Jump to content
BC Boards

Really Physical Activities

Recommended Posts

My pup is about four months old. I know that many activities are much too hard on her developing body to be doing them now. We don't even take her for walks yet, though we do take her to a dog run once a week and let her sniff and play and run as she likes for about 20-30 minutes.


It's my understanding that most anything she does on her own during play and normal life is okay, but regular walks and other physical activities can result in repetitive motion injuries or her just plain hurting herself at this stage. Right?


Well, I'd really like to start some basic training with hoop-jumping, frisbee, etc. So far we just play fetch with the frisbee by rolling it on the floor in the house (she chases it and brings it back), and I've just started getting her used to walking through a hoop (not jumping through it).


My question is, can we do a little more than that? This is just for fun for us, not to train her for any kind of competition later. We really only do one activity for maybe at most five minutes (usually less). Could I for example start having her jump through the hoop with it off the floor a couple inches if I don't have her do it more than maybe 3-5 times in a row, once or twice a day? If not, at what age will this be okay? I want to be safe and keep her healthy, but I really want to start training her in some more fun stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you can start the ground work for agility. having her follow your hands, changing hands, changing sides. moving close to you when your hand is near your body. moving away when your arm is outstretched. you can also start some contact work with a wobble board- a board about 18" square with a tennis ball in a sock stapled to the bottom. it gets the dog used to the movement of a teeter, plus learning two on two off if that is the criteria you'd like. you could also start training contacts with a 6 ft by 12" board flat on the ground. also practice a start line stay. all this will be incredibly useful once you can start actual jumping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rufftie has good suggestions. In addition, trick training will help exercise her brain and can also help build up core muscles and help her learn that she has 4 feet, not just the front two (a common problem). Sylvia Trkman sells 2 DVDs that show how to teach beginning and more advanced tricks.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am fortunate that I can take puppies on off leash walks around pastures and in the woods where they can set the pace (stop and sniff, run a bit, walk a bit, trot some, etc.). This is the most natural way to walk a pup without overdoing it. If the pup is on lead and taking a real walk in a neighborhood or similar then you do need to be much more cognizant of the "forced march" aspect of things. Again, as Rushdoggie points out, walks on lead should be kept short and the pup shouldn't be required to maintain a gait faster than a walk for any extended period of time.


I second the idea of trick training. As for your actual question, low jumps are certainly less likely to cause damage than higher jumps, but any repeated high-impact (and even low jumping is high impact) activity has the potential to cause damage--which may not become evident until later.


I let my pups chase rollers (balls or frisbees or whatever), but only for very limited times as well, because again the repetition is what is likely to cause harm. You'd be better off doing just a few rollers at a time and spreadiing out the total over the course of the day vs. doing X minutes once or twice a day.


Watch how puppies play. They can be rough and crazy, but only in short spurts, and unless they are already exhibiting OCD behavior, they don't repeatedly do anything strenuous if left to their own devices (i.e., without a human or perhaps another dog encouraging such behavior).



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the great information. I don't know that we'll much agility-type stuff, because I just don't see continuing with it when she's older. We don't have the space, money, or time to fully train her in agility later.


We're already training basic commands and tricks. That's really the reason I love Border Collies and wanted another one, because I love training tricks and such. But I thought it would be fun to add hoop jumping, frisbee work, and a few other more physical activities that I didn't do with my last one.


Since I can't really start jumps yet, when can I? Should I wait until she's 10-12 months? Older?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...