View Full Version : 7 month old and jogging or hiking with pack

07-22-2009, 11:02 AM
I have been taking chewy out on short jogs (usually no more than a mile or so) around the neighborhood. I also recently purchased a pack for him to hold water / food etc on hikes.

with that in mind, i have two questions:

at 7 months, is jogging even 1 mile too much for a puppy? (no pack on etc)

also at 7 months, is having a pack on with any weight too much for a puppy when we go on trail hikes?

Just want to make sure i don't do any damage to my young guy :)



07-22-2009, 11:11 AM
good questions!

as a veterinary technician, we do not advocate running of hard surfaces (such as sidewalks, asphalt, gravel, or even hard packed sand) for growing puppies. even asphalt & sidewalks can be hard of adult dogs...we see lots of sore legs, skinned pawpads, & dehydrated dogs. (concrete absorbs & releases heat)

since the bone plates do not fuse until 12-15 months of age, and even longer in some breeds, it is best to avoid hard running for long distances. a light lope or jog on grass or sand is fine, but no full-out running.

backpacks are awesome! i used water bottles in Y Z's. that way, he carried his own water & had resistance to work with.


07-22-2009, 01:39 PM
I was wondering the same thing. I don't run or jog with Sydney (8 months) but he does do alot of full out running at the dog park with Oscar and Lily.. is that bad?? should I keep him leashed

07-22-2009, 02:24 PM

yeah i always wondered that but my belief/ understanding is that full out running/playing isn't bad b/c it isn't repetative so to speak: ie they are changing speeds/direction constantly. where jogging is typically same speed same direction on concrete. now jogging on trails i would guess wouldn't be quite as bad since they are going up and down with changes in speed etc....anyway,

curious what others have to say

esp about the pack and hiking

07-22-2009, 02:31 PM
I personally would not put a weighted pack on your pup yet when hiking. Hiking is usually never flat and the inclines and declines with a weighted pack might be too much. I see no problem putting a empty pack on the pup just so he can get use to the feel of it when on hikes. I waited till my dog was 14months old untill i started putting some weight in her pack.

btw. what pack are you using? I have the ruffwear approach :)

07-22-2009, 02:55 PM

"btw. what pack are you using? I have the ruffwear approach :) "

yeah that is the exact pack i bought :) it arrived today :)

i plan on hiking with it from now on so he gets used to it :)

07-22-2009, 07:44 PM
Yep, I got a pack for Buck as a pup and didn't put weight into it until he was over a year old. I still don't put too much in there, mainly because our hikes aren't more than 5-8 hours long and usually involve stopping at a creek for him to drink. Even when I bring water along for him, he rarely drinks it- he's just too busy. Of course, it's not that hot here, either.

I have the REI bacpack for Buck and the Granite Gear Ruff Rider for Scout. The Ruffwear and REI packs didn't fit Scout well- the front understrap rubbed against her front legs. I like the Granite Gear pack because it only needs one strap and that hits her nicely right on the middle of her chest/belly.

07-22-2009, 08:01 PM
holy cow! when you people hike, you HIKE!

Florida is rather, well, flat. unless you count the WM refurbished parks known locally as "Mount Trashmore"

my hike where maybe 45-1 hour...at most, usually on the beach or in the local nature preserves.

i think light weights, like the little 1/2 pint water bottles, is fine for a young dog.


07-22-2009, 09:00 PM
I have always followed the rule of no on leash running/biking/blading with a dog until their joints are fully grown. Even with a BC I hear that is 12mts at the earliest. As mentioned, it is teh repetitive motion on hard surfaces that causes damage (where as hwen they run at the dog it is stop and go, fast and slow, lots of breaks then burst of speed). They won't run around and around for 20mins straight at the park (it may SEEM like they do but they stop).

The time varies from breed to breed, I know labs most and it is 18mts at the EARLIEST for them (even to begin training)

07-22-2009, 10:30 PM
My dogs spend very little time on pavement or even hard packed trails, but I've always been told by vets & trainers that you can ruin the dogs joints by pushing them too early. My dogs get plenty of exercise running across woods & fields, but that is stop & start, investigating things, then off to chase a rabbit, but never on concrete!
I would say a Heeler should be 1yr and larger breeds even older. I know more about Rotties than any breed, so I'm very careful about things like joints & heat! Another thing to consider is the condition of your dog. Have you had his hips & elbows checked by a vet? You can't tell anything for sure at this early age- that is why OFA can't be done until 18months (I think that is the age) Anyway- I pushed my male Heeler into an agility class when he was 7 months and he started to limp. No permanent damage done, but it set us back a long way and the poor little guy had to have rest & leash walks (not easy for a young hyper dog) I knew better- I got carried away and almost ruined my dog!

07-23-2009, 12:10 AM
wow I wish I had known all this running on pavement stuff a long time ago. Ruby used to run along my bike when both of us were younger... and my bike wasn't stolen.... I dont think she ever had problems with her joints after wards , but she was fully grown too. I had always been told that walking your dog on the street / sidewalk was good because it filed there nails down. I guess were stickin to the savanna's and Jonathan dickenson.

07-23-2009, 12:14 AM
when my Y Z was between the ages of 8 months & 12 months, he had intermittent lameness on every leg. turned out he had a case of "panosteitis", more commonly known as "growing pains". i remember having them as a kid, i sometimes lied in bed & cried my ribs & legs ached so bad! (playing volleyball didn't help back then, either)

some R & R (rest & Rimadyl) & Y Z was back to full form. bigger, stronger, & with more resilency than before!


07-24-2009, 03:48 AM
holy cow! when you people hike, you HIKE!

You should try doing it for 10 days straight in a tropical jungle mountain setting. LOL