How old should a dog be to go running?
Puppies start to run around with their mother and other puppies from around when they are 4 weeks old. So, you can start to play and run with them from that age, and gradually build capacity. Then, you can very slowly increase the duration. Keep an eye on them though. If you see that they are panting for breath, then it is time to stop.
Think about a human baby would you expect them to run right away! So, do it slowly step by step. There is no right or wrong age. I have grown up in a farm, and we had puppies every year. So, I have seen that’s what our dogs used to do naturally.
They used to run around all day long with us. Off course, taking breaks and it all happened naturally. My mother had fresh clean water bowls ready for them. And, they would play, run around and then come drink some water and rest.
You can do the same even inside most homes. Just walk and ask them follow and they will. And, that will be good practice. You can play with them in your back-yard. Or, you can jog and you will see they will run around with you. So, it is not rocket science.
If you live in a city, you would not see these things much. But, if you get a chance do visit farms to see how dogs live naturally. You will see how much fun they have.
Think about wolves, foxes in the wild – little ones follow their mother and run around. And, by doing that they become stronger. So, please do not worry too much, just do it naturally and do not over do it!
Things to keep in mind:
- Do not overdo it. If your puppy is four weeks old, then they will get tired too quickly. So, stop when they look tired.
- Slow and steady wins the race, so go slow and practice playing with them from when they are little. It will strengthen their muscles, build capacity, keep them healthy and happy.
- Play with puppies in a safe place, so other big dogs and animals cannot harm them.
- Have fresh clean water available for them.
- Observation is the best way to know how they are doing.
Can you exercise a puppy too much?
Yes, you can exercise a puppy too much, if you over do it. Like I said before, play with them gently and allow them to take rest. You will notice they will stop playing after about 10 minutes or so.
That’s a good indication they are tired and they need some rest. There is no harm in playing with puppies few times a day. Practice every day and they will get stronger and you can increase the duration.
I would never go for long walks with a very young puppy because it will be too much for them. Whatever you do keep your puppy safe.
Is too much exercise bad for dogs?
Yes, too much exercise is bad for your dog because it will strain their muscles. For example, if you’re not a runner, and if I suddenly ask you to run 50 miles, what would happen to you? So, it is the same thing with the dog.
Also, different dog breeds have different exercise requirements. A small dog breed such as Beagle may not need as much exercise as a Doberman. Do some research, talk to an expert and find out how much exercise does your dog need. Check out the following resources:
Can I over walk my dog?
Yes, you can over walk your dog. Make sure you gradually train your dog to walk long distances. Do not go for a long walk with your dog, if your dog is not used to it. It is a good idea to practice and train your puppy from a young age.