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Question by ISABEL'S MOM
Submitted on 5/12/2004
Related FAQ: rec.pets.dogs: Chihuahuas Breed-FAQ
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Is it possible to exercise a Chi too much? Between my commute and 8-hr work day I am gone for 10 hours a day so about 5 days a week I walk my (nearly) 5 mo. old, 6 lb. Chi for one hour. The pace is very leisurely and she has a retractable leash so she can run when she wants and walk when she wants. I never force her to walk (except when it's time to leave and she doesn't want to go to the car) and she doesn't seem to get tired. However, I remember reading somewhere that too much exercise is especially dangerous for young dogs. This was a general article and I assumed that it referred to people that try to go jogging long distances with larger breed puppies. Was my assumption incorrect and am I possibly damaging my baby?

Answer by Willa
Submitted on 5/15/2004
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I take my little Chalupa outside in the yard sometimes for 40 minutes or so. She runs around free and can rest under the table where there is shade or sunbath, it's up to her. However when I notice her panting too much from running around especially on a hot day I will take her into the shade until she cools down. Five months is a bit young but that's just my opinion.


Answer by chimama
Submitted on 5/18/2004
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Excessive exercise can be damaging to young dogs, especially large or small breeds that have a tendency toward slipped kneecaps or hip dysplasia, if they are forced to run a long distance to keep up, such as jogging.  It can harm their joints, which aren't fully grown and as sturdy as an adults.

I think you're doing fine by using a retracto-leash and keeping the pace leisurely.  As long as she's setting the pace and you keep up with her, that's good exercise for her.  Both my girls will happily walk as long as I let them, they enjoy their walks.  

As for running, I leave that to my yard, where the grass is soft and they can dig their little toes into the dirt.  My 1 1/2 year old will sometimes just get that itch to run, and she'll go full out around the back yard, round the tree, round the side of the house, loop through the front yard, come around the other side, dodge Mommy and once more around the back yard.  Now, she weighs 4 pounds, and I've got a big lot; so that's up to 3 minutes just as fast as she can, she looks like a tiny border collie.  My 2 1/2 did that when she was younger, she still does on occasion, but not if there's company, it would be beneath her dignity.

I agree will Willa, if she starts panting or dragging a little, time to pick her up for a while, and make sure to take water with you, offer it to her at least once during the walk and again at the end.


Answer by Willa
Submitted on 6/6/2004
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Thanks for the agreement Chimama:)  My brother just got a little pug dog and her and Chalupa just run and play "catch me if you can"  the whole time we are outside. They are both young and just love to run, run ,run.  :)


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