Starting to run with your German Shepherd can provide you with many benefits. These dogs run by nature, so they will never put you down and they will have fun.
The German Shepherd, thanks to its origins as a working dog, has much energy and high levels of resistance, therefore, it is necessary to exercise daily, either with training, taking long walks or running with its owner.
But, before starting this new activity with your dog, you must know when it will be ready to do it.
When can German Shepherd Puppy start running?
From the age of 4 to 6 months, a German Shepherd can begin to be trained more seriously. From that age on, they can go for a walk, learn some commands, and other activities gradually, as the puppy will be physically active.
However, be patient, starting too early can be a risk for more injuries, such as various bones and muscles problems.
Their bodies still need to grow, and it’s better to wait until your muscles and bones are more developed so nothing goes wrong.
German Shepherds are young dogs that take a little longer than other dogs to grow completely. It is recommended to wait until your dog is between one and one and a half years old before starting a serious program to run with them.
How Much Can A German Shepherd Run?
If a GSD is properly trained and has developed stamina, and if the external conditions are good, he can run fairly long distances. They are capable of running between 8 and 30 kilometers.
The musculature of the German Shepherd is perfect for running on all types of terrain and adapting to the conditions of the space, because its body is very aerodynamic, which allows it to take advantage of the impulse of the jump and advance at high speed with a single stride.
Its coat remains with a very similar density in winter and summer, so the seasonal temperature is not a problem for it, and its skin adapts well to hot and cold seasons.
How to Train Your German Shepherd to Run With You?
Before you go running with your German Shepherd it must be well trained, the dog needs to obey your orders to stop, sit down, start or anything else you need it to do.
Running Training Should Be Progressive.
Dogs need progressive training. No dog is ready to run a long-distance on the first day. They take little time to get in shape; you just have to be patient.
Although these dogs are characterized by having a lot of energy and require an average of approximately two hours of exercise per day, this does not mean they can run a long distance race immediately.
“The jog is the most natural gait, especially over long distances, which adds the least amount of strain on the dog’s body. You should avoid the jog sprinting, unless it runs on soft soil (like grass) and it only does so on a short distance” – German Shepherd 101.
Start running at a slow or appropriate rhythm for our dog. That it imposes the rhythm at the beginning is fundamental, we must be able to identify how far it can go.
With a few minutes the first few days, it will be enough. Gradually your GSD will gain strength and muscle to accompany us during a whole race.
Every day the exercise time increases a little more, for example, 5 minutes on the first day, 10 on the third and 15 on the sixth.
When you are running with your dog, remember to make small stops so that it can rest, also, use these pauses to congratulate it and offer it small amounts of water, but not in excess since it can cause it problems in its stomach.
Once you observe that your dog is tired, it will be time to stop the activity. Remember that you should not abuse its physical capacity.
There are two fundamental aspects to consider about food. The first one is that the more exercise the dog does, the more food it will have to ingest, unless we want it to lose weight.
The second thing is that it is not advisable to give it to eat an hour before going out to run because it could cause gastric problems or swelling.
If you want to start running with your German Shepherd, visit your vet every 6 months, to rule out problems with the pads or muscles and check its general health.