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Hi

I have a 4 month Cockapoo (Benji) who I walk everyday to the park. It takes
about 10/15 minutes to get to thepark, we walk around for perhaps another
10 minutes (i don't let him off the lead yet) and then walk home. He then romps around with a friend's dog in her lounge!! while we natter and have coffee. Do you consider this toomuch exercise for a young dog, and is it likely to affect his patella.

Thanks.
 

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I thought I read or heard somewhere 5 minutes per month of age, I think that's what I used to give Bertie when he was younger and growing - although he would have loved more! That was just lead walking mind, he would rump around the garden or we would take him to a park in the car for him to have a run around off lead for a little while.
 

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I think – though may well be mistaken – that the five minute rule/month thing mostly applies to larger dog breeds who are more inclined to get joint problems. On meets four month old Cockapoos have walked for much longer!
 

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Yes , there is definitely mixed opinion on this one. A lot of people suggest the 5 mins per Month rule whilst others dismiss it.
I was reading a article by the owner of Burns dog food ( he is a vet that subscribes to holistic / microbiotec theories) and he rubbishes the idea stating that it is like telling a child to wait until it is an adult before it exercise. He believes it is better to build muscle tone to help support the joints etc..
I am inclined to agree...
 

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I also don't agree with the 5min/month rule and not 1 of my vets do (we have a lot!). I think it comes down to common sense and i usually advise no 'forced' exercise, ie: running on lead, running next to a bike, constant fetch (which most dogs will do until they drop). I do a lot of off lead walks and all of mine as pups would do 30-40mins off lead from 12 weeks old. This gives them the choice of running about or pottering next to me if they get a little tired.
Pups that do not get the chance to exercise can have joint problems purely because they haven't built up any muscle to support those joints. Also, i think pups that have sufficient exercise are more inclined to relax at home and tend to be easier pups.
Remember though, aswell as physical exercise, dogs need mental stimulation- i vary my walks with lots of smells (woods/common) but also lots of small training sessions will help wear them out! :)
 

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I also don't think the 5 minute rule is great, if even possible.Poppy had 40 minute walks roughly & she is just over 4 months now (which would mean she should only be having 20 minutes) but then you have to think about how much she goes running around in our back garden playing with Izzie & chasing her! There would be no way to calm her down, so I would say what you're doing is fine :)

Although the sooner the pup can walk offlead the easier it shoudl be for you! Because they like to stay closer to you at first which means they're more likely to not stray too far :)
 

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At 4 months Buddy was having a morning off lead walk 20-30mins then a lead walk in the evening 20mins ,he's always been crazy and jumps around the furniture even from a young age and when he plays with his pals he runs and jumps like a mad dog .

I can only remember once when we went on a long walk at the weekend when he got tired and we carried him some of the way,i think you will know your own dog ,Buddy is on the larger side for a cockapoo so could probably walk further then alot of the smaller pups on here when he was younger.

He has always gone up and down the stairs from 12 weeks (we have three different stairs in the hall so it was a nightmare to put stair gates on them all),i just watched him carefully so he didnt hurt himself.
 
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