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Thread: How far is too far?

  1. #1
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    Default How far is too far?

    Every book I read about looking after puppies warns you about "over-walking" a young pup. Maisie is nearly 15wks old, and currently gets walked once in the morning (on lead) for about 20mins, and once early evening 15 mins on lead, and 10 mins off lead (running around fields daft). The rest of the day she runs around our garden crazy chasing anything that moves. While out on one of our evening sessions, another dog walker (labrador) was surprised that I allowed her off the lead because apparently it's bad for her little body. I was horrified and immediately put her on the lead because I would hate to be harming her. My hubby said to ignore busybodies like her, and that it can't be doing any harm because she runs around just as fast for just as long in our garden. I would really love to hear from anyone who can give me some advice about how often, how long for, and on or off the lead. On the bright side Maisie loves both our walks, is very well-behaved both on and off the lead, and is quite the little charmer with other dogs. Oh yeah, I now avoid the field where the labrador owner walks her very overweight dog!

    Jo
    Maisie (ruby)

  2. #2
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    I think that amount of walking sounds fine as long as it is relaxed and not overly vigorous. The woman does sound like a busybody -- I can't imagine 10 minutes off lead is a problem as long as this is a safe area and you know she will return. This is a good opportunity to keep reinforcing recall with treats each time she returns to you, too -- you cannot start to early on making recall a top priority. They can and will bolt when you least expect it so don;t let her off lead in any but the most protected circumstances at that age and use that time to work on recall offlead. If she won't return on your call then put her on a long lead or something where she is still tethered to you (but that is very long to give her the chance to move well away, then come back when called) so you can make sure she comes to you on recall.

    Jaspar was fine off lead at that age in very controlled, safe circumstances (eg well away from any possibility of traffic and when I'd worked enough with him on a Flexi that I knew he would return if allowed off lead).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    I have never heard of being off lead being bad for their bodies. If it is, I'm in BIG trouble because our dogs (including when they were puppies) are always off lead in the fenced back yard. They have a ball and run like the wind until their tired, then lay down on the deck to rest. In fact, it would seem to me that it would be good for them to really stretch out those muscles. The world is full of well-intentioned people who don't always know what they're talking about.
    Bruce
    MysticKnight Cavaliers

  4. #4
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    The world is full of well-intentioned people who don't always know what they're talking about.
    And certain types will always come up to you unsolicited, and offer their point of view on what you are 'doing wrong' with your dogs! Almost inevitably they have the ill-behaved, out of shape dog and you have the friendly, polite one, too.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #5
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    I'll keep on walking as I was doing before then! The area where I take Maisie's lead off is very safe, and she come's back 99% of the time I call her. This could be because every jacket I own now has pockets full of puppy treats. Also she doesn't really go off exploring much on her own, she tends to walk beside me unless my son is with us when she goes at whatever speed he is going. (4 yr olds don't do anything slow).

    Thanks everyone

    Jo
    Maisie (Ruby)

  6. #6
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    You're doing fine!! As long as they are still interested in walking you aren't doing too much. As far as off lead...well then I'm busted too! In fact, on the weekends we go up to the local high school and let them run full on out on the field. They just love it!!! Yep, lots of treats in my pocket to lure them back.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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