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Need Help, I have a problem and need exercise ideas for pup


Buba27
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Ok I have a 5 month old Beautiful Blue Merle Tri that has about an 8 drive level from a reputable breeder.

I have wanted this dog for 20 years and waited for the right location and situation as I was stuck working & living in the city.

I have a fenced in back yard that I had professionally (rolling my eyes on the pro part) regraded and sodded to eliminate water problems but instead of fixing them it made them worse. I now have 2" of standing water just about all the time unless it freezes which makes it usable.

A puppy loves nothing more than to dig or roll in the muddy water so the backyard is off limits until they come back to fix the problem in a month or 2.

I have to walk the dog on a leash for every potty session in the front yard. A real pain in the Midwest in the winter.

 

Now the real problem.

After 11 knee surgeries at 50 years old and total knee replacement coming this year on both knees, I need some ideas to burn some energy for my boy.

I thought I would be able to handle the walking but my knees can only take about 15-20 minutes a day only after I Ibuprofen / drug up.

No were near enough.

I clicker train him for mental stimulation which he is doing well with. Tug ropes, handball and soft Frisbee retrieve in the house play.

 

I was considering getting a "walkydog Bike leash"

for slow walks of maybe 15 - 20 minutes a day. I can pedal a bike much easier than walk. I'm kinda worried about using this with a young developing pup. I don't plan on letting him pull or put stress on his body, just walk with the bike until he is older.

Hopefully around a year old I will get him into outdoor hard frisbee play and ball retrieve to tire him out. His focus is not there yet to be reliable enough to constantly retrieve at this point.

 

Any opinions or other ideas would be appreciated.

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Ok I have a 5 month old Beautiful Blue Merle Tri that has about an 8 drive level from a reputable breeder.

I have wanted this dog for 20 years and waited for the right location and situation as I was stuck working & living in the city.

I have a fenced in back yard that I had professionally (rolling my eyes on the pro part) regraded and sodded to eliminate water problems but instead of fixing them it made them worse. I know have 2" of standing water just about all the time unless it freezes which makes it usable.

A puppy loves nothing more than to dig or roll in the muddy water so the backyard is off limits until they come back to fix the problem in a month or 2.

I have to walk the dog on a leash for every potty session in the front yard. A real pain in the Midwest in the winter.

 

Now the real problem.

After 11 knee surgeries at 50 years old and total knee replacement coming this year on both knees, I need some ideas to burn some energy for my boy.

I thought I would be able to handle the walking but my knees can only take about 15-20 minutes a day only after I Ibuprofen / drug up.

No were near enough.

I clicker train him for mental stimulation which he is doing well with. Tug ropes, handball and soft Frisbee retrieve in the house play.

 

I was considering getting a "walkydog Bike leash"

for slow walks of maybe 15 - 20 minutes a day. I can pedal a bike much easier than walk. I'm kinda worried about using this with a young developing pup. I don't plan on letting him pull or put stress on his body, just walk with the bike until he is older.

Hopefully around a year old I will get him into outdoor hard frisbee play and ball retrieve to tire him out. His focus is not there yet to be reliable enough to constantly retrieve at this point.

 

Any opinions or other ideas would be appreciated.

 

Perhaps you could find a friend or two or three that would be willing to rotate exercising him for you...you'll need to line up some help for the knee replacement recovery time anyway so it might be a good idea to start now.

 

My gang loves to play with the 20" jolly ball (about $23 on Amazon). It could be a house toy, if you have a large enough space and don't value any lamps or other collectibles as Ladybug can and does pick it up with her nose and give it a toss so they all play outside, . The dog has to learn to push it, but but it burns quite a bit of energy and will be especially fun when your yard is finished.

 

Liz

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Guest echoica
...I have to walk the dog on a leash for every potty session in the front yard. A real pain in the Midwest in the winter.

 

this made me smile a little. because i live in an apartment in the city (close to downtown) and i have to put myself together to take TWO dogs out...down a hall, down a elevator, and out around for poo/pee. then back again. in the winter. and with a puppy potty training these trips are pretty frequent. so don't feel too bad for yourself lol :D so many of you are sooooo spoiled with your yards! but you get used to it and i don't mind - i much prefer city life anyway :rolleyes:

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this made me smile a little. because i live in an apartment in the city (close to downtown) and i have to put myself together to take TWO dogs out...down a hall, down a elevator, and out around for poo/pee. then back again. in the winter. and with a puppy potty training these trips are pretty frequent. so don't feel too bad for yourself lol :D so many of you are sooooo spoiled with your yards! but you get used to it and i don't mind - i much prefer city life anyway :rolleyes:

 

Add in the bad knees & major arthritis and some days it seems monumental.

Prior to about 7 of my 11 knee surgeries I would have thought nothing of it.

NYC, Paris and downtown LA was no place for a BC.

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Wow , Im sorry about your medical issues . :D You might look into someone that can foster your pup while you recover. Do you have any friends that would be willing to do this for you ?

 

I understand about wanting a Border Collie and waiting till your living arrangement was perfect to accomidate a puppy , but I know arthritus sufferers can have terrible painful days and nights , how in the world do you handle the pain and a high drive pup ? :rolleyes: What are your future plans for the pup ?

 

But these knee replacements are amazing nowadays. My Mom had one knee done and her pain is completely gone ! She wishes she had done it sooner. I hope your prognosis is the same. Are you going to have both knees done at the same time ? There was a woman in the same hospital my Mom was in and she had both done in one surgery ! I cant imagine how she recouperated and how her rehab went. But there are special curcumstances that would require two to be done the same time.

My Mom walks faster then I do now ! Its pretty amazing..LOL.. :D:D

 

But with knee replacements exercise is the best thing , and they make you get up the very next day and start doing exercises. So , like you said , biking is easier, but I think walking for the pup would be best. IMO the biking would be way to much for a puppy . Your puppy needs exercise , but more mental stimulation right now. You never know , you may can train your pup to be you nurse !

He can pick things up for you when you drop them ( if you dont mind the tooth marks, LOL ) . :D

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Guest echoica
Add in the bad knees & major arthritis and some days it seems monumental.

Prior to about 7 of my 11 knee surgeries I would have thought nothing of it.

NYC, Paris and downtown LA was no place for a BC.

 

I am sorry for your health, but I have to ask why you would get a Border Collie under the circumstances. And not just that, any dog in particular. Wanting one and being able to provide for one are two entirely different things.

 

...and there is nothing wrong with a Border Collie (or any dog) in the city. Actually, IMO, it is not the living situation that it is important...it is how well you take care of your dog and provide for it's needs. And my dogs do just fine (actually better than that), thank you :rolleyes:

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If you are near any off-leash parks or open spaces, you can do frisbee or ball. If you have a chuck-it, it requires a minimum of movement on your part. A good session of "ball" is great for shaking off the winter blues and allows the dog to run.

 

You can teach tricks indoors -- we are still working on the "pick the toys up and put them in the toybox" one. :rolleyes: The toys get picked up fine, but then the dogs just snatch them back out.

 

I am resigned to mud until about May, so I just keep dog towels, blankets and area rugs at both doors. (Oh, and you can teach the pup to jump into the tub for a bath.) :D Good luck.

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I agree that if you have a strong recall then some off leash play with a ball would be a good way to get extra exercise in. Even just 10 minutes is great since it will be all running time and that amount of time should hopefully still be comfortable for your knees. Oh- sorry, I just re-read that you don't want to do off leash yet.

 

Another idea would be a dog walker 1-3 (or more) times a week. If you cant find any online, you could post at a local grocery store. If money is an issue, you could offer a barter if you bake or cook or knit? Or maybe a high school student?

 

A doggy day care once a week would be great too or more if you can afford it.

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First of all, he is beautiful!!

Our weather has been horrible this winter - snow on the ground since Dec 19 (minus MAYBE 1 - 2 days), and we there has been snow on the ground every day since we brought Scout home! He is only 12 weeks, so he doesn't require as much exercise as 5 month old, but we have been playing fetch in the house. We have toys and tennis balls all around for him, but his favorite fetching toy seems to be the squeaky stick.

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With all due respect...If you read the initial post, the OP has a yard and hired someone to make it dog friendly(or so she thought). The fact that you 'choose' to live in an apartment with your dogs is just that, a 'choice'....No need to be condesending....Just like you, they are trying to find a way to make their situation work. JMHO....

 

Janet

 

 

I am sorry for your health, but I have to ask why you would get a Border Collie under the circumstances. And not just that, any dog in particular. Wanting one and being able to provide for one are two entirely different things.

 

...and there is nothing wrong with a Border Collie (or any dog) in the city. Actually, IMO, it is not the living situation that it is important...it is how well you take care of your dog and provide for it's needs. And my dogs do just fine (actually better than that), thank you :rolleyes:

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Ok I have a 5 month old Beautiful Blue Merle Tri that has about an 8 drive level from a reputable breeder.

I have wanted this dog for 20 years and waited for the right location and situation as I was stuck working & living in the city.

I have a fenced in back yard that I had professionally (rolling my eyes on the pro part) regraded and sodded to eliminate water problems but instead of fixing them it made them worse. I know have 2" of standing water just about all the time unless it freezes which makes it usable.

A puppy loves nothing more than to dig or roll in the muddy water so the backyard is off limits until they come back to fix the problem in a month or 2.

I have to walk the dog on a leash for every potty session in the front yard. A real pain in the Midwest in the winter.

 

Now the real problem.

After 11 knee surgeries at 50 years old and total knee replacement coming this year on both knees, I need some ideas to burn some energy for my boy.

I thought I would be able to handle the walking but my knees can only take about 15-20 minutes a day only after I Ibuprofen / drug up.

No were near enough.

I clicker train him for mental stimulation which he is doing well with. Tug ropes, handball and soft Frisbee retrieve in the house play.

 

I was considering getting a "walkydog Bike leash"

for slow walks of maybe 15 - 20 minutes a day. I can pedal a bike much easier than walk. I'm kinda worried about using this with a young developing pup. I don't plan on letting him pull or put stress on his body, just walk with the bike until he is older.

Hopefully around a year old I will get him into outdoor hard frisbee play and ball retrieve to tire him out. His focus is not there yet to be reliable enough to constantly retrieve at this point.

 

Any opinions or other ideas would be appreciated.

Can you just have a professional dogwalker come in once a day. That's what I do for a living. Most dog walkers charge about $15 for a half hour walk. And there are often special deals if you schedule for say 10 consecutive days. And there are some that can run the dog instead of walk.

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Why did I pick a BC? Because it's the dog that will do what I want, very playful, smart, great looking and loyal.

 

I thought I would be able to provide for him and I was until the perfect storm hit.

The Puppy stage is taxing to say the least. Crazy unfocused energy and a monkey with a hand gun waiting to go off until potty trained.

My knees went south fast with the extra activity of exercising him. My back yard is unusable until it gets fixed in spring. THIS WAS THE MAJOR PROBLEM LIMITING ACTIVITY AND REQUIRING MUCH MORE FROM ME PHYSICALLY. I was on a breeder list for 2 years and this was a dog I did not want to pass on.

He is everything I wanted in a dog, we call him the perfect dog. Off leash is not an option as his recall is bad, we are working on this. I actually spoiled this by letting him out in the back yard when the weather permitted, ( not often this winter ) and what puppy wouldn't like to go nuts out in a muddy back yard. He did and when he would start to dig or when I thought he should come in I opened the back door and called him. I don't blame him for not wanting to come into the boring house to be clean and dry, screw that, let me chase squirrels out here in the mud.

I ended up having to get him and bring him in.

Poor dog, he just wanted to play and this old fart of a man needs some repairs.

I think I'm going to get the dog walker for the bike and just use it for slow rides around the block on days I can't walk him.

Just a little extra to burn some energy until he gets a little older and I can get him on the frisbee & ball retrieve better.

I take him to a tennis court a few times a week for off lease but he gets board with chasing a ball after about 10 throws, that will come in another month or so of age and working him.

Agility will come down the road after I get my million dollar knees :rolleyes:

 

Thanks for the suggestions

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I would strongly encourage against any repetitive exercise with a pup before he reaches physical maturity and his growth plates fuse at around a year and a half. Studies have shown than repetitive exercises such as extensive jogging, ball retrieving, etc. has caused joint and orthopedic problems in the dogs down the line. It has been linked to early cases of OCD, and hip dysplasia just to name a few.

 

I unfortunetly know first hand friends aswell as myself who un-knowingly played ball/frisbee/ran our pups up and down the stairs, anything to get that puppy energy out before there little bodies were mature enough to take that kind of exercise. They now are dealing with lame dogs at a young age, needing surgery, etc.

 

I would encourage "free running" for pups/young dogs. A situation where they are in a safe environment and can run/play with other dogs. Pups are easy to start a solid recall on and once you can get that that will open up your options for getting your pup out. Also, tricks and games are great for wearing pups out. I would encourage you if possible to sign up for a puppy class, they sometimes offer puppy play time and it will help stimulate your pup with leraning basics, tricks, etc. Or even puppy agility classes don't require alot of movement per say.

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My advice would be to enroll in puppy classes for the next several months. This should excercise his brain, self control, and give you a handle on training necessary things like the recall. I know you said you were clicker training but I found classes to be very stimulating and tiring for my puppy, because it was hour-long bouts of focused activity in a structured environment, with lots of stimuli from other people to other dogs (even if it is just learning to be "cool" with other dogs next to him in the same room!)

 

I also clicker trained at home but I learned a lot from my classes that I didn't find in books or even here (which actually will give you even more, and more balanced info than books IMO - stick around!) But sometimes there is just no substitute for having hands on instruction from someone in real life and in real time.

 

A class should also be ok for you to do physically, at least compared to running around. If you are contemplating someting as vigorous as biking right now (which I agree, I would NOT recommend with your pup), it should be pretty easy. You should even be able to be seated for stretches of the class. My votes would be puppy obedience, next stage obedience, maybe a CGC prep, and possibly even something fun like rally.

 

I know it seems like your pup NEEDS to be run down so he will be sane, but I swear it is not that way! Some of us, inlcuding me, have had pups that needed surgery and they had to be on strict crate rest with very limited and specific rehab schedules. Though my pup tried to tell me he would go insane, he did not, and inthe process he learned a lot of self control and an off-switch, while I learned a lot as a trainer and handler.

 

Good luck to you both, and again I would just caution you to avoid stuff that you might regret later, like repetitive stress to his joints, which is what biking on hard surfaces, even if you go pretty slow, would be. If you are going fast enough to keep the bike up he likely has to at least trot and you don't want them forced to maintain a gait like that at this age.

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I'm not sure if this is still the question or not, :rolleyes: but I have heard good things about that Walky Dog bike thingie. I would think that it would be just fine to take him for short, slow walks using that. As you mentioned, nothing too strenuous yet, but I don't see a problem with it, just take it easy until his body is more mature. Then you can increase the duration of the walks in addition to your frisbee, ball or whatnot.

 

PS. I also agree with some of the other suggestions, if they're doable for you. Especially enrolling in some kind of class. Maybe you will meet other puppy owners who have fenced yards for playdates and things like that as well.

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I couldn't agree with Ooky more.

 

I think there was just a lengthy discussion on this board on the benefits of mental exercise for these dogs vs physical and how it's a common misconception that border collie's need to be run into the ground physicly in order to "settle" or be good in the house when this is not the case.

 

I would not only recomend teaching your pup the art of learning to "settle" which is key for a bc in the house. There are many different ways to do this :rolleyes: I choose to teach my pups/dogs to by OK chilling in there crates, I know there are many methods people use.

 

Again, highly recomen puppy class, puppy agility, etc. this will wear your pup out. Games, tricks, little fetching games in the house are of or "find it" games. Puzzle toys, kongs, etc. work great to for pups.

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The bike IMO will be too much for the puppy . To keep the bike up and moving so you dont fall over takes quite a bit of speed , and that will be too much for him and will make the puppy over excert himself , on pavement no less.

It just doesnt sound good to me. Does your pupy have good leash manners ? And are you sure he will not spook at the bike ? He could hurt his neck pretty good doing that , and you might not feel he is panicking. Another concern is if he does spook , you might be creating leash issues that you didnt have before.

I think classes and having someone come over to exercise him will be best for you . And once your knee is done , you two will be walking buddies , and thats a great thing. :rolleyes:

And if you two want agility in your future , dont rush puppyhood and dont push yourself too much either. :D

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I'm not sure if this is still the question or not, :rolleyes: but I have heard good things about that Walky Dog bike thingie. I would think that it would be just fine to take him for short, slow walks using that. As you mentioned, nothing too strenuous yet, but I don't see a problem with it, just take it easy until his body is more mature. Then you can increase the duration of the walks in addition to your frisbee, ball or whatnot.

 

Paula definitely has a lot more dog experience than I do, and I may just be super paranoid because my pup had OCD requiring over $5,000 worth of diagnosis and treatments (no biking involved, though). Even though his OCD appeared to be traumatic rather than repetative-stress, I am now pretty gun shy.

 

I know people have come on here saying they biked miles a day with their pup with no apparent ill effects, and if you keep it easy like Paula suggests, maybe you'd have no problems. But just to be a worrywort, I wanted to share that two people in my office got pups (both aussies) last year, and both tried biking with them when they were about 5 months. I asked both people to take it easy based on what I had learned here and they assured me they were, but both pups developed issues and both coworkers were essentially "reprimanded" by their respective vets. One pup went lame for a period and is seemingly fine now that the guy has quit trying to bike with him. The other pup went REALLY lame, was diagnosed with aggravated panostitis (sp?) of the front legs, and months later is now able to run with her owner (at about a year of age). Like IPSY pointed out I'd also be afraid of the dog spooking and hurting either himself or me, especially if I myself wasn't in tiptop condition to keep the bike really steady.

 

I may be overthinking this and don't want to harp, but my coworkers' experiences made me think it really may be too much for a dog that age. Again, good luck and hope you stick around.

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I sometimes feel that we jump to conclusions around here, like a previous thread where someone talked about how well the Gentle Leader worked for him, and people started talking about how important it is to not make corrections with them, and yet he never mentioned corrections! So here, the OP says "slow walks of maybe 15 - 20 minutes a day" and some (well meaning) folks start talking about over doing repetitive exercise with the puppy. I was simply going by what the OP said, and I didn't get strenous, repetitive exercise out of what he asked. Sooo, that's where I was coming from in my last post. The OP did say that things like frisbee and ball fetch (repetitive exercise) would wait, so I really just thought we were talking about slow 15-20 minute walks. I didn't think a 15 minute walk was too much for a 5 month old. (this is assuming the bike ride is slow enough, but again, just going by what OP said). *shrugs* I am not an expert, nor a vet, so take that for what it's worth, which is exactly nothing! :rolleyes:

 

All that said, I'm sure he and other readers will benefit from everyone's advice and cautions, as well as the experiences. Obviously our own personal experiences color our advice, and there's nothing wrong with that. :D

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Thanks for all the suggestions. It's both knees that I need replaced.

 

Let me clear up some confusion or poor communication on my part.

My pup is not a problem in any way. He is great on a leash with the Gentle Leader Headcollar.

He is crate trained, he does settle down fairly easy esp when he has had some exercise.

 

I don't plan on tying him to a bike and dragging him or running him for a mile or more daily.

Maybe twice a week instead of a walk I would attach him to the bike and walk the bike for as long as it takes to get him use to walking with the bike. Only then would i slow ride Like at walk speed with him and no more than 1/3 - 1/2 a mile at a time and no more than twice a week.

If he tires before that I would stop.

This would just be to vary his activities, and on days when i can't handle a walk. Eventually when older, 1.5 - 2 years he could handle more.

Once the yard gets fixed he will be happier getting his off lease run time daily and out of the house training and agility.

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IMO , a slow 15-20 bike ride for us is still a pretty fast clip for a puppy. And way too long for puppy to be running on pavement. A puppies stride isnt long , as we all know, and to keep up with the bike , at a slow pace , it will have to run.

Or even a fast trot for 15-20 minutes is tremedously hard on their structure.

A puppy by no ways benefits form "forced" exercise , and thats what it will be. As we all know puppies run and play have a great time and when tired, they just lay down. There is no way of the puppy doing that when attatched to a bike .

Im just concerned for the puppy , that is all.

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