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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I’m after some advice please? Our pup
Is nearly 4 months old and I’ve read a lot about the 5 minute per month of age walking rule.
I wanted to ask advice on this as I’ve also heard it’s an old wives tail. Obviously I don’t want to overdue it and cause him and development issues but also find a good run let’s him blow off some steam and we have a much calmer pup.

thanks
 

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Not that old, and certainly not a wife!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The problem is that all pups start with the same hips. It's how they grow which is the problem, and that is something which you will never know until it's too late. There has been a lot of talk over the years about how much of hip dysplasia is genetic and how much is environmental. The latest study, published a year or so ago came up with the rather startling result that as much as 80% of HD is the result of damage!!!!

But as to the 5 minute rule, you are at the right place, because I wrote it. It was discussed on a veterinary web site just before Christmas, and this what my contribution to that discussion.

Let me tell you about the 5 minute rule, and how it came into being. There has always been the question about how much exercise a puppy needs, balancing muscle development against the risks of joint damage. Going back probably 30 years one of the first general dog forums was Champdogs and at the time I was posting on there. (Champdogs is still in being, though I’ve not posted on there for nigh on 20 years.) I also used to go on an American working gundog site, and the question of exercise also came up on there, and one person wrote, “I give 5 minutes exercise for every month of age.” And I thought, “What an elegant solution!” steadily increasing exercise as muscle develops, developing the muscles in a controlled way. Next time the question arose on Champdogs I quoted it calling it “The 5 minute rule” So I never invented the idea, but I did coin the phrase.

But what does that entail? When a puppy is trotting around the garden it can stop at any time, crash out and sleep. There is nothing wildly exciting in the garden, nothing it’s not seen a hundred times before. So the pup is not over stimulated, no reason why it should not stop for a rest. That is NOT part of the 5 minutes per month.

But now look at going out for a walk. The lead goes on and you and your pup start walking. However tired the pup gets it has no choice but to keep going for as long as you do. Add to that the adrenalin rush, he’s out in the big wide world, new sights and sounds, new scents to sniff, he wont even be thinking about feeling tired, a puppy in new surroundings is likely to continue on long after it should stop. So don’t rely on pup telling you it’s tired because it won’t. It’s YOUR responsibility to take charge, to control the situation.

To me, particularly in the early days the exercise period is also the training period, and that training includes heel training, obviously, and also sit stays. But while the dog is sitting quietly it’s not exercising, so thats not part of the 5 minutes. Also I like to sit on a seat in the park, or maybe a fallen tree, with my pup sitting or laying beside me watching the world pass by. It’s still training, it’s training patience! Something young pups are not endowed with, so all good practise, but again it’s not physically tiring so not part of the 5 minutes. We none of us want our dogs to be hooligans, but during the walk it’s likely I’ll meet other dog walkers so we will stop for a chat, another great training opportunity, We can talk with my pup sitting quietly beside me, so again it’s not doing anything so again it’s not part of the 5 minutes. This also gives me time to sum up the other person’s dog and decide whether it’s going to be ok to allow them to have a little hoolie. (But of course that IS part of the 5 minutes!) Keep the training light, make it fun and your pup wont even realise that it is training. All in all, for a 3 month old puppy I would be looking at 15 minutes of exercise, but that 15 minutes will probably take me between 30 and 45 minutes!

And that was the 5 minute rule, envisaged by me when I coined the phrase all those years ago. It was never meant to be a hard and fast regimented rule, just guidelines to give the inexperienced owner something to work to. You can probably do this twice a day with no ill effects, providing there is a decent resting period, and if you happen to do a little much in the morning, then cut the afternoon walk down a little to balance it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not that old, and certainly not a wife!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The problem is that all pups start with the same hips. It's how they grow which is the problem, and that is something which you will never know until it's too late. There has been a lot of talk over the years about how much of hip dysplasia is genetic and how much is environmental. The latest study, published a year or so ago came up with the rather startling result that as much as 80% of HD is the result of damage!!!!

But as to the 5 minute rule, you are at the right place, because I wrote it. It was discussed on a veterinary web site just before Christmas, and this what my contribution to that discussion.

Let me tell you about the 5 minute rule, and how it came into being. There has always been the question about how much exercise a puppy needs, balancing muscle development against the risks of joint damage. Going back probably 30 years one of the first general dog forums was Champdogs and at the time I was posting on there. (Champdogs is still in being, though I’ve not posted on there for nigh on 20 years.) I also used to go on an American working gundog site, and the question of exercise also came up on there, and one person wrote, “I give 5 minutes exercise for every month of age.” And I thought, “What an elegant solution!” steadily increasing exercise as muscle develops, developing the muscles in a controlled way. Next time the question arose on Champdogs I quoted it calling it “The 5 minute rule” So I never invented the idea, but I did coin the phrase.

But what does that entail? When a puppy is trotting around the garden it can stop at any time, crash out and sleep. There is nothing wildly exciting in the garden, nothing it’s not seen a hundred times before. So the pup is not over stimulated, no reason why it should not stop for a rest. That is NOT part of the 5 minutes per month.

But now look at going out for a walk. The lead goes on and you and your pup start walking. However tired the pup gets it has no choice but to keep going for as long as you do. Add to that the adrenalin rush, he’s out in the big wide world, new sights and sounds, new scents to sniff, he wont even be thinking about feeling tired, a puppy in new surroundings is likely to continue on long after it should stop. So don’t rely on pup telling you it’s tired because it won’t. It’s YOUR responsibility to take charge, to control the situation.

To me, particularly in the early days the exercise period is also the training period, and that training includes heel training, obviously, and also sit stays. But while the dog is sitting quietly it’s not exercising, so thats not part of the 5 minutes. Also I like to sit on a seat in the park, or maybe a fallen tree, with my pup sitting or laying beside me watching the world pass by. It’s still training, it’s training patience! Something young pups are not endowed with, so all good practise, but again it’s not physically tiring so not part of the 5 minutes. We none of us want our dogs to be hooligans, but during the walk it’s likely I’ll meet other dog walkers so we will stop for a chat, another great training opportunity, We can talk with my pup sitting quietly beside me, so again it’s not doing anything so again it’s not part of the 5 minutes. This also gives me time to sum up the other person’s dog and decide whether it’s going to be ok to allow them to have a little hoolie. (But of course that IS part of the 5 minutes!) Keep the training light, make it fun and your pup wont even realise that it is training. All in all, for a 3 month old puppy I would be looking at 15 minutes of exercise, but that 15 minutes will probably take me between 30 and 45 minutes!

And that was the 5 minute rule, envisaged by me when I coined the phrase all those years ago. It was never meant to be a hard and fast regimented rule, just guidelines to give the inexperienced owner something to work to. You can probably do this twice a day with no ill effects, providing there is a decent resting period, and if you happen to do a little much in the morning, then cut the afternoon walk down a little to balance it off.
Sorry John, wasn’t calling you a wife! 😉

That all makes perfect sense. I knew there must have been some evidence behind it and didn’t realise I’d found the man who’d written it.

thank you for your time, as always very helpful and informative 🙂
 

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As with anything which takes off, people will hear it second, third or ever nintynine'th hand. There were soldiers in the first world war, sent a message back to brigade HQ. In those days, no radio, the message was sent back through a series of runners. When the Brigadier heard the message, "Send three and fourpence, we ae going to a dance." His thought was, "I'm not paying for that, what do they thing they are playing at?" so he decided to go up to the line to tear a strip off of the platoon. When he got there he finally got to hear the true story! "Send reinforcements we are going to advance!" People will always interpreted what they think they hear.

When I wrote the 5 Minute Rule I never envisaged people walking around with a stop watch in their pocket, stopping it and starting it each time the puppy moved. It's not a matter of "five minutes perfect, six minutes and the legs fall off!" it's guidelines. Remember, it's a puppy, and as a puppy the main thing is building for the future.
 

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We implemented the 5 minute rule and it made a lot of sense to us. It also works out practically and you do intuitively gauge based on what you're doing what can be classed as within the rule. It's easy to read a pup and even if there are no immediate signs because the pup is just on a high, you know better.

Yes it was annoying not being able to do our usual 2hr yomps through the woods that we did with the dog we had already, but it's worth it right?

We also haven't taken 1yr of age as a "right all bets are off now, go nuts!". We're still mindful of playing on fields that leads to Lando having to come to a jarring stop on unforgiving ground, rattling his joints. It's limited and if possible we throw the ball/frisbee/dummy into the longer growth so that he has to look for it, preventing the jarring joint abuse and as an added bonus, engages his brain and senses.

If he's had a particularly active period for 30 mins in the woods, he goes on the lead for a bit to calm down, have a drink, sit.

It's all common sense. When I was a kid I did aggressive skating and ice hockey with no regard for my joints. I paid the price later. Had I had an "owner" who told me to take a break and calm for 30 mins then I'd probably be better off now

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
 

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I like to start my pups picking up at around 18 months, (Depending on when they were born in relation to the shooting season.) But then, most of the day out working is spent as in the photo below, sat quietly waiting for the drive to come through.

Dog Plant Vertebrate Dog breed Carnivore
 

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We've always tried to stick to the five minute rule --- never knew the man who owns the copyright was yourself John!

When Judy developed ED (with undiagnosed HD) I was besides myself - what had we done wrong? The vet's reassured us the answer to that was "nothing" due to genetics and her being from a backstreet breeder. We did however realise that allowing her to jump up for a tennis ball was something we should restrained from. So we didn't with Cooper.
What did Cooper get diagnosed with over a year ago? Yep... HD. Gutted.
Coops is however the best swimmer in the world and we go hydro every two weeks and use any other safe water for free swims whenever we can.
Now we have Josie finishing off our hattrick of rescues. She's three so the 5 minute rule not applied but staright away she went on supplements, proper exercise regime and now 4 months later she's almost learnt to be a good swimmer as well.
 

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We've always tried to stick to the five minute rule --- never knew the man who owns the copyright was yourself John!

When Judy developed ED (with undiagnosed HD) I was besides myself - what had we done wrong? The vet's reassured us the answer to that was "nothing" due to genetics and her being from a backstreet breeder. We did however realise that allowing her to jump up for a tennis ball was something we should restrained from. So we didn't with Cooper.
What did Cooper get diagnosed with over a year ago? Yep... HD. Gutted.
Coops is however the best swimmer in the world and we go hydro every two weeks and use any other safe water for free swims whenever we can.
Now we have Josie finishing off our hattrick of rescues. She's three so the 5 minute rule not applied but staright away she went on supplements, proper exercise regime and now 4 months later she's almost learnt to be a good swimmer as well.
The thing is, with the best will in the world, you can do ALL the research there is to do about elbows and hips, and still a problem may crop up. I look at EBVs and try to research whether there are any dogs with problems within a pedigree but it's not easy, you'd have to go on speaking to people who, let's face it, may not own up to having any issues, and then you get the opposite side of the problem with whispers passed around about someone's dog being a producer of problems be it for hips or elbows etc. It used to be easier with the KC website, as you could compare progeny to the parents, but that function has been lost with the KC website revamp.

I'm not sure if Cooper is a rescue or from a breeder, but just wanted to say don't beat yourself up about it, there's sometimes really nothing you can do, even when you're aware of what to look for
 

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Coops is a rescue.

I sort of knew anyway as he was a wiggly as an original slinky toy!
His weight is fantastic, his muscle tone spot on - even if I say it myself.. he's an amazing specimen and we made sure of that as we suspected..... some say he don't even look like a lab as they expect chunky monkeys!!!!
He's also possibly got some front leg issues but these possibly claw related.

Dog Carnivore Dog breed Plant Working animal
 
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