Oftentimes, we get asked by new puppy owners “How soon can I start running with my dog?” or “My puppy is driving me crazy!” and many respond “Take him for a run. A tired puppy is it happy puppy.”
Well exercise is definitely important, but we stress mental stimulation and controlled physical exercise.
It’s important to wait until the growth plates are closed.
What exactly does that mean?
It means puppies aren’t miniature dogs. Our breed needs about 18 months for the growth plates to fully develop.
Now, I did not tell you do not let your puppy run around for the first 18 months of its life. It should be “free” running, meaning initiated by the puppy. It doesn’t mean running a 5k with your dog leashed to your side because even though he’ll do it, with enthusiasm, it’s not good long-term.
“Free Running” definitely means maniac puppy jumping from sofa to sofa and then maybe even knocking over the TV.
Here are some X-rays of a 10 day old puppy (breed not important) that were taken because of a suspected soft tissue injury.
There was nothing wrong with this puppy. I just wanted to show you how amazing it is – see how much space is between all the bones, it’s all soft tissue right now! For more information on age appropriate exercise, go here: