My puppy is about 11 weeks old. She is full of energy and a lot of fun to play with. The suggestions for exercise I've read say 5 minutes per month. That would mean only 15 minutes of exercise. 15 minutes doesn't seem like much at all and there is no way she is satisfied after only 15 minutes. What do I do at 15 minutes? Put her in her crate? If I don't crate her, she will continue to play. If I do crate her, she cries and cries and cries. She wants to keep playing. I realize her joints are undeveloped and she needs to be careful with some stuff (like jumping).
Does the potential benefit of hopefully prolonging joint problems (yet still will happen) outweight the fact that a puppy wants to play (fetch, run around back yard, etc.) and you are stopping it?
The 5 minute rule is for forced exercise. So allowing her to run around your house and backyard of her own free will is ok. The 5 minute rule comes in for things like walks and playtime. So yes, 15 minutes of actual exercise is all she really needs at 11 weeks old. At her age, exercise should come in the form of playing with you -- three or four 5 minute sessions of play is all she needs. Remember that the 'rule' is not set in stone...it won't hurt for you to play for 20-25 minutes a day providing you are aware of a puppies limitations.
Don't let the pup be a judge of when the play stops. Many, many pups will push through fatigue to keep chasing that ball or run around after you. Excessive activity is not healthy for the pups joints. They need plenty of rest so don't be afraid to crate her for some down time if she is getting wound up.
Yup...what Trickster says.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
My Puff was "wired" as a pup. I found TWO periods of the 5 minutes per month were needed to keep both of us civil. So she got one period early in the morning and another period in the afternoon.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
This is to answer the second part of your question. Yes, hip and elbow problems could still occur with your puppy because these are also genetic conditions. This is the reason to go to a reputable breeder because they have done the research to make sure that there is no history of displasia in either line of the puppy's parents. Even with this it could still happen. If it did both dogs would be taken out of the breeding pool and be spayed or neutered. Going to a reputable breeder isn't a guarantee but it puts the odds in your favor.