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3-mo puppy walking 1 hr but still too energetic?


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Hi everyone, 

first time post here, my puppy is an almost 3 month old female border collie, she is quite high energy and for this reason after the second vaccination I started to take her out during the late night when there is no people or dogs. According to many guides&websites, puppy need 5*their months of mintutes for exercise, thats to say my puppy only need 15 minutes walk per day? But I tried to take her for two nights, one hour each, and when we got home she was still relentless. I'm quite worried about too much exercise will affect her health, but she seems quite fine after the long walk, when I took off the leash she will happily sprinting around me. WIll exercise this long impede further growth? Thanks!

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Welcome to the Boards and congratulation on the puppy. I should tell you we love puppy pictures here. ;)

3 hours ago, ctttt said:

...puppy need 5*their months of mintutes for exercise...

Not getting what you mean with this (age in months times 5 minutes maybe?), but will say that if she's still running around after an hour long leash walk you're probably not overdoing it.

However, be aware that you can create a dog who needs a lot more physical exercise than actually necessary to be happy, i.e. an exercise junkie. The same thing happens in humans, e.g. the runner who gets a runners' high and will run excessively and gets antsy and nervous if s/he doesn't get to run one day.

At your pup's age, though, I suspect what she really needs is to learn to chill. That can be hard for a puppy and it doesn't necessarily come naturally. It often has to be taught. Knowing border collies' tendency to become exercise junkies, one thing I've always done from the moment a puppy or new dog comes into my house is to reinforce down time as desired behavior. Too often people only pay attention to their puppies (or dogs) when they're involved in some sort of activity and tend not not pay attention to them when they're being calm and quiet, so action is what gets reinforced. So when the puppy crashes as she inevitably will when she plays herself out, take the opportunity to calmly and quietly stroke her and softly tell her what a good dog she is so she learns that this is also desirable behavior. Dogs need to learn to be OK on their own without constant attention from their people. That will only happen if you don't give them that attention every time they ask for it.

The other thing I'd do if she's too worked up after her walk is to giver her an enforced opportunity to settle down. Give her a minute or 2 to calm down when you come back in and if she doesn't settle on her own pick her up and pop her in her crate with a happy voice until she does. Just like a human toddler who doesn't realize she needs a nap, she might need a little help figuring it out.

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Gentlelake gave plenty of good information. I’d also add that *mental* exercise (tricks, obedience, etc.) will wear out a pup faster than any amount of physical exercise. 
 

And you’re right to worry about the health ramifications of extended exercise in a young puppy. Their normal mode of exercise is short bursts of activity for the most part. Taking them for hours long walks or other exercise is probably going to put undue strain on growing joints.

 

J. 

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Yes to any kind of training! https://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/5-mentally-physically-stimulating-games-play-your-dog/120013?utm_source=Modern+Dog+Enewsletter&utm_campaign=c7f15ec7ea-MD_Newsbite_DestructiveChewing_08.15.2019_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f07aee5fc3-c7f15ec7ea-85528337&mc_cid=c7f15ec7ea&mc_eid=6de9a500c4

ETA: If you decide to do any agility training be sure to limit yourself to foundations work until the pup is quite a bit older and done growing. Working on the obstacles too early can cause physical problems. Perhaps one of the folks who do agility can give you more info. Same goes for other high impact activities like disk and even fetching a ball.

Edited by GentleLake
Added info about not starting agility too young.
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On 4/25/2020 at 11:47 AM, GentleLake said:

Welcome to the Boards and congratulation on the puppy. I should tell you we love puppy pictures here. ;)

Not getting what you mean with this (age in months times 5 minutes maybe?), but will say that if she's still running around after an hour long leash walk you're probably not overdoing it.

However, be aware that you can create a dog who needs a lot more physical exercise than actually necessary to be happy, i.e. an exercise junkie. The same thing happens in humans, e.g. the runner who gets a runners' high and will run excessively and gets antsy and nervous if s/he doesn't get to run one day.

At your pup's age, though, I suspect what she really needs is to learn to chill. That can be hard for a puppy and it doesn't necessarily come naturally. It often has to be taught. Knowing border collies' tendency to become exercise junkies, one thing I've always done from the moment a puppy or new dog comes into my house is to reinforce down time as desired behavior. Too often people only pay attention to their puppies (or dogs) when they're involved in some sort of activity and tend not not pay attention to them when they're being calm and quiet, so action is what gets reinforced. So when the puppy crashes as she inevitably will when she plays herself out, take the opportunity to calmly and quietly stroke her and softly tell her what a good dog she is so she learns that this is also desirable behavior. Dogs need to learn to be OK on their own without constant attention from their people. That will only happen if you don't give them that attention every time they ask for it.

The other thing I'd do if she's too worked up after her walk is to giver her an enforced opportunity to settle down. Give her a minute or 2 to calm down when you come back in and if she doesn't settle on her own pick her up and pop her in her crate with a happy voice until she does. Just like a human toddler who doesn't realize she needs a nap, she might need a little help figuring it out.

Many appreciation for your reply, it helps a lot! I've tried on the down-time train, she has learnt the gesture cue and verbal cue of lying down, but hasn't managed the meaning of 'stay' yet. And the advice of 'be aware of the calmness' is very helpful!

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16 hours ago, juliepoudrier said:

Gentlelake gave plenty of good information. I’d also add that *mental* exercise (tricks, obedience, etc.) will wear out a pup faster than any amount of physical exercise. 
 

And you’re right to worry about the health ramifications of extended exercise in a young puppy. Their normal mode of exercise is short bursts of activity for the most part. Taking them for hours long walks or other exercise is probably going to put undue strain on growing joints.

 

J. 

Thank you! I too don't think its a great idea, and yesterday I splited the 1-hour walk into two half-hour walk on early morning and late night. The bad part is that I had to get up very early for her now!

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3 hours ago, diane allen said:

Mental games.  Tires 'em out easily as much as physical.

Teach simple tricks.  A new one every three days.  You'll be amazed!!

diane

Thanks! The difficult part is that when I train her for a period of time( like 3 min?) she will easily becomes distracted. And her stomach is rather small so I cannot give her too much treats, which also limit the length of the training time.

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Re: distraction and duration of the stay, remember that she's still very young and in her nature to be distracted. I'd be surprised if she weren't. Think of the human toddlers you've known. How long could they concentrate on a specific task, or stay still when they weren't sleeping? The puppy will grow up much faster then the human child, so will grow out of this stage sooner too.

A number of short training sessions throughout the day are more effective than longer ones anyway, even for an adult dog. Again, think of children and adults in school, and even the work environment. Kids need breaks between classes and recesses when they're young. There are breaks between classes for college students too and breaks scheduled in the work day for adults. People and animals simply don't learn or work well without them.

As for treats, use bits of her food for training. Withhold some of her food for training between meals. Train right before a meal with some food that you take out of the bowl beforehand when she's hungry and will be easier for the reward. You can treat her all day for desired behavior without over feeding or having her loose interest in food rewards.

Common sense analogues from your own experience will be helpful in understanding your puppy and will make things go much easier with her.

 

 

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