Ronin Boxers

How much exercise does my boxer puppy need?

Your boxer puppy's bones and joints are soft and fragile and will not fully develop until 18 months of age. Even slight over-exercise can cause minute fractures. The hip and elbow joints are vulnerable having a risk of irreversible hip dysplasia even if the both parents have excellent hip scores. Always be careful how you lift your puppy so as not to hurt its back.

Although your main concern will be to avoid physical damage, bear in mind that overtraining at an early age may sour your puppy for competitive performance during adulthood. So, when it is small, only give your puppy the most gentle exercise on safe surfaces such as smooth grass, rather than concrete.

Exercise for boxer puppies under three months old.

Boxer Puppies Running

The best exercise at this age is gnawing on firm, meaty bones which will use all the muscles and joints safely and naturally. Do not walk your puppy on the lead or play fetch. Be careful not to encourage jumping, because jumping at this age may cause permanent joint damage. However with other puppies of the same age group, play fighting is allowable providing they are evenly matched. At this age you must carefully limit exercise, but it is the time to give your puppy plenty of love, attention, good food and rest.

Exercise for boxer puppies from three to six months old.

Lola Running

At three months, you may give your puppy up to fifteen minutes a day walking on a fixed-length lead, increasing to half an hour at six months. Your puppy may fetch a gently rolled ball over short distances. Introduce short games of tug-o-war but do not tire your puppy. Make sure that you win so it is clear that you are the leader. You may allow your puppy to run freely, but do not force it to keep up with a faster person or dog. You may introduce simple tracking exercises, such as finding a hidden ball over a short distance. Playing with other puppies of the same age is still a safe option. No jumping.

Exercise for boxer puppies from six the twelve months old.

Walking on the lead may be increased from half an hour a day, at six months, to one hour a day when your puppy is twelve months old. Tug-o-war games may continue. Let your puppy fetch balls as far as you can throw over a safe surface. You may introduce gentle swimming, providing the water is not too deep or cold. Dry your puppy with a towel as soon as it leaves the water. Still be careful not to tire your puppy.

Exercise for boxer puppies from twelve to eighteen months old.

You may increase walking on the lead from one hour a day, at one year old, to one and a half hours a day at eighteen months old. You may extend the fetching game by throwing a frisbee and gradually introduce fetching while your puppy is swimming. At eighteen months you may finally allow your puppy to run alongside your bicycle and begin serious agility training. However, even when your puppy becomes an adult, bear in mind the risk of joint damage from extreme forms of exercise.

Running your boxer next to a bike.

All the dogs at Ronin Boxers love to run beside the bike, some like to wear a harness and pull others happily trot alongside. We use a "Walky Dog" to help make this safer for the human and the dog. It attaches to the bike below the centre of gravity and has a shock absorber in it, there are two great advantages to this, firstly your hands remain free and secondly it reduces the feel of any tugging by the dog.

It takes only a small amount of training to get most dogs used to it. Nature drives them to want to run as a pack and it can be a wonderful bonding experience between human and dog. Just use common sense about the surfaces you run your dog on, the road and concrete can be tough on their pads and joints. If you can, find somewhere your dog can run beside you on a grass verge, and steer clear of busy roads. Buy a WalkyDog Bike Leash at Amazon.

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