Self Directed Play is an overriding rule for any puppy under 18 months old. The majority of his/her exercise should be free play, exploring, and investigating his/her environment. If your puppy shows any fatigue, flops down, refuses to walk, you should listen and let him/her rest. Exercise not only builds the puppies' bodies, it helps build their minds.
Puppies naturally exercise in small bursts of activity, not sustained walks.
But exercise that’s not appropriate for a puppy’s age and development can cause significant and irreversible damage. What would be a simple sprain in an adult dog could leave a puppy with a affected limb, and should be taken seriously.
Growth Plates in Puppies
The first consideration with puppy exercise is their “growth plates.” Growth plates are soft areas that sit at the ends of the long bones in puppies and young dogs. They contain rapidly dividing cells that allow bones to become longer until the end of puberty. Growth plates gradually thin as hormonal changes approaching puberty signal the growth plates to close. In puppies, this closure is normally completed by approximately 18 months old. Until the growth plates close at around 12 months of age, they’re soft and vulnerable to injury.
A dog’s bones are held together with muscles, tendons, and ligaments - soft tissue. In a puppy, however, his muscles, ligaments and tendons are stronger than his growth plates, so instead of a simple sprain, his growth plate is likely to be injured - the puppy’s own soft tissue can pull apart his growth plate.
This matters because unlike a sprain, injuries to the growth plate may not heal properly or not heal in time for the puppy to grow up straight and strong. In addition to having soft growth plates at the end of long bones, a puppy’s bones in general are “softer.” Dogs, like people, don’t reach their maximum bone density until after puberty. Spiral fractures of the tibia (lower leg bone) are very common in puppies - 50% of all fractures occur in puppies under 1 year of age.
Puppies don’t have the cardiovascular system for endurance. Long walks and exercise sessions increase risk of injury and are not necessary until the puppies have grown up or you decide to train for agility.
However.... this does not mean you cant let your puppy play.
Its important you introduce appropriate exercise for your puppy - appropriate exercise is is not dangerous for your puppy, exercise has been shown to increase bone density.
GUIDELINES FOR PUPPY EXERCISE
Exploring at Their Own Pace
Exploring low rock walls and gardens at their own pace is great mental and physical exercise for puppies.
Self Directed Play
is an overriding rule for any puppy under 18 months old. The majority of his exercise should be free play, exploring, and noodling around. If he shows any fatigue, flops down, refuses to walk, you should listen to him and let him rest.
Digging is Good for Your Puppy
Never underestimate the value of a good digging session. Consider digging up a soft patch in a corner of your garden and burying “doggy treasures” in it - great natural exercise for your puppy!
No Repetitive Exercise
Probably the biggest cause of growth plate and soft tissue injury is repetitive exercise with a young puppy. So, until he’s about 18 months old, long hikes and walks are out and lots of free-play sessions are in.
Playing around in the backyard with you is great. If you don’t have a backyard, short, slow walks, giving them the opportunity to sniff and explore at their pace is perfect. You can add short training sessions in your walks to work on heeling/loose leash walking, but the majority of the walk should be at your puppy’s own pace. Long hikes are not suitable for puppies.
However, if you love the outdoors, you should bring your puppy along on hikes - its great socialisation for puppies less than 12 weeks old, and great enrichment for older puppies. Be prepared to carry your puppy a good portion of the way. If you’re jogging or walking on a manicured trail or paved park road, consider investing a puppy stroller to put your puppy in for most of the walk.
Long walks with a nice stroller are great for everyone, don’t be frightened to pop your puppy in a troller and go for a long walk yourself. They will love the socialisation and its great for your well-being.
Kibble trails are also a great way to tire out a puppy both mentally and physically. Remember, dogs generally don’t naturally go on long “marches” - they tend to amble around and stop and sniff a lot as they go.
Kibble trails allow puppies to stay outside a long time and cover a lot of ground in a very natural way. Place a portion of the daily kibble allowance in a trail around your yard; the puppy will search for it on your morning walks.
Play with a well-matched and gentle playmate is ideal. Size is a factor, as a very large dog, especially one that likes to play with a lot of paw whacks, can inadvertently injure a young or small puppy.
Remember to ask if the other dog is gentle like to play with puppies. . Keep a very careful eye out and be prepared to throw handfuls of cookies down to interrupt any overly physical play. Body slams and crazy rolls are spiral fractures waiting to happen!
Enjoy exercising with your puppy appropriately !!!
Labradoodles are very sociable dogs and enjoy playing interacting with the all members of the family. Puppies will play and play and all of a sudden usually after 15-20mins for young puppies., and all of sudden find quiet spot to rest. Please supervise your children as they often are unaware they are hyping up the puppy. Ask them to offer toys that are great for puppies to chew on like teething Kong’s and rope toys, when they are playing to hard, this will distract them and help them to settle. Its important to teach your puppy that you like gentle play.
Your puppy will get enough exercise initially through play. Your puppy will have learnt how to cope with a lead and collar by this time.
Vaccination and Exercise
When your puppy’s’ vaccination schedule is complete, commence walking your puppy regularly before a meal. I’m not a fan of dog parks as usually dogs of all ages and sizes are off leash; this can be very scary for your puppy who is learning bout the world. If you intend to use the dog park, visit when there are only few dogs and the owners appear to have control of their dog. Please socialise your dog gradually so he has the social confidence to to meet new dogs in a new environment
Caring for Your Puppy’s Hips and Joints
Both of the pups parents have had their hips and elbows examined and x-rayed as part of Kooee Labradoodles commitment to breeding companion puppies with outstanding health qualities. At Kooee Labradoodles our puppies are introduced to gentle play ensuring their puppy joints are healthy and accident free.
When you get your puppy there are a few things you can do to ensure your puppy’s hips have time to develop and stay injury free, until their joints have developed.
Welcome to the Kooee Labradoodle journey. We are very excited to share our love of the Australian Labradoodles breed and our story. Breeding and raising healthy pups, that have been raised in a loving family environment is our goal as a breeder of authentic Australian Labradoodles. Our mission is to offer you a Kooee puppy that has a wonderful temperament, is healthy, well-adjusted and will offer years of loyal companionship.
Over the coming months we will introduce you to our much loved family pets and share their antics and enthusiasm for life with you. They live on the family farm with us and have the freedom to run, play and swim in the fresh air and open space, alternatively you may find them lounging on our sunny verandahs when relaxing.
Our puppies are born in an unstressed, loving environment and receive lots of hands on care. We take great pride in ensuring they are exposed to everyday family activities, allowing them to adjust naturally and prepare them for the next stage of the journey as loved family members in their new homes. Many hours are spent each day handling and interacting with them at this crucial stage of their development and creates a well adjusted and socialised puppy, our aim is to help them develop their very own unique little personalities. The puppies are hand raised in our home environment for the first eight weeks of their life. They are are introduced to the concept of manners and the importance of listening and responding at an early age. Australian Labradoodles are renowned for their intelligence, gentle nature and love of life.
We are proud to be associated with the ALA and endorse all their breeding ethics and regulations.
Contact us today to enquire about our current litter.
Our goal at Kooee Labradoodles is to breed beautiful mini & Medium multi-generational Australian Labradoodles. We are proud members of the Australian Labradoodle Association ALA find them at at www.laa.org.au.