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Puppy Exercise

June 19th, 2008, 10:49 PM
Hi Everyone,

This isn't really a problem but I am picking up my 8 week old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever on Saturday and am really excited. I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion of how much exercise a Toller needs at her age. I've had a dog with hip problems in the past and don't want to overdo it too soon with this little one. Some sources say a 45 minute walk daily, but that sounds like an awful lot for a small pup. Is playing with her in the back yard enough for the first few weeks? Should I let her tell me when she's had enough? I think I'm going to have my hands full with her, but I simply don't remember back to when my border collie was a pup. Thanks for your help.

June 19th, 2008, 11:27 PM
Congrats on your puppy!

I basically let Chase tell me what was too much for him when he was tiny....I think we started off at about 15 min. walks but it is hard to remember. A few times though he just wasn't having any of it and I had to carry him home :shrug: What I do remember is it didn't take long for him to want more excercise, but in the hot weather last summer he tried to overdo it a few times so we found we had to watch out for that on really hot days! I think it is kind of a balance between what your puppy lets you know she can do and the weather conditions. I don't think I would walk an 8-week old pup for 45 mins., but that is just my :2cents:

And please post pictures once you get her! Not many people have Tollers I don't think, so looking forward to seeing her!

June 20th, 2008, 10:35 AM
From a UK doggy forum I picked up the following guidelines. I could not find them documented in any veterinary research but they sound reasonable.

On-leash exercise on a hard surface (like the paved road) for training purposes may take place twice a day for 5 minutes per month of age. So at 8 weeks that would be up to almost 10 minutes each time, twice a day. No running with you till closer to about 12 months (from my Lab's breeder).
Play off leash in your back yard was virtually unlimited as puppy can stop and lie down to rest whenever she wants and the surface is supposed in most backyards to be soft grass. Obviously you must watch as some don't know when to stop. I don't think they tell when they've had enough until it's been TOO much. Life is too exciting to stop.

No playing with much larger dogs who could unintentionally hurt her.

It's not just hips you worry about but growth plate and joint injury as well. Did the breeder give you feeding guidelines that are meant to guard against too rapid growth?

June 20th, 2008, 12:07 PM
Longblades is right. Go to our web site for more information in our exercise articles.

Bascially its...3 months = 15 minutes, 4 months = 20 minutes etc. So that 1 year = 1 hour.

You want to think about the muscles being able to support the joints & bones. When you move forward in the same motion you are using the same muscles and they tired more quickly and can't support the bones and joints as well. When a puppy plays they are dodging, running, tackling, pulling, etc and they use lots of different muscles which is tiring but doesn't stress the bones & joints as much.

June 20th, 2008, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the great information and guidelines. That's more info in your 3 postings than I've been able to find anywhere. I pick the puppy up tomorrow, so will see what the breeder has to say. Wish me luck. She's a bundle of energy!!!

June 22nd, 2008, 02:26 PM
I just wanted to add, try to avoid hills for a while. They do put stress on the hip joints.