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How Much Exercise For A Whippet Puppy


25 replies to this topic

#1 Whippet's Mum

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 08:59 PM

We've got a lovely whippet boy, 3 months old, who has been allowed out for walks for 2 weeks now - something we were all really looking forward to. Unfortunately the first few days were dismally drizzly and cold, but since then the weather has been great, we've got him a coat, and we've tried to get into a bit of a "routine". He prefers to stay in bed in the morning, but we try and take him out for 5 minutes at 7am, 20 minutes when we walk up to school and back (this includes a quick circuit of the playing field); 30 or 40 minutes before lunch, 30 minutes before his tea, and a then quick 5 minutes at 10pm.

The early morning and late evening walks are fine, he does his business then whines to go home. The lunchtime one can be a bit hit and miss and the teatime one is the nightmare walk: he is on a long lead (5m) most of the time, although when it is really quiet or we are somewhere like an enclosed field, we have let him off. His recall is fabulous - we haven't let him go more than 50m away, and he comes back every time. He is learning to drop his Wubba toy for treats (and is always asked to "sit" as well) BUT on the afternoon walk he WON'T stop eating xxxxxx leaves/fag butts/twigs/dung/rabbit poo/grass/sweet wrappers - and he WON'T leave them - even if you wave a treat under his nose. So then we have to try and prise his jaws open, which is tricky because the more excited he gets the more he is inclined to nip. And then, because we've been wrestling with his jaws, he's got tangled up in his long lead - which is then a nightmare to untangle from his legs without being nipped. And then he pulls all the way home, despite endless stopping, sitting, holding a treat above his nose (which he then loses track of and thinks we've dropped it on the floor, so then he walks along with his nose on the ground). We changed the end of his lead to a chain to stop him biting his lead, and that helped instantly. But we spend so much time stopping him eating stuff and then avoiding getting nipped or trying to get his attention, it is really exhausting. Early morning/late evening, he just jogs along next to us, but the late afternoon walk has us tearing our hair out with frustration. He seems to be unable to concentrate on anything, and is distracted by birds/people/other dogs miles away/trees/blowing leaves, yet seems to have way too much energy to just go home.

At home, he is a complete angel - he doesn't nip or mouth any more at all, and has learnt to lick instead. He is completely house trained, including at night, he sleeps all morning and all evening, but just seems to go crackers at about 4pm every day.

We thought we were doing the right thing by taking him out for long walks to "get the jiggles out", but it seems particularly in the afternoon, he just loses it altogether. Where are we going wrong? Or is this normal? What do people suggest?!!!!!

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#2 jinnyfizz

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 09:11 PM

Every dog differs, but at 3 months old you are expecting him to cope with an excessive amount of exercise IMO :(

His bones, muscles and ligaments are still so soft and young and it may well be the stress and exhaustion which is causing him to behave the way he does. He doesn't know how to tell you that he's hurting so it comes out in other ways!

10 minutes 3 times a day with a bit of off lead playing should be fine for him right now. I wouldn't introduce the half hour plus walks until he is 5 months or more.

I have a pup of 5 months at the moment. To date she has done nothing other than play and free run as much as she wants at home with very little walking on the lead - just a few minutes every day for general obedience. There's plenty of time to take her out when she has grown strong, and the same applies to your very young lad :thumbsup:
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#3 rls22

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 09:25 PM

I agree with Jane at three months a max of thirty minutes a day is more than enough when you consider all the playing he will be doing in the garden/house too.

At the moment he is getting enough exercise for an adult dog!!
"Your actions, and your action alone, determines your worth" Evelyn Waugh

#4 Whippet's Mum

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 09:27 PM

Thank you - I have suspected we were asking him to do too much, but he seems to have so much energy. Before he was allowed out, we would have at least 3 sessions of "crackerdog" indoors, where he would chase and fetch toys the length of the house for 20 minutes at a time, so we just replaced that with the outdoor walks. My husband has been particularly keen to "take the hound for a walk" and I suspect will walk the legs off him given the chance.

That said, the only walks he whines on are the early and late ones, when he'd rather be tucked up in his bed (puppy, not husband). The afternoon one is the only one where he is dragging us up to the playing field to play, but he just seems to "lose it" once he is there.

Further comments or suggestions would be gratefully received!

#5 rls22

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 09:36 PM

Your boy won't complain about going on all these walks but you may well be doing long term damage to him at a time when his bones/joints are unable to cope.
Your hubby will have a good few months until your pup should be going on walks as lengthy as you are doing, and some would say that you should leave it for another year.
At 12 weeks our pups would only be going on one twenty minute walk a day and some of this they would be carried. At six months they do about 40 mins a day mainly off lead, and then as adults approx 90 mins a day.

For now lots of toys and interaction with you. At this age, i'd expect him to be taking plenty of kips inbetween too.

Also when you say long lead do you mean a flexi lead? I really think these are lethal, especially where whippets are concerned.
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#6 Whippet's Mum

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 07:04 AM

Thank you - I really thought at the beginning that it was too much, as I knew that as they are growing you have to be careful - but because he seemed to have so much energy, it really seemed as if he needed the time out to run about. The 30/40 minutes I'm talking about does include lots of play with his Wubba, that's not all marching along at all - far from it. There is a lot of dawdling involved, and because we haven't let him off his lead much, hardly any running, and absolutely no jumping about as I try my hardest to stop him do that. For his long lead, we have a soft fabric/webbing lead, not on a ratchet or anything, we just hold it in loops and pay it out according to what he's doing. He does sleep loads - most of the morning, some of the afternoon and all evening, then all night.....

I don't think we've hurt him, because the only times he's ever complained by whining and refused to go any further (needing a carry) is early morning/late evening, particularly if it is cold and drizzly. And we haven't taken him for more than 5 minutes anyway, at those times. But we are going to back off considerably, and up the indoor play times - I think we were too quick to replace indoor play with going out!

#7 Esty

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 07:58 AM

I think what the others are saying is not that it would hurt him as in being painful now, more that it could be damaging the development of his legs in the long run. Must admit I didn't know about that before I got my two as pups but fortunately read loads on here before I brought them home. By the way, there will be a thread on here from last year that I started about my two eating cigarette butts/ litter and the worst - chewing gum - on their early walks! :x They will still go for gum even though they are 13 months now but have learned to 'drop' other stuff on command. It's a whippet thing, and very frustrating, but he will get bored of it eventually. My Mum has a six month old whippet who drives her mad with it.

Your husband will have up to 15 years of walks with your dog so waiting a few more weeks for the good walks won't be too much of a wait! It sounds like you are doing well with him, and much better to have too much attention than some of the ones we hear about, like the pup my Mum rescued, who was not socialised and left in a garage for the first few weeks of his life :(

#8 ~Annie~

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:41 AM

If he is very hyper it may have something to do with what you are feeding him ... dogs are like children and react to colourings and additives ... can I ask what foods you feed?

Re. the exercise, off lead is actually more important than on at this stage, and while he is a pup and not inclined to wander far is the perfect time to teach recall. Find a safe place away from traffic, take lots of tasty treats, feed him a few so he knows you have them, then let him off the lead. Keep walking briskly along, don't just stand watching him, and keep changing direction so he needs to kep an eye on where you are. Periodically call him back to you and reward him for the return. Don't ask him to sit though or you'll be rewarding him for that and not for the recall. If from time to time you hold his collar while he has his treat or even put his lead back on for a minute before letting him off again he will learn that coming back doesn't automatically mean the end of play.

Running at their own pace is much better for developing pups than lead walking as they can be much more stop start ... you'll find he does a fair bit of rushing about feeling his legs and a fair bit of flopping ... a 15 min session of this once or twice a day should be enough at his age

HTH

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#9 whippetmad

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:33 AM

I agree whats already been said ,i have a 15 weeks old,and we don't walk him too much,we recently took him to the beach,but also we carried him too :D I walk him for about 15mins a day and also i still keep him on the lead,as i don't want him getting carried away or being at risk with being knocked from the other dogs, as he determined to run with the others :o :lol:
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#10 stevedeb

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:52 AM

I agree with the advice you have been given so far
but hey he's a 3month old whippet pup they are all hyper

"Thats his job"

Imo and only my opinion you nead to a short lead
i hate those long 5 metre things cause more trouble than they are worth

keep the little devil on a short lead make him walk with you not dragging you about

he sounds like a normal whippet pup full of life and and into every thing
he is just learning/playing
and at 3months thats all he should be doing

#11 Whippet's Mum

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 04:33 PM

Thanks for all the support and advice. I know it's not the food that's making him hyper, we feed him James Wellbeloved and in the morning he just has his breakfast, a quick fool around, then sleeps for a couple of hours. He's not manic hyper, just puppy hyper - but I just wasn't sure whether to try and tire him out by outside play or not, and if so, how much!

When we do recall, we do praise him, effusively, for coming back to us - lots of cuddles etc, and usually he sits for his treat anyway - because he always sits before we give him his meals. We usually do a lot of backwards and forwards between the two of us and then walk on without the lead for a bit. We also put the lead back on randomly (usually when we can see another dog in the distance). Thank you for saying that running off the lead is better, as I had a feeling that teaching him to "heel" was pretty pointless at this stage, and I thought it best to listen to him - he starts turning to home eventually, and refuses point blank to go in any other direction.

Today, he only had 20 minutes at lunchtime, and nothing this evening because it has been raining...seems to have survived! He's now crying because he's all alone while I type this, so I'd better go. Thanks again.

#12 TillynPip

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:32 AM

We do worry about our whippet babies don't we. Gracie's seven months and I emailed her breeders the other day about which hill to walk or not to walk. Enjoy your lovely boy and, incidentally, Gracie hoovers anything and everything up that she can find - and recently dog poo :wacko: :wacko: It wouldn't be so bad if it was hers or my other dogs (at least I know they're healthy and wormed etc) but it's any that she comes across. Disgusting :angry: :angry:

#13 ~Annie~

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:25 AM

I have a hooverer, although he's been a bit less inclined to do it since he hoovered a holly leaf :lol: Maybe you should sprinkle some in Gracie and ?? (Whippet's Mum you haven't told us your boys name :unsure: ) way !

#14 Noise

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:36 AM

do any of you try to stop your pups from playing with the older dogs? Kennett goes a bit mad with running around and jumping on and off sofas when playing indoors. I have a puppy gate installed that sepertes the upstairs kitchen/dining area (where I leave them when I go out) from the stairs that lead to the living room, so I lock him there when it gets too crazy.

I guess I'm wondering how much damage he can do to his shoulders/joints doing puppy things he does out of his own choice? how much and how should a pup be , hmm, restrained?

otherwise he doesn't get loads of excercise outdoors, normally, if I take him out on his own, he does his business and isn't too intereseted in any walk over 5 - 10 minutes, which is fine. when we go to the park he just walks about sniffing and exploring and I don't let him off lead together with Eskil coz Eskil hunts him :unsure:

I never really tried to stop Eskil fom playing with Popsy when he was a pup, hasn't done him any harm, but then, he was of a calmer disposition. Kennett is now 16 weeks old.
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#15 TillynPip

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:53 PM

do any of you try to stop your pups from playing with the older dogs? Kennett goes a bit mad with running around and jumping on and off sofas when playing indoors. I have a puppy gate installed that sepertes the upstairs kitchen/dining area (where I leave them when I go out) from the stairs that lead to the living room, so I lock him there when it gets too crazy.

I guess I'm wondering how much damage he can do to his shoulders/joints doing puppy things he does out of his own choice? how much and how should a pup be , hmm, restrained?

otherwise he doesn't get loads of excercise outdoors, normally, if I take him out on his own, he does his business and isn't too intereseted in any walk over 5 - 10 minutes, which is fine. when we go to the park he just walks about sniffing and exploring and I don't let him off lead together with Eskil coz Eskil hunts him :unsure:

I never really tried to stop Eskil fom playing with Popsy when he was a pup, hasn't done him any harm, but then, he was of a calmer disposition. Kennett is now 16 weeks old.



I know what you mean but if I'd have tried to stop Gracie playing with Tilly or Pip, I would have had to have crated her much of the time, which I didn't want to do. There again, there was never any chance of either Tilly or Pip hurting her. Gracie doesn't walk she gallops, she doesn't just jump onto the sofa she leaps like a steeple chaser and she doesn't just gaze at the squirrels in the trees she leaps us the tree trunks. As she is our first full whippet, I don't know whether she is particularly athletic or whether this is just typical of the breed. I watch her open up over a stretch of beach and know that God got this breed spot on! Do you think that I'm infatuated?!

#16 rls22

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 08:20 PM

do any of you try to stop your pups from playing with the older dogs? Kennett goes a bit mad with running around and jumping on and off sofas when playing indoors. I have a puppy gate installed that sepertes the upstairs kitchen/dining area (where I leave them when I go out) from the stairs that lead to the living room, so I lock him there when it gets too crazy.

I guess I'm wondering how much damage he can do to his shoulders/joints doing puppy things he does out of his own choice? how much and how should a pup be , hmm, restrained?

otherwise he doesn't get loads of excercise outdoors, normally, if I take him out on his own, he does his business and isn't too intereseted in any walk over 5 - 10 minutes, which is fine. when we go to the park he just walks about sniffing and exploring and I don't let him off lead together with Eskil coz Eskil hunts him :unsure:

I never really tried to stop Eskil fom playing with Popsy when he was a pup, hasn't done him any harm, but then, he was of a calmer disposition. Kennett is now 16 weeks old.



I know what you mean but if I'd have tried to stop Gracie playing with Tilly or Pip, I would have had to have crated her much of the time, which I didn't want to do. There again, there was never any chance of either Tilly or Pip hurting her. Gracie doesn't walk she gallops, she doesn't just jump onto the sofa she leaps like a steeple chaser and she doesn't just gaze at the squirrels in the trees she leaps us the tree trunks. As she is our first full whippet, I don't know whether she is particularly athletic or whether this is just typical of the breed. I watch her open up over a stretch of beach and know that God got this breed spot on! Do you think that I'm infatuated?!


LOL Angela!
Jo thought she was rather quiet :lol:

But in answer to the question - we have never stopped the pups playing with the older dogs in the house particularly, as the dogs themselves have always set the ground rules and say when enough is enough so it never gets to the point where they have been going mad wrestling for ages.
Now Rowan is 7 months she does play rather wildly with Diego for quite long periods of time as they are both as idiotic as one another :clown:
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#17 Noise

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:41 AM

I'm not that worried about the 'rough' part, more about the impact of his leaping :(
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#18 Foxglove

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 07:52 PM

I am so pleased I saw this thread as I'm getting *fingers crossed* two whippet pups soon and I was going to ask how much exercise they should (and should not!) have in their first year. This has put my mind at rest. My two aren't even born yet....due next Tuesday and I'm as hyper and excited about it as a working-bred collie on cheap dog food!!!! :lol:

Thanks for such great advice guys......this site is the greatest as you can get proper advice on our breed from folk who know what they are talking about....as opposed to a 'general' doggy site with loads of different breeds.

When I got Tina and Diva they were both adults - 16 months and 3/4 years old respectively - so were ok with 'proper' walks. I haven't had a puppy in my household since 1990 when our family had our two jack russells so had a feeling the coming year would be just short walks, socialising and just letting them exercise by playing with each other :)

#19 Foxglove

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 07:57 PM

I watch her open up over a stretch of beach and know that God got this breed spot on! Do you think that I'm infatuated?!


You sound exactly like me hun :D Neil was adamant we were getting an adult border collie bitch next year but I said NO!!!!! It's a whippet or nothing!!!! They are just THE most fantastic loving, beautiful, graceful, perfect breed in the whole world and I love them SO MUCH!!!!! :wub:

#20 T Hoare

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:16 PM

I am so pleased I saw this thread as I'm getting *fingers crossed* two whippet pups soon and I was going to ask how much exercise they should (and should not!) have in their first year. This has put my mind at rest. My two aren't even born yet....due next Tuesday and I'm as hyper and excited about it as a working-bred collie on cheap dog food!!!! :lol:

Thanks for such great advice guys......this site is the greatest as you can get proper advice on our breed from folk who know what they are talking about....as opposed to a 'general' doggy site with loads of different breeds.

When I got Tina and Diva they were both adults - 16 months and 3/4 years old respectively - so were ok with 'proper' walks. I haven't had a puppy in my household since 1990 when our family had our two jack russells so had a feeling the coming year would be just short walks, socialising and just letting them exercise by playing with each other :)


Are you mad?? lol I can asure you 2 pups of the same age are extreamly hard work :sweating:
Life's too short

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