Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

An area to discuss any health concerns you may have in your dog or questions about health matters in general
sailorslife
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Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by sailorslife » 09 Dec 2010, 19:18

Hi all
This is my first post so please be gentle.

I have a beautiful 5.5 month labradoodle. I've read all the guides and advice about the dogs, and I thought we had a good exercise regime, but I think we got it really wrong. I've just had a call from a dog expert who I was talking to about another issue, and she thinks I am massively over-exercising my dog. I hadn't the heart to tell her how much he had been doing as a younger pup. I don't want to say here how much he's been doing for lots of reasons, but I did actually look at the Exercise threads on this forum for advice and thought we were in the right ballpark... apparently not.

So, my question is, if I've caused damage, how will I know? I read the link to elbow dyspraxia and it says that many dogs show lameness between 6-12 months, do I just have to wait and worry for the next 6 months?

Advice really appreciated, am nearly in tears thinking about this. The dog, meanwhile, is blissfully fine. I just really want him to stay that way.

sailorslife
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by sailorslife » 09 Dec 2010, 19:49

Oops, that should be hip Dysplasia obviously (stoopid predictive corrections on computer sorry!)

Clairejen
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by Clairejen » 09 Dec 2010, 20:01

You haven't said what sort of exercise you have been doing. My vet said that you shouldn't take young pups on long route marches, that if they were out in the park playing and could rest when they wanted to then that was good. Running around and tumbling with other dogs is fine, too much leaping for balls is not good.

Don't beat yourself up about this, dogs who are prone to hd and ed will probably get it anyway and those who aren't probably won't.
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Leah
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by Leah » 09 Dec 2010, 20:07

Don't worry!

You obviously love your dog and want the best for him - the exercise "rules" are only a rough guide and I believe, as does my very experienced vet, that excepting hill-walking and route marches on the lead on pavements normal exercise is fine.

If your dog is off lead for the majority of walks he can stop and rest if tired, and a small puppy will always let you know if it has had enough, whimpering or simply lying down. Soft surfaces are best - grass, sand and not too much chasing a ball when young but he needs to be out enjoying life and meeting other dogs!

My current dog is 10 months now and is out walking/playing with other dogs for at least 2 hours a day. If I followed the rules he would only be having two half hour walks - not nearly enough in my opinion for a big energetic dog.

I also find that an under-exercised dog makes it's own "exercise" at home - dashing about, jumping, chewing and demanding attention.

Do you think wild dogs only walk for 5 mins per month of their age ?? Of course not!!

Don't feel bad!!
Leah

Jennifer
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by Jennifer » 09 Dec 2010, 20:14

Hi and welcome to UKLA :)

If you are going to neuter your dog perhaps you could ask your vets to do some xrays at the same time to check him out? At least you realised now that you have been over exercising him rather than it carry on whilst he is still growing. I think that most people take the guidelines into consideration but I'm sure most of us have walked our dogs longer than we should have sometimes.
I do keep a check on how much lead exercise Teddy has but when he if off lead over the field I don't worry so much as he can stop and rest if he wants to.
I'm a bit of a worrier so if it were me I would make sure I had some good insurance just in case. :roll:
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Liz!
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by Liz! » 09 Dec 2010, 20:21

Wild dogs' skeletons are very different and hardier than our multi-generational dogs bred from two inbred lines. So a comparison to wild dogs is not really appropriate. They would also 'wander' - walk, stop, sniff, hide etc rather than walk continuously.

i don't think anyone can comment without knowing how long you've actually been doing. And if he's used to lots of exercise he'll be wanting it...

Lola used to stop often when she was very small and until I read info here I didn't recognise she was saying, I want to rest. She did have one very long hour walk when 3 months old and didn't stop the entire time, but she was very excited, and i feel guilty about that!

Hope everything is ok... i don't think we'll ever be able to stop worrying about them. I think hip dysplaia can show up at years old.

Having said all that I think that the instructions are a bit OTT, especially if you are on grass.
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sailorslife
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by sailorslife » 09 Dec 2010, 20:26

Hi all, thanks to everyone for responses and making me feel better.

My gut feeling too was that off lead and soft surfaces were fine, but I've been given very strong advice to the contrary today and I think that's what upset me, the feeling that even the one thing I thought was ok probably wasn't! The suggestion was that walking in a controlled, straight line manner on lead instead helps build up muscle strength, and having read the treatments for HD that seems to make sense.

I was also working on the basis of 5 mins per month, plus 5 mins, up to twice a day was ok, and was told in pretty strong terms that that wasn't ok either. :(

The Labradoodle Trust website also scares me as it talks about letting them offlead for a little play once they're 6 months (been doing that for weeks...) and able to walk a mile once they're 9 months (reckon he could do that in the garden, could certainly do it in the woods on the occasional day).

As for 'a little pup will tell you when he's tired' - ours seemed to grow past ' little pup' after about 72 hours, and has never told us he's tired!

So, what would everyone recommend for a 5.5 month large dood, who has possibly over-done it for a scary number of the past few weeks?? :cry:

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Bid
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by Bid » 09 Dec 2010, 21:40

I wouldn't get in too much of a panic. Imo although some types of exercise are best limited ( hard surfaces, very boisterous play with big dogs, repetitive ball chasing for example), they do need to exercise enough to develop properly. As already mentioned, getting an x-ray done when your pup is a year old would either put your mind at rest, or if it does show a problem then you can take certain precautions to stop it causing your pup a problem.

One of my doods has hip dysplasia, and because I knew that one of her siblings had poor hips, I gave her fish oil from quite an early age. Although she has HD, her latest x-ray showed that she has no signs of arthritis yet, and our vet puts this down to her supplements, so if you are concerned you can think about add fish oil to his diet just in case.

Do tell us more about your doodle - and we love photos on here :D
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mistydog
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by mistydog » 09 Dec 2010, 21:41

We rent two fields so when Freddie was young he was in the field once or twice a day doing what pups do. We also have a large garden so he was out there playing. When he was tired he would stop so didn't count this as exercise. I count exercise when the dog is on a lead and you tell him, when, where and for how long he should walk.
Your pup seems to have fun, would love to know who gave you this information? I did what you did when Freddie was a pup and he is fine. How do you stop a puppy from playing? I bet he is lovely, fit and healthy.
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eileenandmolly
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by eileenandmolly » 09 Dec 2010, 21:56

Please don't feel terrible!

I do think that there is a lot of scaremongering that goes on about doodles and exercise. You don't say what you have been doing - please don't be afraid!!!! I expect lots of us have been doing the same with no adverse effects :)

Yes, there are those whose doodles have developed hip dysplasia. But I do seriously wonder whether this is largely genetic. Bid will have looked after her doodles exceptionally well, yet still has a doodle with HD.

I did try to keep to the 5 mins per month of age regime, but very early on allowed my two to do steps, stairs....and longer walks than the recommended 5 minutes per month per day.....and am ?lucky that neither seems to have any joint problems.

They are now aged 4 and 3 and so far have survived being owned by me :lol:
Ei, Molly and Saffie

Clare
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by Clare » 09 Dec 2010, 21:59

I wouldn't worry too much, you only did what you thought was the correct way and I think that there is a very strong genetic link in HD isn't there, so a dog can also get it even if it hasn't been over-exercised. Enjoy your dog the chances are nothing is wrong. I don't think I got it right when Pebbles was young and she is fine as far as I know!
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stanleystooks
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by stanleystooks » 09 Dec 2010, 22:33

Hi and welcome, I have had all the same worries. Got lost in the woods once when Stanley was only about 4 1/2 months old we were lost for about 2 hrs and I was ignorant about exercising rules and do sometimes worry. He is nearly 2 in January and is ball obsessed so plays fetch every day. I have had no probs so far and will continue to enjoy my dog ... lets face it lifs too short, so don't beat yourself up and have fun as long as you and your dog are happy :D
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Bid
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by Bid » 09 Dec 2010, 22:38

eileenandmolly wrote:. Bid will have looked after her doodles exceptionally well, .
Thank you Ei. :D

I would also like to point out that Daisy may have HD, but it rarely bothers her. If you could have seen her playing with Hari's Inka yesterday you would have seen how much enjoyment she gets from racing around with another doodle, so please don't let your worries stop you from playing with your pup, and enjoying your walks together.
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Pauline
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by Pauline » 09 Dec 2010, 23:09

Like others have said - don't worry !
As long as you are not doing long hikes, obsessive ball games, stairs etc then you're probably doing ok!
We don't limit out toddlers to little walks but let them do as much as they are able and think that our puppies are the same. They let you know when they've had enough! They also have to build up their muscles to protect their joints so need exercise!
I never limited my two - I was just aware of where we walked and what we did on it. We've had puppies to stay and they have always managed to keepup with the other two, just reating when they needed to and sleeping more when they got back.
I'm sure you're doing a great job!
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tynkerbelluk
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Re: Feeling terrible. Symptoms of over-exercising puppy?

Post by tynkerbelluk » 10 Dec 2010, 01:21

Hello and a big welcome to you and your doodle. Don't let this spoil your happiness with your puppy. I don't know how long vets etc have been advising the 5 minute per month rule but when I had my last dog (Irish Setter) I was never made aware of not over exercising until he was about 8 months or more. I used to walk with my friend and her dogs for about 1 - 2 hours at a time when he was still quite young. (Setters are extremely hyper active dogs) By the time I found out he was used to this so I couldn't put the clock back even if I had wanted to. (I did give him a cod liver oil capsule with his food every day and maybe this helped keep his joints in good shape).
He thankfully never had any adverse problems or ill effects.
This time around with my doodle I still can't say I have managed to keep to a rigid 5 minute rule :oops: although I have been more sensible and taken the advice on board.
I'm sure you are beating yourself up unnecessarily and everything will be just fine. Genetics has a big part to play in HD and ED and although it is preferable to be gentle with pups and their joints it does not necessarily mean you have done your little one any permanent damage.
As already mentioned if you want you can always have your dogs hips x-rayed whilst under anaesthetic for their castration as I have just done with my Archie.

Do tell us more about your boy and let us see some pictures so we can admire him. What colour, type of coat is he and is he Standard or miniture :?:
Sharron and Archie

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