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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so overall I'm trying to figure out what other people feel about puppy exercise and activities. My BF thinks I'm too concerned about this, some people say one thing and others something else. Aayla is now 6 months old and very very active. I try and balance that between physical and mental exercise.

For the physical she gets a 1-2 mile walk daily. I try to walk to parks so she can do more exercise on grass instead of concrete. There I will sometimes throw a toy for her and sometimes do recall training to let her run around. Once to twice a week she gets a doggy play day, spending time just playing and sprinting around. Then once a week I do a hike that is between 2-4 miles. These are on dirt roads, with plenty of sniffing and big breaks. I don't make her go my speed and kind of let her pick the pace. For our walks she never acts exhausted after. Though she will seem tired after puppy play days.

I never run with her. I won't until after she is a year old.

I do my best to never let her jump down from anything. I throw toys low to the ground and I always lift her out of the car, but sometimes I just can't stop her from flying off the couch or bed.

Does that sound like I'm doing too much with her? She is such a busy body if she doesn't get a good amount of exercise. She is really good about not destroying anything but I think that is mainly because of the walks and training keeping her mellow at home.

For mental she has a large collection of known commands. (I think we about to hit 50 known commands?) I'm starting to reach a point of doing more challenging tricks but after working with her today I worried that I went a bit too far. She loves platform and paw targeting training. So today I was working on shaping a holding up a paw (for limp) when she moved over to the boxes that I use for platform training which were pushed up against the wall. She backed up onto them and then when I didn't mark she started placing a back paw up the wall. Which I do eventually want to teach a handstand so I marked for it. I spent about 2 minutes marking the back foot placement before really thinking about the strain it would put on her front legs. I don't plan on her hand standing anytime soon. I'm working on laying down the foundation work for it, more of hind end awareness.

Normally I try to not be repetitive with training. I don't focus too much on repeating tricks. So she shouldn't be getting any wear from repetitive movements. Is it okay to temporarily mark these things without trying to make her do it? Or should I avoid at all costs until she is over a year old?

Also I do have backpacking plans coming up for this summer. (like 5-7 miles a day for 2-3 days) Nothing super strenuous and I wouldn't have her carrying anything yet. At what age would you guys consider that she could handle that safely? 10 months? 16 months? She is a year old at the end of August.
 

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I'm sure you're fine.

I'm not one to stress much about it. My general guideline is to just let the puppy be a puppy and do the things that puppies normally do and are capable of doing. Nothing forced or repetitive. Play should be kept only as rough as a puppy might play with it's sibling. I would worry about an 8 week old, tiny pup jumping off furniture. I'm not as worried when they're larger and they can get on/off easily.
 

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I'm sure you're fine.

I'm not one to stress much about it. My general guideline is to just let the puppy be a puppy and do the things that puppies normally do and are capable of doing. Nothing forced or repetitive. Play should be kept only as rough as a puppy might play with it's sibling. I would worry about an 8 week old, tiny pup jumping off furniture. I'm not as worried when they're larger and they can get on/off easily.
 

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I don't think that's too much. I don't have my puppies start into competitive sports or anything, but I take them hiking and walking and let them play as long as they seem happy. I don't worry about it very much.
 

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I think you're fine. I was SUPER worried when Aspen was under a year old too. We would be in the yard and she would run around at warp speed, jump off the picnic table, etc and there was no way to stop that. I didn't encourage the behavior but she was just being a puppy :) I am also no expert and I know I've made mistakes so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

I'm curious, what commands does she know? Feel free to PM me if it doesn't fit here.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks you guys for reassuring me. I know I worry too much. I just feel like I get so excited about new things that I may push my pets a bit too much.

Do you think if I slowly keep increasing our distance and activities that she might be ready to backpack by late summer? Or at least longer hikes? Normally when I do my normal hike I go a range of 8-10 miles in a day. Would doing a 2-3 days of this be strenuous to her body? I'm more worried about waiting for her to be tired and her stamina being amazing but really putting too much wear on her bones. I used to have a horse that would always just go go go. I did barrel racing and jumping with him. I told myself he would eventually tell me when he needed to slow down due to his age...he never did. In the end it put too much stress on his bones and he developed ringbone. He hid the problem well until it was bad, within five months of noticing the problem I had to retire him.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Aspen726 I'm going to try and get the master list down,


  1. Sit
  2. Down
  3. Stand
  4. Wait
  5. Stay
  6. Free
  7. Come
  8. Heel
  9. Face Me
  10. Switch (heel from one side to the other)
  11. Watch Me
  12. Back Up
  13. Leave it
  14. Drop it
  15. Touch (nose to palm)
  16. Shake (left + right)
  17. High Five (L+R)
  18. Wave (L+R)
  19. Give me 10
  20. Hold up paw (L+R preface to limp)
  21. Back leg shake
  22. Paw (touch something with paw)
  23. Get it (pick something up/get the treat)
  24. Hold it
  25. Up (jump onto something with all four paws)
  26. Up (jump into arms)
  27. Off
  28. Front (front legs on platform/object)
  29. Rear (rear legs on platform/object)
  30. Spin (L+R, while on object and while front legs are on platform)
  31. Crawl
  32. Roll Over
  33. Play Dead (on side, no moving)
  34. Cop Cop
  35. Weave (through legs)
  36. Tunnel
  37. Beg
  38. Go Around (object like pole)
  39. Blow Bubbles
  40. Go to bed
  41. Place (lay down on blanket)
  42. Over
  43. Hush
  44. Bow
  45. Target touch with back legs
  46. Patty Cake (sequence of high five and give me 10)
Then for ones we are working on:


  • Bang (on back play dead)
  • Look (L+R over shoulder)
  • Weave (while walking)
  • Pull
  • Close the door
  • Find it (scent work)
  • Get your ____ (toy distinction)
 

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@ThatYellowDog

AWESOME!!!!

How did you teach cop cop? I'm trying to expand Aspen's trick knowledge :) She's a fast learner and could probably know more with a better handler haha. I've never taught a single trick before I got Aspen so I'm learning too. It is so fun and looks so cool. People are amazed at even the simplest trick, like spin.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well you can either teach a come in from behind or the back in. I like the look of the back in, so I lured her to do a half spin and then asked her to back up. (Dog should know following a lure, spin and back up) Then when she backed under me I would mark and reward. When she seemed to get that I started luring her onto my feet. Soon as she stepped on my foot with one of hers I would mark and reward. Then I would try to get the other paw, still rewarding even if she stepped off my foot. Then eventually she would just step up without removing the paw that was already on the foot. Lots of rewards and praise! Then I would slightly move my foot and if she didn't take it off she got a reward! Then kept adding to it from there!

I actually have some raw footage of me teaching it on the first day. We had already worked on the spin for a bit.

 
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