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.”
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.
That doesn’t mean, “don’t let your puppy run around for the first 18 months of its life.” Rather, you should just let your puppy be a puppy; a free run around the yard is perfectly fine. (So is jumping from sofa to sofa and knocking over the dining room chair.) Just hold off on running a 5k with your dog leashed to your side because even though he’ll do it, with enthusiasm, it’s not good for him in the long run.
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: