At What Age Is It Safe To Take A Puppy Running?

by Jennifer
(Birmingham, AL )

I have a 4 month old Australian Shepherd puppy, Willow. She really wants to run when I take her for walks. I am an avid runner and would love her to go with me as my older dog can only go for very short distances. How old does she need to be before I can take her, how long can she go, and how fast can she go? I read online that puppies in general need to be 1 year old before running as their bones are still growing. I can't imagine holding an active breed like this back for a year, but I don't want to cause long term damage to her.



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by: Camila

Hello there!

Well, the recommended age for a dog for start with strong exercise is a year old. At 4 months old the dog is too small for doing much exercise besides walks, obedience and play. Right now your pup is developing at a really high speed; muscles, bones and joins which you should be really careful of.

You have also need to have in mind that if you start exercising your dog now, progressively your dog will start asking for more and more exercise, longer walks, more intensive runs as they build up resistance in no time; then it is really difficult to get them tired (personal experience, but with a Border Collie).

Bear in mind habituation of the terrain too. Your pup is young and still doesn't know perfectly how concrete can be. Many owners make commit the mistake of taking the dog to run not even knowing if they are ready or not. For example a pup that has only been take for walks outside a couple times, since he doesn't knows the elevation, irregularities, the hardness of the ground, an accident might happen.

I would recommend better to proceed with obedience training when walking the pup out, normal play at home and outside, and wait until a more adequate age for exercising the dog (6 months would be better, but not intense training and start with really low blocks of exercise; ex; first day run 10 minutes until a week of running, second day 15 minutes and so on; anyway the dog will ask you more and more exercise each time they go out.)

Enjoy your dog, remember that they might be with you until they are 12 or even 15 years old. Proceed with training and correct exercise slowly, you have time.

Best of luck!

P.S. Please excuse if my English is not perfect, it isn't my first language.

Aussie puppy
by: Anonymous


What did you do in terms of conditioning your puppy for running? I have a male puppy 6 months and want to run him as well but thought it best to wait for 8 months to start anything?


by: Megan C

I have no idea how old this post is, as there are no dates, but I started light jogging with my pup around 5 months old. We started walking at four 1/2 on short walks, then increases the distance a little over the next few weeks. I started back running and have been using the C25k app and for those who aren't familiar, it gradually builds you up each day. So for the first week, we run jogged 3 minutes and then walked 2 and repeated that 3 times, the next was 5 minutes repeated 5 times. Now he is 6 months old and we only run for 10 minutes twice and walk 3 minutes in between and he is tuckered out... for a few hours. Now when I say jog, I mean I run about a 12 minute mile, so very slow and he seems to be able to maintain this speed with no problem and I have seen no issues with his development, but this is also very low intensity exercise for this breed. On days I do not take him jogging, he is a maniac and takes longer to fall asleep, so as another person wrote, be prepared to maintain a consistent exercise schedule!

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