We do not generally like to interfere in our clients’ training and care of their dogs, after all it is your dog and you should be able to look after them in your own way. But unfortunately we have seen owners who over-exercise their puppies, and this can cause lifelong problems for your dog, so we feel we should offer the information for owners to be able to follow an appropriate exercise regime for their pup.
We all know that puppies are full of energy, so you may think that your puppy needs to go out for a long walk to burn it off. However, exercising your puppy for too long can cause serious and permanent damage to their developing joints. Puppies can injure themselves much more easily than adult dogs – where an adult dog might simply sprain their ankle a puppy may seriously hurt themselves and could even end up with a deformity for life. For more information on why this is the case, please follow this link https://www.puppyculture.com/new-appropriate-exercise.html
The general recommendations for walking your puppy are 5 minutes of walk per month of their life, up to twice a day. So a 5 month old puppy can safely have 2 walks of up to 25 minutes each per day. This does not mean that they NEED to go out for this long. It also doesn’t mean they CAN’T have a longer walk occasionally, but IF you take your puppy out for a longer walk, please remember the following important points:
- Let him/her go at their own pace – allow them to sniff, explore and take their time. Don’t force them to walk faster than they want to
- Don’t force them to walk if they are showing signs of being tired – particularly if they actually refuse to walk
- Be prepared to carry your pup for significant portions of the walk
The best exercise for puppies occurs in short bursts, as they can tire very quickly. Most of their exercise should be initiated by themselves, playing and exploring around the home and garden (provided the garden is secure). If you don’t think you’re puppy is getting enough exercise from their short walks each day, then you should focus on trying to mentally tire them out at home – playing games with toys, setting up treat/scent trails for them to follow etc. Feeding your pup with a puzzle feeder/slow feeder can also help.
For further guidance on the type of exercise your pup can enjoy in their early life, follow this link https://www.puppyculture.com/new-exercise-chart.html