August 8th, 2007, 10:32 AM
My puppy is 5 months old. I have some questions about what I can do with her:
Can I start taking her for long walks? Ive read that long walks for puppies is not good for their development, but how long is too long, and what age is good for walking? I'd like to take her for 2 twentyish minute walks per day. Is this too much?
Can I start leash training her? I feel so cruel keep her on a very tight leash holding her head high into the air, but I know its for her own good. Should I let her be a puppy first?
Can I start training her in manners? Should I let her chew and play and make messes since she's a puppy, or should I work on making her an obedient dog
August 8th, 2007, 11:55 AM
Leash/collar training...absolutely, start yesterday. Best to get them used to wearing it and having it on while walking, and you can start teaching polite walking/leash manners immediately.
Manners/behaviour...absolutely, start yesterday. Dogs' brains are fully developed by 6 months, and they can understand basic obedience training well before this time (I've seen 3 month old personal assistance dogs with 50 word/command vocabularies). You want to start with socialization, behaviour, manners, obedience right away...when you suddenly switch from "anything goes" to "no means no, sorry, that's not ok anymore" after five months of significant learning/development time...your dog is going to be terribly confused and will likely resist about the changes. But a puppy is of course still a puppy, and has a very short attention span. Make lessons short, fun and positive.
As for the walks, my understanding is that large breeds especially should have gentle exercise for the first year to 18 months to avoid strain on their developing joints, but I understand that to mean no huge marathon hikes or agility high jumping and the like. 20 minute walks are probably ok, but work your pup up to those times if she's not used to it.
August 10th, 2007, 09:11 AM
ive read the same thing about running with your dog; to wait until 12-18 months. ive been walking cash about 2 miles each morning (hes 6 months) at a brisk pace so that hes jogging along my side but not sprinting. the vet seemed to be ok with this; she said that even if a dog is going to have hip problems its better to have strong muscles around the area than to avoid exercise entirely.
just my .02
August 10th, 2007, 09:17 AM
Both my pups go for long walks. Hubby started taking Baxter around the block at 2.5 months and worked his way up to our long walks now. Bentley I started walking at 2.5 months and at just over 3 months he's now doing the full walk with Baxter. It's been hot, so we walk them at dusk and at a slow pace. If they get tired we take a break.
August 10th, 2007, 12:01 PM
giant breed dogs should be gently exercised for the first 12-24 mos, but it depends on the breed
training starts the day you take them home the earlier the training the easier it can be (just like human kids)!