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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondered if anyone could give some advice on walking. Roxie is 12 weeks this week . We've been out walking and I know that she's only meant to walk for 15-20 mins 3 times a day. I just wondered if she's wanting to go on for an extra 10 mins on one of the walks would that be ok? I'm so worried about the harm it may cause but also would like her to have the extra bit if she's willing. Also wondered if anyone has any ideas on how I can get her past a couple of houses as everytime she just stops and won't move. May I add that this happens at the end of our drive so she's not tired. Any thoughts on the above would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Gillie is 18 weeks and we only walk him for 10 minutes three times a day and we bring him home regardless of how much he wants to go on. If he goes crazy in the house later on, which he does sometimes we take him out to the field and play ball with him for 5 minutes as we figure he will do himself less damage doing that than flinging himself around on the slippy floors and furniture!
 
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I always assumed the '5 minute rule' was the amount of walking they should do in a day (for example Rueben is 7 months so gets a 35 minute walk once a day or two shorter ones adding up to around 35 minutes).

So should it be 35 minutes walk 2 or 3 times a day? I'm sure he'd love it if that were the case as he LOVES his walks! :lol: :lol: Hmmm, confused now!!

Anita & Rueben
xXx
 

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I do the 5 min rule too!! But on Sunday he also gets a little Swim in the river!! But only as a special treat on sunday! x
 

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I've always been told its the 5 minute rule for each month of their age each day, so if she's 12 weeks old then it should just be 1 15 minute walk a day.
hope that helps
 
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Oh no Anita, please don't tell me I've got it wrong :oops: :oops:
8O I'm confused now. I've probably definately been over doing it. HELP!!! Hope Roxie is alright!
 

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I thought it was per DAY not per walk, but only for lead/training walks and not including playing. It does seem a bit puny for a bouncy lab pup but I keep thinking about the chap I met at the beach who walked his elderly Mum's lab pup (yes, I know - why did she get one when she couldn't walk it 8O ) and he took it a 6 mile walk along the beach and back every couple of days to "tire it out for her". And the pup seemed fine at the minute, but just think of its growing joints :roll:

I also regret allowing Megan to climb the stairs and gallop down them again every morning and to jump in and out of the car when she was still small enough for me to lift her.

Anyone who's had a lab with poorly joints would tell you to err on the side of caution. They really don't need that much exercise when little, but they DO need mental stimulation so go more for the training than just walking.
 
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Thanks Dot and Megan. Just looked at the folder we were given when we got Roxie. I've completely misread it . We did 3 walks yesterday, do you think I've harmed her. I feel awful now and really panicky!!! :( :(
 
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Just an update. I've phoned my vet and they've said that controlled exercise e.g walking on a lead for 10-15 mins, 3 times a day is fine. Also said go by your puppy rather than the rule. They thought it much better to have controlled exercise than having her run around the place like a looney for most of the day !!!! :) I think I can relax now. Phew!!!!
 
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Roxie2009 said:
Just an update. I've phoned my vet and they've said that controlled exercise e.g walking on a lead for 10-15 mins, 3 times a day is fine. Also said go by your puppy rather than the rule. They thought it much better to have controlled exercise than having her run around the place like a looney for most of the day !!!! :) I think I can relax now. Phew!!!!
Funny how vets opinions differ isn't it? Ours told us that the 5 minute rule was a good one to follow until he's at least a year old!!

I'm not going to tell Rueben what your vet said though or else he'll think he's allowed three 35 minute walks a day!! :lol: :lol:

Anita & Rueben
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Ok now I would strongly, as a breeder and experienced labrador owner, completely disgaree with your vet.

Its absolutely right that they should have some controlled exercise. But that sort of level, so around an hour a day, for a 12 week old puppy is absolutely far too much.

The '5 minute rule' is just a guide, but its a sensible, proven guide to stop people overdoing it with their pups.

Vets know a lot about medical conditions but often very little about actual ownership of individual breeds.

A mix of controlled onlead walking and free running is the very best way to socialise and train a puppy alongside puppy classes and training at home.

Please don't listen to your vet on this, and I say this with a heavy heart because most things you SHOULD of course. A puppy of 12 weeks or so should use the '5 minute guide' to give it the best chance of remaining fit and healthy. come 7 or 8 months old it can walk to its hearts content, but just take care if it now.

So honestly truly best for your pup right now would be 5 minutes walk somewhere on lead, 5 - 10 mins there freerunning and training and 5 minutes home onlead. Give or take... gradually increasing the free running.

Its important to teach puppies being offlead is normal. So that you don't wait till they are 6 months old, confident and strong and their natural insecurity has all gone. right now your puppy will stay close and be interested in you. Later on they won't unless they think of freerunning as entirely normal.

Good luck!
Di
 
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I do understand the necessity of the "5 minute rule", but dont we also have to forgive ourselves sometimes and not worry too much when the puppy rushes upstairs and before you can stop him he comes thumping down again?

As long as we educate ourselves in what we should be doing, shouldnt there also be some flexibility, being a new parent makes us anxious enough what with feeding, puppy biting etc.

Jayne x
 
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Thanks Di. I really don't feel confident letting her off the lead at the moment. I'm scared she'll run off! Are you saying that if she walks on just her lead for 10-15 mins ,3 times a day it's too much?
 
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Roxie2009 said:
Thanks Di. I really don't feel confident letting her off the lead at the moment. I'm scared she'll run off! Are you saying that if she walks on just her lead for 10-15 mins ,3 times a day it's too much?
I'd follow Di's advice if I were you and let her off now. I felt like you and was terrified Rueben would run off and I'd never see him again. However, in hindsight I wish I'd let him off sooner. It's so much easier when they're little as they don't stray far from you, once they gain some confidence they're much more eager to leave you and explore.

I was terrified I'd missed my chance of off lead walks with Rueben but after some wonderful advice on here, we worked on recall and I bit the bullet and let him off (he was 6 months old by then). We both love it so much and last night he was off lead for 90% of his walk, it was so lovely! :D

Anita & Rueben
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I am yes.... way too far to my mind. A puppy just doesn't need that sort of level of exercise they do so much pottering around the garden and house, plus your own little training bits you will be doing... if you are offering that level of exercise NOW, imagine what the pup will demand top tire it in 6 months time ;-)

Di
 

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" do understand the necessity of the "5 minute rule", but dont we also have to forgive ourselves sometimes and not worry too much when the puppy rushes upstairs and before you can stop him he comes thumping down again? "


Its a guide rather than a rule. Some folks haven't a clue what is too much and what is not so most find it really helpful.... Of course you can cut yourself some slack, absolutely. All pups fall all over the place and have tumbles and throw themselves in and out cars and up and downs stairs! We can't tie them to a chair ;-) But then, what we CAN exercise (boom boom!) caution over is the enforced exercise we give in addition to all that. hence the guideline being there should someone wish to (sensibly) use it.


" As long as we educate ourselves in what we should be doing, shouldnt there also be some flexibility, being a new parent makes us anxious enough what with feeding, puppy biting etc. "

Course there is, but in this particular case there is a LONGGG way between 15 - 20 mins total and 15 - 20 mins three times a day.... That kind of swings over the flexability border hence me commenting myself in this thread. If someone came on saying 'I'd like to do 25 mins a day with my 12 week old' I'd have probably said nothing.

Di
 

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but dont we also have to forgive ourselves sometimes and not worry too much when the puppy rushes upstairs and before you can stop him he comes thumping down again?
It's not a question of forgiving ourselves, it's more a matter of, "I got that wrong, better be more careful next time!" Damage is not done on one minor slip, it's caused more by the regular things, or the gross over walking that will possibly cause the damage.

Also something you really need to thing about. It is not pup who decides when to go out and how far to go! That is making a rod for your back. It always MUST be the human who decides that.

Are you saying that if she walks on just her lead for 10-15 mins ,3 times a day it's too much?
In my opinion 45 minutes walking a day for a pup or that age is way over what I would recommend.

I really don't feel confident letting her off the lead at the moment. I'm scared she'll run off!
Believe me, that feeling will never get easier! We all feel the same the first time. :) Pick a quiet safe place, a fenced in park for example, possibly early morning before people get about, take a toy she likes with you and walk right out into the middle, slip the lead off and play for a couple of minutes. That all you need initally to boost your confidence. Mine always go off lead at some time during a walk right from the first time they go out.

Regards, John
 

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" Thanks Di. I really don't feel confident letting her off the lead at the moment. I'm scared she'll run off! "


I can completely understand that but stand it on its head. Right now she is vunerable. Small, underconfident and you are the centre of her world. Its the ideal time to *play* on that and let her off. Obviously pick safe places. Places without unfenced access to major roads incase she WAS frightened by something, but in the main she will potter along with you, sniffing and so on.

Fast forward a few weeks/months till you feel one day you have the courage to give it a go having not done it before. Your pup will have no natural nerves left. He will be tearing himself apart to fly around in a powerful and fast manner. He won't be looking for you he will just be revelling in his new freedom! Then he won't want to come back because it could mean the end of that lovely freedom forever again.

If offlead is normal from day one, they never worry about it 'disappearing'. If you are REALLY worried, start by using a long line or a washing line clipped or tied to her collar, but I can promise you that obviously with you keeping a close eye on her, you will have far better long term results by making offlead a 'normality' than cooping her up.

Folks say 'I won't let her off till she has a rock solid recall'.

I'm afraid she won't have a rock solid recall till you let her off! If you call her in frequently (without nagging till she tunes you out) giving her treats for coming in, she will learn recall in the best possible way.

Di
 
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Thanks for all those tips and I realise how important building up those muscles gradually is, its just nerve wracking too!

I agree with Roxie's Mum it is scarey letting them off, I can see I am going to have to bite the bullet as well!
 

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Hi Roxie,

I let Truffle of his lead day one, age 12 weeks, and he didn't go farther than 3 meters away from me the whole time. He was more worried about where I was then I was about him! Even now at 18 weeks he doesn't go far, and you can practise recall loads on a walk - I probably call Truffle back to me 15 times a walk, just to make sure he understands that I'm always there.

Hope this helps

Cat and Truffle
 
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