong wobbler.

    And at that age, they often need to "learn" to be calm in the house. If you keep upping the exericse in order to get them so tired they pass out they become energy junkies and will alway need more more more activity.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    Jayghf1978 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for posting this question, as myself been wondering the same.

    My Chopper is 5 months old, right around 50 lbs but far from slender. I have been wanting to excercise him, but afraid of long term hip problems. He loves playing fetch and we generally play until I see him jog. We also play chase, in which he would run after me full speed. We generally play for 10-20 minutes with full speed often. We also play tug of war nightly to help release his energy.

    Anyone have a solid simple training or exercise regime they would recommend? Or maybe a general basis of what lab owners should keep in mind when exercising their puppies? There is an old saying "a tired puppy is a happy puppy", but where shall the line be drawn?

    Thanks for reading.

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    loveMurdoch is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammyhuffman View Post
    A safe bet is 5 minutes per month for a puppy. I would not allow a puppy to jog with you until it was fully grown, definitely not at 5 months. You can do damage to growing joints.
    I've heard of the five minutes per month of age rule of thumb before, but it just never seems to be enough. We have only jogged maybe three times, so I suppose that will be the end of that. Thank you for your reply!

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    loveMurdoch is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
    no on leash running until he is 18 months and he is done growing. the repetitive impact on his growling joints (on pavement) is terrible for his body and long term health. This goes for jogging/biking/roller blading with him on leash. Yes absolutely he has the energy and can keep up, but issue is the negative impact on his body.
    So, 18 months is typically when they are finished maturing physically? I keep reading conflicting ages. I've only jogged with him maybe twice, so I suppose that's the end of that! But could he walk on an incline? Maybe if we only go halfway up the causeway then turn around and go back, that should be a half hour and no more, with no jogging.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
    Young dogs need offleash free play. Fetching, playing wtih other dogs, off leash hikes in the woods/beach/trails, etc. these are the best types of exercises to "tire out a dog".
    Oh, trust me, Murdoch gets TONS of off-leash play time! He swims in our pool to fetch his floating toy, we play long rounds of fetch in the yard, he chases frisbies and runs with my friend's Golden Retriever and our old, blind, diabetic Wheaton Terrier. When I get home from work at 5:30, we play until 9:00 and then it's relax time then bed time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
    And at that age, they often need to "learn" to be calm in the house. If you keep upping the exericse in order to get them so tired they pass out they become energy junkies and will alway need more more more activity.
    This might be my problem, then. I'll refocus on training more in the evening to better separate and extend our calm time from our play time. He is doing fantastic with training... except he does not see me as alpha, which is becoming a problem. I suppose that's a topic for another forum, unless anyone has some advice on this?

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    loveMurdoch is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayghf1978 View Post
    Thanks for posting this question, as myself been wondering the same.
    If no one asks we'll never know anything!

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    Milesmom is offline Senior Member
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    Well, I have found that the 5 minute rule is a bit light but I guess it is safe. I mostly hike with my dogs in the woods and offf leash. I do find though that what tires my pup out more than anything. Working that brain and learning new things is tiring. A good mix of each is the best!

    Ann & Miles
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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    the "5 minutes per month of age" rule is for FORCED exercise (i.e. anything on leash). free play has no limit, especially when on softer surfaces and when the dog is dictating speed and duration. I may take a few extra breaks when playing fetch with a pup but they can go for awhile.

    Dogs need to build muscle and stamina, so you absolutely want them to run and play freely. you just need to be conservative on anything done on leash (walks, roller blading) and not jump into any activity without building them up to it (i.e. don't go for a long hike if the dog has never done a short one before!).

    dogs of different breeds (especially sizes) grow at different speeds. So for a small breed their joints and such may close much earlier than 18 months. Even within a breed it can vary depending on lines. You want to aim for hte "average" age a lab is done growing, which is 18-24 months. This also co-incides with when x-rays are taken to check hips/elbows prior to breeding.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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