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Old Apr 23, 2014, 09:09 AM
kris31963 kris31963 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: leominster
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Default how old it is safe to jog/hike

I am sorry I know there is a thread out, I am new to this forum. I have a 10 month old sheltie, that loves to run in the trails with me. I have no leash on her and she goes in circles, runs up waits, and starts all over again.

One thing we started was hiking. I have been taking her on two hour hikes up a mountain. Some of it is rocky and she has to jump up and then come down and she has to jump down off the rocks. She is still full speed ahead. I have been going every weekend for the last few weekends. We do some jogging as well. Again she is off leash. She mostly stays right behind me when we are jogging.

My question is - is this too much pounding on her legs climbing those rocks. It is not a really long section, but maybe I need to cut back.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:36 AM
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Mom2Melli Mom2Melli is offline
 
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Location: Dry Fresno Foothills
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I can't really speak to your overall question about age and joints, but I would like to suggest being leashed. You never know what suprise might happen.

Two summers ago, when my shepherd was a bit over a year, I took him on a not all that hard hike in our national forest. He was leashed and my husband was with me. Very close to the end of the hike, we saw a deer. The deer was a young doe but she actually was very aggressive. She wanted to get to the dog. He never barked but did want to go see her and kept straining at the leash to go to her even as I was pulling him away. It was awful. I had to pull him along and my husband had to repeatedly threaten the deer with his walking stick. She kept coming, flanking us to get in front or behnd us, for about 1/4 mile. I was trying to run uphill back to the car pulling the dog behind me with my husband protecting us and the deer trying to skirt him to get to us. This was VERY unusual, but what if the dog were off leash? I would have lost my dog for sure; either they would have run off one chasing the other or she would have attacked him. One never knows when something literally crazy could happen out there and a leash is an awful lot of safety.

If I may, I would suggest using a longish leash (like a tracking lead but not maybe like a 20 footer or something that would end up dangerous) and a harness or other attachment method that you prefer. That actually will solve your first question. If she is going your pace, it's not going to be too hard for her and she won't be leaping from rock to rock. The two of you can slow down and navigate in a manner that won't be hard on her limbs and also she won't be running back and forth which increases the actually distance and pounding on her. My shepherd and I, from age 7 - 12 months, regularly went 2.5 to 5 miles but it was walking and it was leashed. Being exceptionally long legged and more prone to problems, I had no problems with this exercise at that age. Then I tore my knee on a hike and we were done.
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