Exercising a puppy

Q: What are the consequences of over-exercising a puppy?  

He seems to have boundless energy, and generally is the last to give up, after myself and the Labrador.  We’d hate to over-exercise him and cause problems for later in life, but at the same time we don’t want to deprive him of the fun he can have on a walk.  Can you advise us please?

A: Our advice for Standard Wires is:

Once the puppy has finished his course of inoculations, start to take him for a short walk of about 5 minutes every couple of days or so to help him get used to traffic and other people and dogs. By the time he is about 4 months old, he should be having a 10 minute walk every other day, then as he gets to 5 months gradually increase the distance and time to about 15 minutes every day. By 6 months he should be going for a 20 to 25 minute walk on the lead each day. By a year old you should be giving your dog a 30-40 minute walk a day. Once adult, your Dachsie will take any amount of exercise you care to give.

The exercise advice is particularly relevant for puppies that will be shown because too much exercise, too soon, will cause out-turned feet, poor toplines and poor body development.

Even with a “pet” you’d be far better allowing the puppy exercise in the garden so he can decide when he’s had enough rather than any long walks where you risk over-tiring him.  They are full of energy until they “grow up” (if they ever do), but you will have a far fitter dog in the long-term if you don’t over-exercise when young.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you of course, but do ensure he gets out and about so he is well socialised by meeting different people and experiences different situations.

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