Achieving Balance and Harmony

DOG TRAINING

Puppies and Exercise: How Much Is Too Much?

By Cesar Millan

I'm often asked, "Is there such a thing as TOO much exercise for a puppy?" My feeling is that as long as you are careful and attentive to your puppy, the puppy is the best one to tell you what is too much exercise. Puppies often do not have enough muscle tone to take long runs, but there are always exceptions. Most puppies will tell you when they have hit their limit, and it is important to resist pushing them beyond this point.

Even if your puppy wants to keep exercising and running, some things you should be cautious about are:

Be sure that your dog does not overheat.

If you are too hot, assume your puppy is too hot, too. Provide water to your puppy or try to run in a cooler area.

Be consistent with exercising puppy.

The weekend marathon after a week of couch potato life is very hard on the joints.

Be cautious with your puppy's feet.

Running on cement (especially hot cement) can cause sloughing of the foot pads, so try to have breaks on softer surfaces or at least work your puppy up to the harder surfaces to give them a chance to form the necessary calluses.

Be aware of your puppy's limits.

Until you understand your puppy’s stamina, be sure that you are able to stop when your puppy starts to lag behind. That means taking the short route 5 times instead of the long route once. If you feel that the puppy is not able to go as far as he should, consult a vet to see if there is a health reason for the intolerance.

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