Too much exercise?

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by jessica c., Sep 1, 2019.

  1. jessica c.

    jessica c. Registered Users

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    I have a 12 week old lab pup at home and we have been coming to an understanding lately that he needs more stimulation in order to cool off mid day and at night – when he has pent up energy he is a total terror. Lately we have been working hard together to get him socialized and find his confidence. He goes everywhere that I go, sometimes including work, but is still given plenty of time to nap throughout the day. I only work three days a week – one 8-hour day that he spends with a sitter and two half days where he’s mostly alone but has someone check in on him. He isn’t crated when he’s alone, though he is in a puppy safe room with everything he needs. He usually sleeps when I’m away.

    Since getting approval from his vet to meet other dogs we have been spending every day at the park, which begs the question in my mind as to whether or not I’m over exercising or overstimulating him.

    He gets a 2 block walk at 8am (to stop him from biting me to death in the morning) and then breakfast. Usually around 9:30 or 10 we go to the park. We play fetch for 5-10 minutes and then train. When he wants to rest, we rest. Sometimes we both take a nap under a tree and when he wakes up we play and train some more. He drinks as much water as he wants and lounges in the shade, will go and explore the gardens, watch soccer games, and meet other dogs, people and sometimes children. I’d say we spend anywhere from 3 to 6 hours a day at the park. This also helps with consistently having him potty outside. We are working hard on potty training but mid day is a nightmare when we’re inside. He sleeps more when we’re home and then we stick only to training until his last walk at 8, but if he’s especially rowdy and nippy we take another one at 9:30. He sleeps from then until 6am when we start all over.

    I keep seeing people say that a puppy his age should only be exercised 15 minutes twice a day and training should be in very short intervals. Is this routine we’re in now too much for him? In terms of the medium intensity play (fetching) I would say it only totals to a half hour or 45 minutes but is broken up throughout the entire day. I never force him to exercise when he doesn’t have it in him and keep it between medium and light intensity, but would hate for him to develop something like joint issues from me unknowingly pushing his capabilities. The only time he runs full-tilt is on a recall.

    The long days at the park have just proved to be the best solution to his crazed outbursts that happen when we’re stuck at home and seems to be adding to his success with training.

    I am stuck somewhere between worrying he is doing too much and trusting that the two of us can recognize when it’s time to take a snooze, relax for a while, or just let him do fun goofy puppy stuff. This is my first time raising a puppy completely by myself (I’m in my early 20s) and just want what’s best for him, but preferably want to make it through this stage with all my fingers in tact and as little nip wounds as possible.

    Any thoughts on all of the this??
     
  2. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Hi @jessica c.

    My oh my are you busy.

    Playing with your dog is good. Building a bond is extremely important. Well done.

    The one downside I see in all of this is that you seem to get peace because the dog is worn out. But your dog needs to learn to chill out when around humans even when not exhausted. That is, the dog has to learn to just relax. At the moment I sense that the dog is learning that when around humans the dog should be either full on engaged in play or exhausted. There is a middle ground too.

    It is entirely possible that I have mis-read your account--that your dog is learning to relax even when not tired. You mention watching games and such, but I don't know whether that only happens after playing fetch for 10 minutes. You need to teach your dog to relax, even when he has just awakened from a deep sleep. That biting you is not on irrespective of whether he is energetic or dog tired.

    Second, with a young dog such as your puppy, the bones in his legs are still forming. I would be inclined to keep most of the playing to low-impact exerises. Again I could be misreading what you are actually doing. Fetch for example comes in many different forms. Try to keep it low impact, without lots of twisting and sudden stops.. Play on undulating ground rather than billiard table flat park land.
     

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