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Old 12-09-2012, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone run longer than a few miles with their older Dobe?

My dobe is 8 years old and has always run with me. When he was young we'd go up to 7 miles because he wanted to, was a maniac and loved it. Lately he's telling me he's pooped around mile 2, should I not be running with him anymore??? He is in great health and the vet says he looks great for his age but I'm not sure if we should just be walking ONLY now or if I can still run these shorter distances with him? Anyone have experience with this??? He doesn't seemingly have ANY hip problems or issues with gait. This picture was taken this year so you can see he's a little runt but he looks fantastic for 8 years old! I'm just curious if any of you with older pups have experience with this. He's stubborn so would never tell me to stop unless it was too hot out. Just curious...


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Old 12-09-2012, 07:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's a better pic of his size and build.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f1...ing_Magnum.jpg
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by princessrachel19 View Post
My dobe is 8 years old and has always run with me. When he was young we'd go up to 7 miles because he wanted to, was a maniac and loved it. Lately he's telling me he's pooped around mile 2, should I not be running with him anymore??? He is in great health and the vet says he looks great for his age but I'm not sure if we should just be walking ONLY now or if I can still run these shorter distances with him? Anyone have experience with this??? He doesn't seemingly have ANY hip problems or issues with gait. This picture was taken this year so you can see he's a little runt but he looks fantastic for 8 years old! I'm just curious if any of you with older pups have experience with this. He's stubborn so would never tell me to stop unless it was too hot out. Just curious...


How about taking him to the vet and checking that he is healthy enough for all that running? Specifically his heart?

Exercise intolerance is a sign something is wrong and you should not be running him until you find out what.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Even if the check up shows nothing abnormal, you might want to consider that he is getting older and does not have the stamina of a young dog.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am not a runner, but if your dobe is much tired after 2 miles now...you got to read the signs, they project.

When our old girl was 11.5 y/o and still in decent health, she refused to climb the second floor steps to the master bed, at night.
- so we slept together on a futon, in the livingroom
- YES, please read the canine signs, given out...and our more senior dobes will repect us, for the changes we make...just for them
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd run, not walk, for a heart check if my dog's stamina altered dramatically with no apparent reason.

If I wanted to be running with a senior dog, I'd have hips and stifles checked for arthritis, and hocks and elbows as well, if my vet suggested such.

If all that turned up "only" arthritis, I'd work with the dog as the dog tolerated. If two miles of running was fun for the dog, I'd do that and then walk back home, or else plan one mile out, one mile back.

I think it's difficult but important to pay close attention to how much your senior dog can do without injuring itself. I know Diva won't holler, "Uncle," ever. It's up to me to watch her closely and call a halt when I see she's tiring or starting to keep weight off her arthritic stifle. At the same time, I feel it's important to her; physically, but especially mentally; to be allowed to do as much as she can do without undue damage.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think we need to pay attention to limiting our dogs no matter the age. Mine runs like the wind, flies thru the woods with wild abandon-absolutely loving every minute-big grin on his face-but about a yr ago he injured his leg & now I can't let him do barely any of that except on level ground. I wish I'd been more careful. If I was walking/riding for 5 miles-you know he went 10 pretty easy he ran so much-so now I would be more moderate-allow some of that but not as much as he wanted. They just don't know when to quite.....at least that is my experience for what it is worth.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dobes can be incredibly stoic and good at hiding pain. If I asked Griffin to run 2 miles with me, he'd do it, but he would be seriously pushing himself and probably in pain the whole way. He's almost 8 and has Wobblers. I'm still recovering after a broken leg, but when I begin running longer distances again, he won't be going with me. He will try his hardest to do it because he wants to stay with me, but I know physically it would hurt him. I have a feeling he'll keep up with me just fine as I start out though, I'll probably get tired before he does. But he's getting cleared by our vet before we set foot out of the house, and I will ground him if he shows any signs of problems.

It's really up to the owners to watch their dogs and make the decision for them. If you notice your dog getting tired, then you have to put your foot down and limit what he does. Dobes will try and try and try for their humans, so we have to be on the ball and we have to stop them when they've had enough.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princessrachel19 View Post
Here's a better pic of his size and build.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f1...ing_Magnum.jpg
If his nails are currently as long as they were in this picture, he could be experiencing foot pains as well. He desperately needs a nail trimming
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks, RottenVonSpotten! I had not clicked on that link.

PrincessRachel, I would not ask a dog to walk on those feet, let alone run. Those long toenails can easily lead to orthopedic injury in addition to arthritis, which I'd about guarantee with the strain those nails are creating.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My girl was my marathon training partner from about 4-7 years old. We did "short days" together, never anything over about 6 miles. She started slowing down and was no longer interested in anything over about 2 miles by the time she was 8. Those distances, particuarly on road surfaces are extremely taxing on their joints. I would suggest the heart check as everyone else said, and I would never run an older dog that far. Especially if they don't seem to enjoy it any longer. We switched over to "mile runs" and long walks. Good thing about that is it's excellent sprint training for the human... Even an old dog, assuming they are in great condition, is faster than everyone but the most elite runners.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, I'd stop. You'd never forgive yourself if he keeled over dead during a run. and a 8 yr old male doberman has a serious chance of that happening.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wander that distance with dogs, but I only ever run a mile of it AT MOST. I'm not a runner but it's fantastic for dogs with a lot of energy like Titan and Baby and also for dogs who are terrified of everything but forget their fear when presented with the joy of RUNNING (Buster). Most times I just clip a leash to their collar and wander around the city all day, and let them let me know when they're tired.

Baby I've had to cut back significantly on. She's getting to be 7 and she's starting to slow down and tell me she's tired faster. Recently I've only been taking her two miles for walks. She's been to the vet and all they see is normal old dog stuff- even if she's aged quickly for a pit (especially after the accident), she's just getting to the point where she can't gogogo anymore. Even if the vet rules out anything huge you may need to consider that old dogs just aren't their young wild counterparts anymore.
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