How much exercise?

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How much exercise?

This is a discussion on How much exercise? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; We have just got a 6 month old puppy. He is a mongrel, but we think reasonably strong lab and German Shepherd genes. I have ...

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Old 12-02-2016, 10:35 AM
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How much exercise?

We have just got a 6 month old puppy. He is a mongrel, but we think reasonably strong lab and German Shepherd genes. I have read that we are meant to exercise him for 5 mins per month of his life, so half an hour. This puppy never stops! When we take him for a walk he runs ahead of us all the time, we are constantly having to slow him down and he starts acting up when we get close to home. How strictly do we need to stick to the 30 minute rule?!
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:01 AM
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I guess I have never heard of such a rule. 30 minutes a day seems way too little for a spirited pup especially if he has some GSD and lab in him.

At 6 months, I'd be exercising the dog a lot more than 30 minutes a day. Walks don't really cut it as far as exercise goes. Exercise your pup with some games which creates engagement on your pup's behalf.

I think my biggest concern regarding a proper exercise regimen you provide for your pup would be one which keeps the impact on your dog's skeletal structure reasonably mild at this age. But, I would exercise your pup much more vigorously than what you described.

A tired pup/dog is a good pup/dog, lots of truth to that old saying. Besides basic physical exercise you will find mental exercises will tire a pup out just as much at times.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:12 PM
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I had to be careful with the amount of exercise I gave my pup only because the more exercise I gave her...the more she needed! I kept raising the "exercise" bar until I realized I created this super athletic monster! lol Her trainer told me I had to start teaching her "downtime". I will say though that at 6 months, 30 minutes is not enough like DriveDog said. I think that rule was meant for repetitive movements, like walking on pavement/concrete etc because the impact will negatively affect growing bones etc

When my pup was about 5-6 months months, we would take long off leash walks (definitely longer than 30 mins) in the trails where the ground was much softer and we could go at her own pace. She would run back and forth but also stop and smell things etc.

Like DriveDog said, mental exercises will also tire out your pup. Interactive food toys like kongs where you can stuff food inside, puzzle toys, playing tug, teaching tricks and basic commands....Those are also really good for cold rainy days when your pup spends more time indoors.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by yoshiposhi View Post
I had to be careful with the amount of exercise I gave my pup only because the more exercise I gave her...the more she needed! I kept raising the "exercise" bar until I realized I created this super athletic monster! lol Her trainer told me I had to start teaching her "downtime".
That was my situation as well but the upside was; the more I exercised my dog, the more the requirement increased however I found benefit both in my dog's well being and the time we spend interacting in a quality fashion. I personally believe creating this " super athletic monster " brings with it a very powerful reward for the dog. Just saying " let's train" or " let's play" brings my dog to immediate attention more than any food scrap. It's nothing but go time and 110% focus.

Yes, teaching an off switch coupled with "downtime" is the proper way to go. Developing this keeps the dog from baiting/pestering you into exercise sessions, I'm sure you know what I mean. I think it best that the human dictates when play/training/exercise sessions take place rather than the dog.

To the OP, combining exercise with training sessions is a great combo and can thoroughly tire a dog out, it's a win-win.
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:43 PM
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Thanks guys. Most of our walks have been on soft ground, and he never stops playing with us when not walking. We are mountaineers, so super athletic monster dog is exactly what we will have, and need!
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:34 PM
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A tired puppy is a good puppy.

I would wear Pax out all I could...it was the only hopes of having a well behaved puppy.

As he started getting older and I was able to work calming techniques into the training, I started regulating his exercise more cuz the same as above, the more we did, the more he needed.

Now we have a good balance of exercise but is calm during off time without being a Tasmanian devil...but starting out...I would wear that dog out every chance I had as a young pup.
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