Are you one of the many people who welcomed a puppy into your home in 2020? We have recently had many requests for older puppies to join our pack, but we are asked the same question each time. “Is my puppy old enough to run?” is what so many of you are wondering. Let us break down the do’s and don’ts of puppy running, from breed to age.
Dogs are born to run, and being a descendent of wolves, some dogs are especially born to run and hunt. When is the time right to implement a running routine? The answer is, it depends. Although the average puppy can start running at one year, each breed grows differently. Joints are not fully formed at the exact same age for each dog. Dr Sarah Vineyard, a multi-practice owner in San Diego, says, “Running puppies can be a very valuable tool when done appropriately. Running helps burn excess puppy energy, and help curb unwanted puppy behaviors such as destruction and hyperactive behavior. It can also help them to better focus on training. However, I recommend consulting your puppy’s Veterinarian for guidance on individual health recommendation, prior to starting any training program. Working with a dog runner who is aware of and open to the recommendations of your Veterinarian, is critical to a successful outcome.”
Here are our choices for running breeds – MOST! That’s right! We have worked with everything from French Bulldogs to German Shorthaired Pointers. A few traditional breeds for running are Labrador, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Doodles, Poodles, Dalmatian, Husky, Greyhound, most Terriers (even the ten pounders!), Cattle Dogs, and many mixed breeds. Basically, most dogs can run. In my experience with running thousands of dog miles is, there is no correct “box” to fit dogs in. I was nervous to run my first French Bulldog, but the owners reached out to us, and while appreciating our concern, let us know he has been running for most of his life. Having said that, you must exercise caution with all Brachycephalic breeds, ie. Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers.
When your dog is approaching his or her first birthday, when making your Vet appointment, don’t forget to have your dog’s health assessed for running. Your Vet knows best, and we are here for you when the time is right to implement a running routine. Consider starting “Puppy Pre-Running” by having your dog familiarize him or herself with our team. Structured walking will make the transition to light jogging/running much smoother!