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Hello everybody - I'm new to the forum!

I have a seven month old choccy lab called Winston! He's an absolute bundle of fun!!

We were told by his breeders not to exercise him too much until he is about 12 months old. He has so much energy and at the moment we're giving him around 20 mins on the lead and then letting him have a run around in the field to play for a bit. This was the amount recommended by our vet.

Ultimately we want to train Winston to follow us on our mountain bikes - we are a very active family - and can't wait until he is ready to partake in our adventures. We're very keen to get him out and about but are very aware of possible problems due to over exercise at a young age.

What kind of age should we be looking at for him to start doing longer walks? And of what legnth?

Thanks :D
 
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The general rule f thumbs is 5 mins of forced exercise ( on lead) per month of his age.

So at 7 months old, he should be having about 35 min max of forced exercise a day. ( on lead where he has to walk at your pace, and cant stop when he wants too)

This doesn't include him running around of his on accord in the park or a field or the garden as then he can stop when hes had enough he will stop ( in theory... obviously if you think hes over doing it bring him in to calm down!)

This rule applies up until about 1 year old when he can have more exercise but always build it up gradually. ( dont suddenly take him out for a 5 mile hike when hes only used to half hour walks!)

I'm not sure about the advice re following mountain bikes though, so will let someone else comment!
 

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Hi Claire. Thanks for your reply - I feel better knowing that I'm not giving him too much!!

For the mountain bike side of things we thought about just letting him follow us slowly for a short distance once he's about 10 months old and then building it up from there. We have a wide, straight track near to us that's very quiet and would probably do the trick for the time being.

Any advise from anyone who has their lab follow them on the bikes would be much appreciated though!
 

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Clairelovestlc said:
So at 7 months old, he should be having about 35 min max of forced exercise a day. ( on lead where he has to walk at your pace, and cant stop when he wants too)

This doesn't include him running around of his on accord in the park or a field or the garden as then he can stop when hes had enough he will stop ( in theory... obviously if you think hes over doing it bring him in to calm down!)
I must do this a bit differently from others as I do count Minnie-Moo's off-lead exercise as part of her daily "ration" because when she's off-lead we are still on the go, walking round fields/woods etc. and while she does stop and lie down and wait for us to catch up etc., she must cover so much distance than we do with the running about she does, playing, chasing her ball etc.

I think she would go on for hours if I let her, which I don't, so I don't rely on her to tell me when she's had enough :)
 
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I do to an extent Angela. If im taking her for a "walk" off lead through the country she is like Minnie moo, runs and runs and runs, back and forth so probably does 10x the distance i do but will keep on going for as long as me, so i say when she has had enough and drag her home ( normally to a bath because shes been swimming in sludge!) i try to follow the 5 min rule there... but as she is on soft ground and a lot of the time shes stopping to sniff or sitting waiting for me to catch up I'm a little more lax with the timing.

If on the other hand shes in the field, where i generally just stand and be lazy and supervise ( or spend half hour trying to find the tennis ball we have lost) she runs round after pheasants and mice and everything and anything that moves at her own pace, then i watch to see when shes had enough (watch for her sitting down in between running or laying down, walking after things rather than running etc) and we head home. Sometimes shes out for an hour, sometimes 20 min, but once again if i thought she was over doing it id drag her home.

If we are walking on lead on hard ground such as pavement on lead where she has to constantly go at the pace i tell her, then she gets her exercise limited by time ( about 45 min, followed by 15 min on the field at the back of our garden to let her have some off lead fun)

I was ALOT stricter when she was younger though expecially when she was under 6 months.
 
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