Too much exercise?

Posted by robert
Nov 28, 2007
I have a 6-month-old Weimaraner. I take him up to the foothills every night and let him off-leash to run his heart out. My vet has told me I may be overdoing it for such a young dog. I don't understand: How much is too much?

Posted by MartyEd
Nov 29, 2007
Hi there Robert,

Your Veterinarian definitely does have a point. There are a wide range of skeletal deformities and problems that can be spurred on by excessively exercising puppies (particularly large breed ones) at a young age. Of course defining how much exercise is too much exercise is a completely different story and can be somewhat difficult. However, excessive exercise can lead to angular limb deformities, crutiate and tendon injuries as well as several other developmental limb problems. In order to minimise the chances of these conditions occuring in young breeds it is best to leash walk large breed dogs for their first 12 months of life to avoid heavy stresses on the growth plates at the end of their long bones and to lessen the chances of crutiate and tendon injury. It is also important to feed a diet with the proper ratio of calcium to phosphate. There are several good brands out there - but Hill's in particular make specific diets for large and small breed puppies which contain the perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorus as well as other minerals necessary for good skeletal maturation.

But yes, my personal recommendation would be to only allow on-leash activities until your dog reaches 12 months of age.

Hope this helps Robert,

Kind Regards,

Mark Edwards
Kingdom of Pets Team
Posted by Meliae
Jul 8, 2008
I never really thought about too much exercise for a puppy as they have so much energy! I have a 15 week old female yorkie x pomeranian. She is about 3.5 pounds and is getting very muscular! I take her out for one or two walks a day and we also play a lot outside of my house. She has a regular schedule of sleeping, eating, playing, etc. Her playtime is when I take her out for a long on-leash walk or we go to my university campus to walk off-leash (as it's summer and no one is there). I feed her about 3 small handfuls of food a day but I am now concerned as to whether I'm exercising her too much, and if she is getting the right amount of food! Please let me know as I don't want to encourage developmental problems!
Posted by foxi7778
Aug 8, 2008
Hi, a good rule of thumb for large breed pups is to only walk them for 30 mins at 6 months old and keep them on the grass as much as possible to avoid damage to the joints. Keep to 30 minutes until they reach 12 months, as their growth will have slowed down by then. They can still run around in the garden and keep their mind occupied as mental exercise is just as good as physical I have 2 large breed pups and this is what I have been advised by breeders and showers. Hope this helps.