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Puppy Exercise: How much is TOO much?

….Any sensible caring owner is going to be thinking about this issue having bought a puppy. A mixture of experiences from any previous dogs you have owned, coupled with breeder advice (or possibly lack of!), with a dash of scaremongering from well meaning ‘advisors’ may well have your head spinning on how much is too much? How much is not enough? Is I give my puppy too much am I causing it damage, and what’s the cutoff point for that ????

There is never going to be a definitive answer to this burning question. But, of course, there are sensible guidelines. The crux of the matter is, IF your puppy has sound genetically strong joints passed from its parents, and is not horribly overweight, in all honesty, it can take really quite a LOT of exercise without damage. However, how can we KNOW if it has sound joints? Well, hopefully, if you have done your homework, you will of bought from parents who both have at least been hip scored if not also elbow scored (although this is less common so don’t beat yourself up if one or both parents are not). In addition to BEING hip scored, hopefully both have GOOD hip scores, so therefore making buying from scored parents basically as worthwhile as possible. However its important to stress that doing so is you doing your very best to give yourself a head start in maximising the chance of your puppy having good strong genetically sound joints. It is not a guarantee of that, nature can be cruel and work in mysterious ways.

However, the chances are stacked in your favour if your pups parents have good hip (and maybe elbow) scores. If they do not, then what this *means* is that if you are being sensible and realistic, you need to err on the side of caution and assume that possibly they have not, and therefore your puppy may of inherited some level of weakness.

I am not saying at all that ANY young dog cannot have an accident or cause himself injury in a trip, fall, crash with another dog etc. But if they have genetically sound joints, the chances are they will ‘bounce back’ FAR more easily than if there is weakness there.

Basically HEALTHY JOINTS ARE HARD TO DAMAGE, WEAK ONES ARE EXTREMELY EASY.

However EITHER WAY, common sense is needed to be applied. The point being your puppy is a baby. Babies need to be taken care of because they cannot make rational decisions for themselves. They, like small children, run on adrenaline, especially during new and exciting experiences, and do not know ‘when to stop’. So YOU need to make that decision for them. As a young dog hits exhaustion point during exercise, damage can then start to occur pretty easily. Your puppy will not acknowledge he has hit exhaustion point. From his behaviour he may seem FULL of beans and up for it. Especially if interacting with other dogs.

A puppy exercise guide, commonly considered helpful and useful, is called the 5 minute guide (or sometimes the 5 minute rule – but for me, there is no gun to anyones head on this, it is not a RULE, it is a helpful guide that owners should use as a ball park figure, NOT as something to set your watch by).

The idea being that per MONTH of the pups life so far, 5 minutes of enforced exercise is given per DAY.

So after puppy vaccinations are completed at about 12 weeks of age (so 3 months) (before which it is still VERY important to take your puppy out to introduce it to sights and smells, dogs, people, pushchairs, children, cars, buses and all sorts …. staying at home is NOT a sensible option in anyway….. See article: Keeping a Puppy home during its innoculations? ) you would allow 15 mins of enforced exercise. (3 months of age x 5 mins per month = 15 mins (or so!) of exercise.

4 months of age = 20 mins per day

5 months of age = 25 mins a day

…. etc, up until about 11/12 months of age where upon the dog *should* be structurally less vunerable, any weaknesses will almost certainly have come to light if there ARE any lurking, and you proetty much have the green light to exercise your dog to your hearts (sensible!) content!

What is ‘Enforced exercise’?

Enforced exercise is NOT strolling or playing in the garden. It is not wandering about the house. It is exercise out on a walk, or hammering around training, where the puppy is away from home and either on OR off lead ‘out and about’. This is when basically the puppy is experiencing new environments, meeting other dogs and people and basically running on its adrenaline, or walking because you have decided its ‘time for a walk’.

Around the house and garden, even if playing, at any point the puppy can decide ‘i’m tired, i’ve had enough, thanks’ and give up and flop down, put itself to bed or just lose interest and wander off. Basically a dog listening to its own body clock. Enforced exercise is when you have a puppy NOT able to listen to its own clock because new and exciting stuff is coming its way.

* Again – this is a GUIDE. For a 4 month old dog, potentially ’allowed’ 20 mins or so exercise, you may well find that 15 mins charging about with another young dog PLENTY before warning bells start to play in your mind that quite probably, enough is enough. However on or off a lead, going for a slow wander along a country path, stopping and sniffing here and there, meeting next to nobody and everything very calm and ‘non taxing’, half an hour would be just fine and non stressful.

That amount of exercise per day can be split as you like. If your 6 month old gets 15 – 20 mins in the morning, and 15 – 20 mins in the afternoon, thats perfectly fine. If you only walk once a day, brilliant, put it all into one ‘hit’. Its a guide, take it, chew it over and work with it rather than feel ‘hemmed in’ by it. However it is proven a great guideline for our breed.

The most common thing for someone with a lively young dog already, of maybe 5 or 6 months of age who have been giving it 45 mins or even an hours walk to ‘wear it out’, is to throw their hands up and say ’25 – 30 minutes???? A DAY???? How the HELL am I going to wear out Fluffy with THAT? He will go through the ceiling!! He has three times that and comes back bouncing!!’

Teaching a dog to ‘settle’ and accept a sensible level of exercise.
And its true, the more exercise a dog GETS the more it EXPECTS and the more it DOES need to satisfy it. But that sort of level of exercise almost certainly WILL be having a detrimental effect on even genetically sound joints unless the owner REALLY is lucky. the other thing is, that the dog demanding 45 minsutes at 5 months old to wear it out, will need longer and longer as it gets older, not only causing real possible harm, but making an impossible mountain to climb some days for its owner, and creating a restless dog that won’t settle, always looking for the next ‘fix’ of mad exercise because it simply has not be taught to ‘settle and deal with feeling full of beans in a productive way’.

What is a productive way? Doing a little training. 5 minutes of concentrated puppy training taxes the brain WAYYY more than any amount of mad running around. One to one playing. A full on ’in the garden’ play session, (and not just chasing chasing chasing stuff thrown, which is not great for the joints either and just over adrenalises them) is so useful too. Hiding stuff and encouraging the dog to hunt about and find it is fantastic. Tug of war games, with sometimes you winning, and sometimes the dog winning is very bonding and useful for burning energy. Or more solitary methods such as Buster cube or a Kong where they have to work at the toy to get a treat reward are hugely useful. Think outside the box of ‘running around, running around’ as stimulation for a bored or needy dog.

THEN when you have taken some time training or playing, teach the dog ‘enough’ and now you switch off. Put him in his crate, kennel or ’bedroom’ (kitchen, utility room etc) with a biscuit, carrot or any ‘settle now’ treat, and leave him. Ignore complaints, give him a chance to learn to settle down and calm his own adrenaline. Get on with something else for a while and ignore him - and know you are teavhing him an important lifeskill, even if he doesn’t know it yet!

Di
 
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I'm always left asking when I read views on exercise and puppies, what is the scientific, evidenced- based research behind it? Yes - it all appears to make common sense, but then a lot of things have 'appeared' to make common sense in the past .... like smoking clears the chest, or that you shouldn't wash your hair when you were havng a period etc!!

Does anyone know of any veterinary research regarding exercise in young dogs?

Becs
 

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Thankyou for helping to make that clearer. We were terrified of overdoing it at the start, and our breeder mentioned a 5min guide, but said to do that amount 3 times a day! I think I read somewhere the KC says do it twice a day, but that isn't breed specific presumably.

For us, we found up until Max was about 5 months old, he used to have a real hyper bouncy time 4-5pm and later 8-9pm. Even as a baby pup, he used to be really chilled the rest of the time during the day, as well as being crated approx 3 hours every afternoon. So we took the view that as he wasn't on the go playing all day, we would be ok to walk him on or off lead for his 5 min guide in the morning and sometimes at night or late afternoon too. If he had a day in the garden mooching around with us at the weekend, or people round and lots of excitement, he went back down to one or maybe no walks that day.

Last couple of months he has chilled out more in the evening too, so often now he just gets his 5 min guide walk in the morning, and we will play and train in patches throught the day.

We have kept his weight on the lean side, and his mum and dad have low hip/elbow scores. The rest, I guess, you cross your fingers for and hope your judgement is ok. But we still worry if we have over done it at times, and even though we aren't going to breed from him, I am going to get his hips and elbows scored when his furry plumbs come off, so we know what we are working with in the future.
 

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Becs said:
I'm always left asking when I read views on exercise and puppies, what is the scientific, evidenced- based research behind it? Yes - it all appears to make common sense, but then a lot of things have 'appeared' to make common sense in the past .... like smoking clears the chest, or that you shouldn't wash your hair when you were havng a period etc!!

Does anyone know of any veterinary research regarding exercise in young dogs?

Becs
Hi Becs

I dont have a specific link to a veterinary article however if I could explain the ethos behind being wary of too much exercise in young dogs.

Basically as a pup grows the bones are vulnerable due to the growth plates at the top and bottom of the bone. The growth plates are spongey in texture. This growth plates will remain "spongey" until they are at least 12months old if not longer at 18mths old. When the growth plates close - meaning they have become hardened - this is when the exercise tolerance can be increased.

Regarding "Over exercising a puppy" - If I can refer to the enforced exercise that Di mentions, should be limited to the approximate 5mins per month of age so that exercise is not then having an impact on the joints. If you can visualise the constant squeezing of a sponge it never gets the chance to expand back to its original size (as it were). An overused washing up sponge can look like the life has been squeezed out of it. So therefore if you use the same analagy that too much exercise will damage the growth plates - the spongey bits then will become decompressed from the constant movement. Over time this constant exercise will have an impact on the growth of the bones as they cannot grow efficiently.

Regards
Heidi
 

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Firstly, Di, I agree with what you say. With George I was wary, but I didn't sit there with a timer. If there were days where he did a bit more, I made sure he rested or had a very light day the next day.

With regards to bones, in humans, the problem with growth plates is overloading. So for instance, someone under 16 doing very heavy weight lifting can hinder bone growth. However, exercise (and compressional forces) actually INCREASE bone density.

So whilst I can agree overdoing it is bad, is there a specific study of the effects of exercise and HD?
 
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Basically HEALTHY JOINTS ARE HARD TO DAMAGE, WEAK ONES ARE EXTREMELY EASY.
This is the bit which I as much as I want to believe, I always find raises more questions in my head than answers.

Like Becs, I'd love to know if there is scientific evidence to support this theory. I know, with all what we do know about bones and growth plates this would make perfect sense, but the body is a strange beast at times and I can't help but wonder why this theory only applies to dogs...and only certain breeds of dog at that.

As a Mum, I was never told to restrict the exercise of my children and good job too as both were very active. The eldest having a Hyperactivity disorder never sat still and could run and run and run from a tiny toddler, all day.

I've never heard this said about foals either. I mean, the first thing you do with a foal, is turn it and it's mum out in the fields for as long as possible. No one says you should only let it out for so many minutes per day.

I WANT the theory to be scientifically correct, as it does make sense, but that niggling doubt that perhaps the theory is wrong and so wrong it could make any problems worse, just keeps popping back into my head. After all there is more than just bones, growth plates and cartilage to a joint. There's muscles, tendons and ligaments, which all need to be strong to hold the joint in place.

So if anyone knows of anyone who has done specific studies on dogs hips and the effects of exercise on these while they are growing, I'd truely love to know and to see the research.
 

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of course in relation to "good bones" is also correct nutrition and also good upringing in a non stressful environment.

I have read various articles that relate to stress and nutrition. If an animal is very stressed because of not being stimulated enough (is going stir crazy and bouncing off the walls) then it will not absorb the correct nutrition even from the best of diets.

So it is a combination of environmental factors, good parentage, good upbringing, good quality diet and correct level of exercise.

of course all of that... and you could still be unlucky. But I think your odds would be higly increased of having a steady growth rate, exercise that takes into account the growth plates should all add up to and equal a good skeletal structure.

Regarding the above post from Jules.... I think taking on board all the joints, tendons and muscles etc - this must all be built up gradually too. It would be a bit like an athlete doing 800metre sprint without the warm up, warm down and no training before the race! they have to start from somewhere! So with gentle exercise building up gradually allows everything to grow at the speed of the puppy without damage.

The main point that I think Di was also trying to convey about the stimulation of a dog and encouraging it to learn how to rest (and also the fact she says the 5min rule is a GUIDE) is that is just what it is. You dont want a dog to go flat out but you dont want it to go stir crazy either. So it is about a happy medium and learning how to stimulate the dog not only physically BUT mentally too.

so the 5mins may not have to be precise but it is to give people an idea as so many new owners will insist on running their puppy, for example: for an hour alongside a bike (heaven forbid). A no-no on so many counts. (as it is not only bad for the joints but teaches the dog how to pull perfectly!)

Regards
Heidi
 
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o the 5mins may not have to be precise but it is to give people an idea as so many new owners will insist on running their puppy, for example: for an hour alongside a bike (heaven forbid). A no-no on so many counts. (as it is not only bad for the joints but teaches the dog how to pull perfectly!)
But that's what I'm getting at. Just because we've been told many times this sort of activity is bad for a pup's joints, how do we KNOW? It is all speculation as far as I can make out, speculation and word of mouth. Where is the scientific evidence...Is there any? What if we are wrong?

What if the best thing for a young pup is to build up it's exercise much more rapidly than the 5 min guide allows and give it plenty of exercise while it is growing, as would be a much more natural approach (wild dogs don't restrict the amount of exercise their pups do after all). What if keeping the pups in "soft" condition for the first year makes poor hips worse, as the support from the muscle, tendons and the likes is lacking?

I read people saying their dogs have hip problems and that these would have been much worse if they had over exercised.....but this is just a guess surely. And as it's a guess, it could easily be wrong. They may *believe* this to be totally and utterly true, but that still doesn't make it scientifically right, does it.

As I said, I'd like the theory to be right, simply because it makes sense, but as Becs stated, there have been so many other theories which made good sense at the time, which have since been disproved and in some cases actually proved harmful. I just don't want this theory to be one of those.
 

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To my knowledge there has not been a study of this, and in any case it would be so difficult because you cannot treat the same animal in two different ways, and you dont know what you are starting with as regards state of hips at birth.

But I dont think you can compare human and Labrador hips, for two good reasons. Size of gene pool and prevalence of HD. (I said Labrador instead of dogs in general because the prevalence of HD is not uniform across the breeds, as shown by the BMS.) When you take the sheer numbers of humans, and possibly the average number of children per family, then compare the number of Labradors and size of litters, it's obvious that one dog is going to have a greater impact on the breed than one human. So dogs from closed gene pools are always going to be more at risk of inherited problems. So, we are back to, "If the hips are good then you wont damage them, but if they are poor then you are likely to make them worse." with the added rider that it is more likely for a dog's hips to be poor than a human so greater care is needed.

Regards, John
 
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JohnW said:
"If the hips are good then you wont damage them, but if they are poor then you are likely to make them worse."
I can see what you're saying about comparing Labradors hips to humans, John and maybe that was a bad example for me to give.

However, without trying to be argumentative for the sake of it, how do we know that restricting exercise in Labrador puppies isn't causing further damage to already poor Labrador joints? After all, one of the first things usually prescribed for a dog with HD is Hydrotherapy, to help build up the muscles which hold the joint in place.

Can you see what I'm driving at? Can anyone?

I know there have been other studies about HD (not just in Labradors) which have attributed Hip Laxity to HD and OA. What if these dogs with naturally looser hips, need more muscle, not less, to keep the joint stable while it is growing? What if keeping these dogs in soft condition, means the joint slops about more than it should and so causes more damage that way?

I've been picking my way through this site...

http://research.vet.upenn.edu/Default.aspx?alias=research.vet.upenn.edu/pennhip

... but my silly old PC won't let me view PDF files, so I can only get so far. I haven't yet seen one article saying that over or under exercise causes worsening joints, although there are many which seem to have proved keeping the dog very lean does help put off the progression of the disease.

I just don't know what to think really. Too much time on my hands at the moment for doing too much thinking....That's my problem :wink:
 

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I don't know of any previous studies and I am new to the breed but when I registered Max we got an email to take part in a study on the health of Labradors from 8weeks onward it is the KC who are paying for the research so it may be that they are looking into different factors that can influence the health of the breed as it is only Labradors they are doing it on. I am sure others will be doing it as well.

Cheryl
 

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My friend is also taking part in the KC Health Study so it will be interesting to see what it comes up with.

Like Jules I have also wondered about the exercise restriction. I grew up with a labrador and I'm quite sure she had more than the recommended exercise as my parents never knew about restricting exercise. She was a strong fit dog who lived until almost 15 years old with no joint problems. Just about all of her exercise would have been off lead though and perhaps that makes a difference. Probably just lucky but sometimes I do wonder.

Ironically when we got Ben we knew all about being careful with exercise, jumping etc and he is the one with joint problems!

Eileen
 

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_Jules_ said:
o the 5mins may not have to be precise but it is to give people an idea as so many new owners will insist on running their puppy, for example: for an hour alongside a bike (heaven forbid). A no-no on so many counts. (as it is not only bad for the joints but teaches the dog how to pull perfectly!)
But that's what I'm getting at. Just because we've been told many times this sort of activity is bad for a pup's joints, how do we KNOW? It is all speculation as far as I can make out, speculation and word of mouth. Where is the scientific evidence...Is there any? What if we are wrong?

What if the best thing for a young pup is to build up it's exercise much more rapidly than the 5 min guide allows and give it plenty of exercise while it is growing, as would be a much more natural approach (wild dogs don't restrict the amount of exercise their pups do after all). What if keeping the pups in "soft" condition for the first year makes poor hips worse, as the support from the muscle, tendons and the likes is lacking?

I read people saying their dogs have hip problems and that these would have been much worse if they had over exercised.....but this is just a guess surely. And as it's a guess, it could easily be wrong. They may *believe* this to be totally and utterly true, but that still doesn't make it scientifically right, does it.

As I said, I'd like the theory to be right, simply because it makes sense, but as Becs stated, there have been so many other theories which made good sense at the time, which have since been disproved and in some cases actually proved harmful. I just don't want this theory to be one of those.
Jules - I think it has to be about balance. I concede the point about dogs in the wild wouldnt be restricted but if you acutally monitored dogs in the wild you would probably find they arent hellbent stir crazy and know how to rest too! :wink:

Perhaps another way of looking at this is you get some people that are utterly sensible (to the point of extreme) and follow advice to the letter. so their dogs will get precisely the fifteen minutes and not a second more. You then get a group of people who dont follow any advice whatsoever but you also get people who genuinly dont know what is best and need something to be guided by. So for them the five minute rule gives them a parameter to work with.

You also mention in a latter post about hydrotherapy as means of therapy for healing. Just to say this is weightless which is why it is an effective way of encouraging muscles to either heal or remain fit (muscle wastage will hinder the recovery of a dog with a fracture as it is the muscles which will be doing the majority of the work with an injury) Being a weightless form of exercise it isnt over exerting the joint in any way.
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LHR Tim....With regard to compression leads to higher bone density.... this comment has troubled me since I read it earlier today. I have been trying to figure out the best way for me to query this. Could you explain how that works? :wink: !! Im not at all scientific BUT logic would tell me if the bone is still growing then the growth plates are still soft. They do not harden until they are at least 12mths (up to 18mths). So compressing anything which is not hardened ie before the growth plates have closed will cause problems. Saying the bone is soft is not really the best word to use (though they are very soft when they are young pups) so compressing something soft will surely cause it to bend albeit slightly, thus causing damage.

Did you mean compression on a fully matured bone would lead to increased density. In which case although I dont understand scientifically "why" I could at least concur that it made more sense! :wink: though even typing that makes me think compressed bones would be shorter in length!
 

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What if keeping these dogs in soft condition, means the joint slops about more than it should and so causes more damage that way?
But in general, dogs with problems are not just a little sloppy, they have next to no socket at all.

Why does the bearing in the engine of a car deteriorate faster the more they wear? Answer, because the more the "Inner bit" is smaller than the "Outer bit" the smaller the area taking the load so a smaller and smaller area takes the load leading to higher contact area pressure leading to a breakdown in the film of oil lubricating the bearing. The same happens in ball and socket joints such as hips, and in place of oil think senovial fluid. The pressure forces the fluid out from between the bones leading to bone to bone contact and even higher wear.

In fact we know so little about hips and HD. For example, it's often said that hips are 40% inherited and 60% environmental. Is that true? We have no idea! Your vet knows what he sees, my vet knows what he sees. But my vet does not know what your vet sees or vice verser! There is almost no reporting back! Vet colleges record more in the way of statistics, but vet colleges see almost no healthy dogs! The KC try to carry out research of their own and the scheme which Cheryl mentioned was the second by them in recent times, but these schemes are only as good as the information fed in. So many times the results are slewed because only people who's dog has a problem respond.

Much of the best research is carried out by and for the Guide Dogs people, because the info comes from all of their dogs regardless of their health status. But even that is suspect because so many of their dogs are bred by them that they effectively have a closed gene pool within a closed gene pool, hence the major explosion a few years ago with GPRA in their lines which was not seen in Labradors as a whole outside guide dogs.

DNA testing does eliminate much of the uncertainty. As an example, anyone in the know has a pretty good understanding of GPRA affected lines. I might not be able to tell you whether your dog is a carrier, but I'm betting on better than 90% accuracy if I tell you your dog is clear!

You brought PennHip into the equation Jules. Yes quite a few people are saying that is a more accurate system. But is it practical? There are so few people testing in that manner here in the UK that most of us would need a round trip of 200 to 300 miles to get our dogs tested. Then comes the problem that there is no direct comparison, one system to the other so 30 odd years of data would be thrown on the scrap heap. And for what? If a DNA test is forthcoming then it would all have been for nothing anyway. Look at what we really need. We dont really need a way of finding out if out dog has HD, thats just a simple exray! What we need is a way of foreseeing whether or not our dog will pass it on to his/her pups. And that's genetics!

Regards, John
 
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JohnW said:
What we need is a way of foreseeing whether or not our dog will pass it on to his/her pups. And that's genetics!
You won't get any disagreement from me there, John :wink: .

I guess what I was trying to do, was make head or tail of how we influence poor hips, whether this is due to them badly fitting or whether this is due to the general laxity of the joint.....or if we can actually influence them at all. Maybe dodgy hips will be dodgy hips, whether we run the pup ragged, or whether we keep it in a cage for the first year.

I still don't know what to think really. I like your car engine analogy and it would seem to make perfect sense, if it wasn't for the fact cars don't have muscles, ligament and tendons which can help hold things tighter together.

I also can't help but wonder how we got ourselves in this situation in the first place, as so many other domestic animals don't have the levels of HD many breeds of dog do. But I guess that is a whole other story.
 

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I still don't know what to think really. I like your car engine analogy and it would seem to make perfect sense, if it wasn't for the fact cars don't have muscles, ligament and tendons which can help hold things tighter together.
Thats true Jules, but the muscles take time to develop, and if you destroy the hips before that happens theythe damage is done. Look how uncoordinated a puppy, or human toddler is.

When it comes to exercising a puppy we have people who take 12 week old pups out for 2 hours a day, through to people who say a pup should not go out until a year old, and all points between. Common sense says the optimum must be at some point between these two.

Regards, John
 
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JohnW said:
Common sense says the optimum must be at some point between these two.
Oh for Common Sense, eh John :wink:. There seems to be a remarkable lack of it about these days, unlike questions in my head, which seem to be over flowing now I have too much time on my hands :lol: .
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
;-) I am offering from experience of breeding and managing puppies and youngish dogs with varying quality of genetic joint health a common sense, without a stop watch, guide to the fairly broad idea of not overdoing it with a young puppy and steadily, and definitively INCREASING exercise as the weeks roll in.

The info is just something on our website which we point those asking towards and thought I would share it here so can link in without infringing LF rules on copying links from your own website.

But it hopefully talks of more than JUST the theory of the 5 min guide which as a basic mental starting point for owners is going to not allow them to go massively wrong. The last 4 paragraphs for example are about teaching a dog to accept more than hammering exercise to be a good house companion. So hoping that shines through.

Di
 

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There is plenty of info out there in regard of who is producing what in respect of hips. And one thing it does show is that some dogs consistently produce better hips than others. But that info is after the event, offspring scored. As an illustration I’ll quote data from two dogs. They are genuibe dogs and this information is 100% correct. I’ll not name them to protect the owners. I’ll call them Dog A and Dog B.

Dog A was scored 2/3 Dog B was scored 2/0 so both achieved very good scores, nothing at all to worry about and both free to be used as stud dogs. Dog A sire 21 scored puppies from 14 different bitches, Dog B sired 26 scored pups from 15 bitches, so both dogs very comparable. But that was as far as that went. The average score of the pups sired by Dog A was 6 total, and the average score of the pups sired by Dog B was 27.3 total! Dog A was the best hip producing dog in the list and Dog B the worst! I stress, these two dogs are real dogs with real names. They both live and breath.

But you can see what I mean, until the pups are born, and become old enough to be scored, there would be no warning of impending problems. Hip scoring is the best guide, but it will always be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. We still have no real guide to what will produce good hips and what wont.

Regards, John

PS. The sooner you get about and have less time sitting at your computer Jules, the easier it will be for the rest of us! :lol:
 
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