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Long(ish) walks safe for 4 month old??

NyTTryP
December 16th, 2011, 09:39 AM
Hey guys;

Sooo... Maverick was 4 months yesterday, I made a thread about his breed with pics of him if your interested. Anyway;

Having browsed alot of articles and forums in the past few days I've noticed a general rule for puppies of 5 mins walking per month of age maximum.

My problem is that I take Maverick to work with me everyday and I don't have a vehicle; its a 45-50 minute walk, most days my roommate gives me a ride to work but I have to head home on foot with Maverick pretty much 4-5 days a week; doing that 45-50 minute walk (and I'm 6'1' and have a pretty brisk walking pace). Maybe one or 2 days every few weeks we are stuck walking both ways.

This whole time I've thought this amount of walks was good for him, started bringing him when he was about 10 weeks old. I haven't noticed anything wrong with maverick; he's not limping or showing signs of dysplasia yet ( I know those signs arise between 4-6 mos). He sits really nice. But these guidelines I've read warn against overdoing it or being stuck with joint problems.

His breed is husky, mixed with what I'm thinking now is some flat coat retriever and/or shephard, so he should have the energy level of a working breed.

I find the socialization he gets at work is really good for him. I work in a small furniture warehouse where theres only us 2 employees and we have customers picking furniture up and saying hi to the pups etc; the other guy has a chocolate lab pup thats a week younger than Maverick and they've been playing together at work since just over 2 months old.

Does anyone have any opinions on whether or not this is safe for Maverick? Would it be better for me to just leave him kenneled at home while I go to work until he's older?

Marty11
December 16th, 2011, 09:48 AM
The idea of not leaving the dog home alone is "fantastic". The walks are absolutely great for this breed everyday. However I do not know about how long of walking time is good for puppies......I can assure you someone on this forum will know.

hazelrunpack
December 16th, 2011, 10:39 AM
I'd be uncomfortable with that amount of exercise in a 4-month-old pup. Free exercise (rough-and-tumbling with other pups, exploring the backyard off -leash, etc) is much easier on developing joints than 'formal' walks, especially if pup is walked on hard, smooth surfaces like pavement. Normally at that age we'd limit walks to 20 minutes max, but multiple times per day.

That being said, I have to believe being with you during the day at least some days of the week is a very good thing! Especially if he has a playmate and lots of socialization opportunities with humans at the warehouse. :D I wonder if taking him alternating days would work for you? Bring him to work one day; then crate the next; back to work the third day? Even better if there someone who can come let him out midday to relieve himself and play a little bit on the days he's home. Maybe not ideal, but at least he'd have a day in between to recover. On his days at home, I'd avoid the walking altogether and find a safe area to let him run offleash and tire him out before and after work, instead.

Meanwhile, when you're walking to and from work, is there a grassy strip he can walk on? Grassy boulevards or the front edges of lawns? Any time you can get him off the pavement and onto a softer surface, you're helping to cushion those growing joints.

Mirela
December 16th, 2011, 11:09 AM
Just a :crazy: idea but...could you bike to work and have him in a bike basket for a couple more months?

NyTTryP
December 16th, 2011, 01:05 PM
Hahah; that would be an option if not for the fact that we're in the middle of a Winnipeg winter; biking isn't all that feasible especially with live weight in the front.

Funny you'd mention that though, my roommate has a project going in the garage right now, buying cheap bicycle on kijiji and trying to succesfully stud bicycle tires for winter riding. So far version 1.0 and 1.5 weren't successful...


Thanks for replies you guys, I'll be walking him in the snow along the side of the sidewalk as much as possible; not walking him longer than around half hour if I can.

By the 5 min rule, he shouldn't do the walk to work until 10 months old... Think I could get away with it at 7-8 months, at least?

Longblades
December 16th, 2011, 08:18 PM
I followed that 5 minute rule, loosely with my Lab. When I found the rule it said 5 minutes per month of age allowed twice a day of forced exercise on a hard surface. Forced being anything on-leash or compelled to keep up with you in a straight line. The idea being to avoid too much repetitive strain before joints are solid.

Loosely for me, I should point out, because my pup was not on leashed walks at all till 4.5 months when his vaccinations were complete. Up till then he was off leash in safe places.

You are not going to necessarily see signs of damage at 4 - 6 months. It could be years and years before they show up. I think this is something that no one can tell you for sure. Your dog is a mix, no telling what the joint history is in his background. Even in purebreds from parents with all their clearance there is no guarantee that what you do with your pup today will or will not definitely affect him in later life.

Sorry to say but my breeder also specifically warned against too much walking in deep snow in order to protect the "knees." Geez, you just can't win, can you? Backpack? :)