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Hey yall,

I tried searching for this topic but just came up with info on walking/general exercise.

I understand the 5 min extra per month deal...however my question is how early can I start jogging/running with my puppy? She is just over 12 weeks old right now. I am a very very physically active person and usually run 10+ miles a week in addition to weight lifting, I thought what better way to give the little lady some exercise than to bring her running with me.

How soon can I do this without hurting her joints/development/growth? I want to avoid health issues down the road.

Much like a human, I would have to go slowly in terms of getting her "into shape"...I wouldn't go out on a 4-5 mile run immediately but would like to build up to that in the next year or so. I would ease her into it with running/jogging short distances (100-200 yards) with adequate rest...rinse and repeat several times. Every week or so, increase the distance/decrease rest while keeping the total exercise time under ~15-20 minutes.

Any thoughts/suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

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Any regimented running (ie: on leash, with repetitive movement [constant speed] and especially on pavement) should be avoided until at the very least 1 year, IMO, to prevent joint damage and bone malformation. Off leash running that's part of playing and exploring is different, of course, since your puppy can regulate how much and how fast they're running, can rest when they want, and they're on a much more forgiving surface. It also helps to wait until they're older so that they're better on the leash and have a firmer grasp of commands, as well as an awareness of things like cars, bikes, rollerbladers, and other pedestrians.

I'm not sure about introducing running on soft surfaces (ie: fields or your back yard)--I don't have any experience with this. Others will have more insight than me on this as to when it is ok for the dog.

When you do start running with your dog, be aware of the heat--it's hotter close to the ground, so they can overheat faster. Carry water for your dog, and make sure to stop if it looks like she's getting too hot or wiped out.

They are very fast dogs! I think mine could outrun me in both distance and speed by the time he was 4 months old. Unfortunately, just because they can put in that kind of distance, doesn't mean they should. In the meantime, some trail walking could be a great way to exercise both you and your pup.
 

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Cruise is 15-weeks and we have been taking him on walks since week 12. Now he gets three a day; 1) 30-minutes (1-mile) in AM, 90-minutes (3.5-miles) in afternoon, and then another 30-minute in the PM with an off-leash run in a secure grassy area. He does really well. I don't think we are going to run with him until he's older.

The benefit of all this walking is that he is super fit and sits and heels on-command.
 
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