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Suma 04-15-2013 12:48 AM

How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
Hunter, our 4 month old puppy LOVES to run. We walk and always run back on our mile long hike in the morning. However, with my husband, he runs at full speed to and fro for the 1.25 mile hike. Its not like we coax him to run, but he chooses only to run or sit. He seems to have so much energy that he needs to burn.

We have been doing this for about a month now. I am now concerned since we came across an article about not running your puppy. Are we overdoing it, or is this normal puppy behavior?

R E McCraith 04-15-2013 04:27 AM

Re: How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
[size=18pt][/size]If you let them set the pace - everything is fine - they lead and you follow - find their limit and cut in half - you do have to come home - at a year old they have no limits - that is when temp and time is set by you - water - water every where - carried by you - the most important thing !!!!!!!!!

datacan 04-15-2013 09:06 AM

Re: How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
I asked the same question one and a half years ago and got the same answer after a long hike... Two years later no residual fallout. The dog still sets the pace.

Even now i would not put a backpack on the dog. I see a lot of that around here. Only mentioning, just in case...

luv2laugh 04-15-2013 09:18 AM

Re: How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
2 Attachment(s)
I would add that there is a HUGE difference between off leash and on leash running. On leash running is repetitive and the same motion over and over and over again. Off leash running is stopping and starting, turning, sprinting, jogging, sniffing - a lot more range of motion and less hard on the body.

I'll attach the guidelines a breeder gave to me for ON LEASH. Not MY breeder, just a concerned responsible breeder I asked questions to when we first started looking for a vizsla. I tend to come from the philosophy that these pups do have some instincts, but they are also babies and don't know when to stop sometimes. He would have jumped off and on high things until he hurt himself. I think it's good to look into it and wise that you don't want to push him beyond limits. That being said they can have a lot of fun before they are 18-24 months, just off leash fun at their own pace.

It was initially difficult for us to wait to run on leash with the boy. That was a big reason, we decided to have a vizsla. But, we did it and now he's running with my hubby. We're still waiting to bike with him until he's two, but I feel good about that decision and it makes it easier.

WireyV 04-15-2013 09:41 AM

Re: How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
That was an interesting read, especially the bit about not controlling body temperature, my little girl used to get the shivers at the beach on a warm day all the time when she was little (under 4 months).

Only thing I'm guilty of is a bit too much fetch with the ball(she's obsessed) and will sometime do some flying leaps that land awkwardly (always on the grass or sand) but this has made me realise I need to be more careful with her.

MilesMom 04-15-2013 03:12 PM

Re: How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
We follow the off leash "plan" as well. I started running with Miles when he was 6 months old but he was off his lead and on the beach or on a trail. If he ever fell behind me or seemed tired, the "run" was over. At 6 months, 1.5-2 miles of crazy puppy running tired him. He self regulated his exercise. We were nervous to let him but we had a crazy puppy zipping around the house at 5 months and all the walking in the world wouldn't calm him. Everyone was happier with the off leash plan. Even now at 15 months we do as much off leash as possible and 75% or more of our runs are on the beach or trail. Today he had an hour off leash beach run and had I not had to get ready for work, he would have kept going. :D

Rudy 04-15-2013 05:21 PM

Re: How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
10 Attachment(s)
Mines about 11 weeks my Willow I work her short stuff 4x a day in the back yard

she is a go getter and loves to sprint

next week I will take her to the beach my Rudy loves

She naps right after a go drinks and eats some

short fun so far have fun and watch em learn grow and progress

thank God For Rudy the task master

He has showed her much

and will again ;)

Saltwater Soul 04-15-2013 07:25 PM

Re: How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
2 Attachment(s)
I ran just shy of three miles with Maddie, age 4.5 months, on Sunday. She was off leash and probably ran 5 miles given her diversions. Now I was not running fast at all (~13 minute/mile) but we were running on trails through the woods with some up and down topology. The pace included some walking/stopped time when we met another dog, etc. See graph.

By the way, she did a great job of disengaging from whatever she was pursuing and catching back up to me (and passing me) whenever I tooted the whistle I carried. The only thing that distracted her enough to challenge her to come was another dog that wanted to play. She usually did eventually come though.

I ran with her like this only after I realized she had a lot more capacity for running than I first imagined she might. On several walks through same trails before with friends and adult dogs, I'm guessing the dogs ran 3 to 4 times further than we walked, most at full speed.

Another time last week, on flat open ground, I ran right at a mile with her off leash at a 7 minute pace and she spent the whole time well in front of me looking back to see when I would catch up.

Of course, in any of these cases, I would have stopped had I thought she was over exerting. As the runs took place in the morning, I watched her the rest of the day, and she had her normal amounts of energy to play with kids, other dogs, etc. for the remainder of the day. She also gets very excited when I pull out my running shoes.

I guess I am saying for most of us average runners/exercisers, you probably have little risk of over doing it if they are off leash. If you are a marathoner stringing together a bunch of 5 minute miles, you might take it easy on your puppy.

gabril1 04-15-2013 11:57 PM

Re: How much exercise does a 4 month old need?
Milo is 19 weeks (4 months an a half) and he gets about an hour and a half of off leash play (with other dogs) at least 5 days a week otherwise he goes nuts. however, when he is on leash we will only walk unless he wants to have a quick run (less than a minute). We havent gone on hikes yet but I would assume that if the exercise is off leash and as it has been said before, at his own pace, then there shouldn't be anything to worry about ;D

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