Saturday, July 14, 2012

Questions & Answers

I received this interesting question last night, so thought I would post it, along with my answer -

We took Winston to his first puppy class at TCOTC last night and he did pretty well. Jessica has been working with him anyway since we got him, so first class was easy.

The instructor made a comment that we thought was a bit strange. She said that puppies at 10-14 weeks old shouldn't be walked more than a block. Anything more can lead to hip displasia, bone growth problems, etc.
Really?! Do you agree with this?

My answer -

I do not walk my own pups on leash on concrete for any great distances, not more that perhaps half a mile at a time. There is some thought that regimented exercise can contribute to joint issues. The feeling is that it's more natural for pups to play hard in short bursts - to walk, run, turn, sit, lay down, rest in normal puppy play fashion, and that "military marches" can be a problem. While I don't preach that, I don't discount it either and don't take my pups on long walks on leash. I use leash walks for socialization more than for exercise with young pups.
 That being said, many of the dogs in your class are probably breeds with a high incidence of hip dysplasia - Labs, Goldens, Rotts, etc. It is quite low in Dals, and your pup has many generations of clear hips in his background. It probably won't make a difference, but don't discount the idea. I bike my dogs too, but I never do it regularly until after 18 months. OTOH, some of our dogs run from a relatively early age. It's going to have to be what you are comfortable with doing.

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