Bringing home a new puppy can be great motivation for wanting to get outside and exercise, but there are two big reasons why it is IMPORTANT TO WAIT until your dog is FULLY MATURED before taking them on an expedition:
Did you know that dogs under six months of age are not developed enough to begin a running regimen? Unfortunately, it could actually injure a dog to run with them prior to full bone-growth development—usually around six to eight months, though it varies greatly from breed to breed.
Large dogs such as Great Danes and Scottish Deerhounds are advised to wait until the age of 1-1/2 to 2 years before they begin a rigorous routine. Lighter-boned dogs such as Whippets are ready to go in about eight months. Check with your vet to find out what limitations your puppy may have before taking them on a run.
If your dog is younger than eight months and you want to ensure they are getting the right amount of exercise, free play with other dogs and humans is the safest way to exercise them.
Puppy bones need time to develop, grow, and strengthen before they are ready to begin a structured running routine, but dogs also need to be mentally ready to handle exercise outside the home. It is necessary that your dog understands and responds to cues, and is able to walk on-leash before starting an exercise program.
Because running may include hazards such as cars, narrow trails, uneven ground, or drop-offs, it is important that a dog be under voice command and able to ignore distractions such as squirrels and other dogs before you take them out on a run.