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  • Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
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    1. #11
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      Shelley's Avatar
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      It does come down to common sense, but the 5 minutes rule is a decent guideline. I had a puppy family take their 5 month old puppy on 5 mile hikes (!) until they told me about it and I told them to stop. They had gotten extended directions on puppy exercise from me before the puppy went home. This is a good example of not using common sense or following directions.

      Forced exercise is exercise the puppy doesn't choose, so really any leashed walk, is considered forced exercise. When you are on leashed walk it should be a training walk, learning how to walk on a loose lead, and controlling their temptation to do as they please, hence the 5 minute per month of age rule of thumb. Off lead is for play time in the yard, park etc... where they will pop up, run around, pounce and then lie down again, totally natural behaviors. The worst thing is to be on too far of length of a walk, the realize that the puppy is tired and you still have to get back home.

      Growth plates don't close in the long bones of the legs until Labrador puppies are 12-18 months old, (this varies by individual dog, gender and breed) and repeated pounding on those joints before that time can irreversibly damage them. I don't leash walk my youngsters much before 6 months or so, except for teaching leash manners and ring craft, and I don't take them hiking, even off lead, until they are much older. My 11 month old has not been hiking yet. We do take them boating, and they can swim to their hearts content, well, actually we do make them talk breaks from swimming if they won't slow down on their own.

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    3. #12
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      I live in the country, so leash walking for my pups is pretty much reserved for learning leash manners and other obed (like a Sit stay). I do that when I take out or get the mail or newspaper since I have a 300 yd or so driveway out to the road. I tether the leash to an irrigation riser at the last tree which is a good 40 yds back from the hwy and that stay point becomes habit to all of mine that it's as far as they are allowed to proceed. As they mature, I will do stand stays/ moving stands, etc there. So leash time for puppies here is all about work and teaching good loose leash manners. I have soft/ grassy/ fenced 5 acres for them to romp on otherwise, and have a nice walking path along the canal where we eventually do 3 mile off leads but that's not typically until they are ~6mos and have a reliable recall.
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    4. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by klnst3 View Post
      Um, I have to ask... was that an exaggeration? Or did someone actually do this? What the heck for?!
      Sometimes people will write that they've done some pretty unusual things with their dogs and you don't always know if they're serious or not. I don't remember the Pepsi claim but no doubt it happened. There was someone who said they fed their dog raw chicken and they'd take the packages of chicken parts and just throw the whole package out in the yard for the dog, plastic wrap, styrofoam tray, little pad in the bottom of the tray to soak up unsightly juices and all. Were they serious or just trying to get a rise out of people? Who knows? Are there people who have no common sense who also have dogs? I'm pretty sure that's an affirmative!

      So that's a little off topic, but you did ask!

    5. #14
      Senior Dog
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      Quote Originally Posted by klnst3 View Post
      Um, I have to ask... was that an exaggeration? Or did someone actually do this? What the heck for?!
      This actually happened, I forget the persons name. The reason they did it was because the dog liked it. That was the reason we got at least. They did a lot of other strange things. This was before the forum crash, so I can't find the posts.

      People do some dumb things especially when it comes to labs. There are people that live behind my mother that have a black lab, he is kept only outside in a small 9x9 pen with a home made house and not allowed in the real house, he is supposedly their guard dog. They take him for a walk around the block now and then. Labs aren't guard dogs, they are people dogs and love to be with their people. I feel so sorry for him especially one time I was over and here I lift Hemi down out of the truck, he is off leash and running around the back yard having a good time. He is clean and happy and healthy. I looked over and that poor lab was looking at us so longingly he just wanted to come play.

    6. #15
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      I remember the pepsi post too.
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    7. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
      The worst thing is to be on too far of length of a walk, the realize that the puppy is tired and you still have to get back home.
      This happened to me once.

      I am geographically challenged. It was a nature walk when I knew no one else would be around. I got lost!

      Sam definitely let me know when he was tired. I felt awful! I had to switch between carrying him and letting him sit there. He was a heavy puppy -- 50 lbs by 4 months -- so the walk back was sooooooooo long.

    8. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      This happened to me once.

      I am geographically challenged. It was a nature walk when I knew no one else would be around. I got lost!

      Sam definitely let me know when he was tired. I felt awful! I had to switch between carrying him and letting him sit there. He was a heavy puppy -- 50 lbs by 4 months -- so the walk back was sooooooooo long.
      Same here! It ended being one of the worst days. It was way too hot out, and the hike was much longer than I expected. I sprained my ankle early on and had to carry a very heavy 5 month old puppy for about 4 miles.
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    9. #18
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      Yep. This last weekend wasn't hot—it was cool and misty and we were walking on soft ground, rambly woods—but what I thought would be a 2 mile hike turned into closer to 4, and I felt bad. She actually constantly trotted ahead at her own pace, and we stopped now and then. She didn't show signs of tiredness at all. But that was a longer hike than I'd have chosen for her age (trails were flooded and impassable, so it wasn't planned: we had to turn back, no question about it).
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    10. #19
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      I've never done anything formal and followed "instructions". Common sense is key. And puppy class is key too.
      Jen & Tickle!
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