Puppy Growth-Bones and Joints

Throughout my years with dogs and dog training, I see so many people with new puppies that just don’t know what’s okay and what’s not okay to do for their puppies’ exercise. Many think it’s cute to see a puppy get the “zoomies” and run around jumping from thing to thing. It may be cute but it’s not at all good for their bone and joint growth. I want to share some knowledge with all of you that have new puppies or those that are planning to get a pup in the future. As Bob Baily, a top National and International animal trainer says, “When you know better, you do better!”

When you get your 8/10 week old puppies, please keep these images in mind. Their bones do not even touch yet. They plod around so cutely with big floppy paws and wobbly movement because their joints are entirely made up of muscle, tendons, ligaments with skin covering. Nothing is fitting tightly together or has a true socket yet.

When you run them excessively or don’t restrict their exercise to stop them from overdoing it during this period you don’t give them a chance to grow properly. Every big jump or excited bouncing run causes impacts between the bones. In reasonable amounts, this is not problematic and is the normal wear and tear that every animal will engage in.

When you’re letting your puppy jump up and down off the couch or bed, take them for long walks/hikes, you are damaging that forming joint. When you let the puppy scramble on tile with no traction, you are damaging the joint. You only get the chance to grow them once. A well built body is something that comes from excellent breeding and a great upbringing-BOTH, not just one! Once grown (one year to 18 months), you will have the rest of their life to spend playing and engaging in higher impact exercise. So, keep it calm while they’re still little baby puppies and give the gift that can only be given once :-3

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