Updated: Sep 11
When you get your 8 week old puppy home, please keep this image in mind.
Their bones do not even touch yet. They plod around so cutely with big floppy paws and wobbly movement because their joints are entirely made up of muscle, tendons & ligaments with skin covering. Nothing is fitting tightly together or has a true socket, yet.
When you run them excessively, allowing them to jump, slide, etc. or don't restrict their exercise to stop them from overdoing it on their weak joints during this period you aren't give them a chance to grow properly.
Every big jump (think stairs, out of the car, off the couch) or excited bouncing run ("sliding into home") causes impact between the bones. In reasonable amounts this is not problematic and is considered the "normal wear and tear" that every animal will engage in.
But when you're letting puppy jump up and down off the couch or bed or into the bed of the truck/car/van, take them for long walks/hikes, you are actually damaging the still forming joints. When you let the puppy scramble on tile with no traction you are damaging the joint.
You only get the chance to grow them once. A well built body is something that comes from excellent breeding and a great upbringing- BOTH, not just one.
Once grown you will have the rest of their life to spend playing and engaging in higher impact exercises. So keep it calm while they're still little baby puppies and give the time for development that can only be given once.
It is crucial to remember that puppy growth plates do not close & fully develop until roughly 12 months of age but can take longer up to 2 even 3 years of age. (obviously smaller dogs develop faster than large/giant breeds).
A general guide for exercising puppies is to allow them one to two sessions of five minutes walking for each month of age, so for example, a four month old pup could enjoy walks ( walk not run)of 20 minutes at a time, once or twice a day.
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