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9 yr old- how far is to far for run/walk?

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Lost two 8 yr old dogs to cancer 2015. Adopted 9 yr old border Jan 2016, he needed a home and stole my heart. Was surprised when I got him how poor of a jumper he was, since my BC could almost levitate. Now the 9 yr old can jump 4 ft from a standing position.

 

But my real question, he loves to run with me. We started with 2 miles, now we are doing 5 miles.....but he is nine years old.My husband thinks he has found his true spirit. I carry water for him, so that is okay. He is running on dirt road. It is not hot here. One part of me thinks he will tell me when the miles are so much due to his age. Another part of me thinks - he is nine- I don't want to do anything that would hurt him.

 

Sooo... Anyone have any knowledge of how much activity a healthy (vet checked) nine year old can safely do? Can I keep on increasing our mileage? The whole run he is in front of me about 6 feet...he sometimes has to wait on me, never the other way around.

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I don't run but I do walk my dogs daily. One will be 14 next month, one will be 14 in November (and has had two TPLOs), and one will be 8 in January. We usually do three miles each morning and, as in your case, the dogs generally set the pace or are out front of me (unless something warrants enough sniffing that I get ahead of them). It's been hot and muggy. We walk on a combination of dirt/gravel roads, harvested hayfields, and a bit of paved (tarred and chipped) road that remains here and there along the roads that have largely disintegrated to dirt/gravel.

 

I am noticing that the oldest, who also has Stage 2 kidney disease, sometimes is slower on the latter part of the walk, going uphill. She has had one episode (not here at home) of heat stress during a walk under hot, humid conditions, and so is more likely to have a problem again if I am not careful. They all are tired when we get home but they are all eager enough to "go walkies" that every one of them would lead the way right back out again unless they were suffering from heat stress or some other issue and physically could not do so.

 

But walking isn't running, my dogs are either walking, trotting, or (when the walk involves playtime or a ball) running. They do tend to pace themselves but since they are all willing to push themselves, I not only watch to see the pace they are setting but also other factors - if they are panting or if their tongue hangs out more than I'd like to see; if they seem more pressed for water (the oldest does not drink "natural" water on the walk but the other two do); if they lag behind; or if one shows any other sign of heat stress.

 

What my dogs do is low impact unless they choose to be more active since the pace I set is only a walk, so that is different from what you are doing. I'll be interested to hear what others have to say!

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Depends on the dog. I just retired a 13year old from open and she probably earned enough points last fall to qualify for the finals.

 

Take it slow on increasing the amount of exercise and let the dog guide you (pay close attention to the dog) on how much it can handle.

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Hi,

I also run with my dog, but mine is younger, he is 4 years old. If the dog is fit 5 miles should not be a problem.

the longest I took mine so far is 10 miles, and he was not tired after it. I built the mileage slowly and I run in the early morning.

I do long run only once a week, the other runs are shorter, max 6 miles.

it also depends on your pace, and if your dog is trotting or actually running.

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I would say the majority of his run is a trot- I am getting old. We have moments of sprints, when he sees something he wants to check out. I am just amazed that a senior dog that did not appear to be to athletic when I got him has morphed into super dog. He has even climbed mountains this summer, when I had planned to turn him around if he showed the slightest sign of tiring. Never happened and he summited better than me. I keep on thinking it is like a 60 year old couch potato person becoming a gym rat. I am watching him like a hawk, just amazed at the transformation and not wanting any harm to come to him.

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10+ year old dogs have run the Iditarod sled dog race, which is 1200 miles over about 10 to 15 days. My 9 year old Border Collie has heart disease and can only handle a few minutes of running at a time. So, it really depends on their fitness level and whether or not they have any underlying medical conditions.

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Yeah, if you are running with the dog, he should easily walk you in the ground. Even a ( healthy) 9 year old.

Exept for running under very warm conditions, we humans have a freakishly good capacity for shedding heat.

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I remember when I was running with Fergie. A woman come down her walk and yelled at me for "forcing" the poor dog to run. Fergie was barely breaking into a trot and was, even so, pulling me.

 

See how the dog reacts. And, if he wants to stop, let him. I let Dixie lie down on our last walk on the American Tobacco Trail. We'd stayed in the shade and only walked. But she needed a rest. And we found a puddle for her to enjoy - she won't drink from a bottle or even a small cup that I can carry.

 

Have to admit that, when she spotted the horse walking ahead of us, she picked up steam. That was the biggest and most wonderful dog she'd ever met!

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