For a husky pup between the ages of 8 weeks to 8 months, I would like to know what a suitable distance for a jog would be before the dog will become fatigued. I understand this will vary, but just some general figures would be great. Are we talking max 5km, or go for a full marathon?

This question is purely based on fitness; I'd rather not receive negative feedback like, "your dog won't have the attention span for a full marathon."

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There's a significant difference between the dog being fatigued and what's healthy for it. Huskies may get problems with their hips, so you don't want to overexercise while still growing up. :)

From my own experience (got a husky puppy pretty much about one year ago):

  • Huskies can (and will) run long distances if you allow them to, but it's a general misconception that they have to do it (especially from early age).

  • Use the general rule of thumb of "about 1-2 minutes of walking per week of age" (that's for all dogs). That means, if your puppy is 10 weeks old, limit your walk with the dog to about 10-15 minutes, maybe 20 minutes. With 20 weeks you can extend that to 20-40 minutes, etc. With 8-12 months you should get a hang of it how far your dog wants to go, so you shouldn't need any timing or math anymore.

  • Of course you can walk those 10 minutes to a nearby lake, stay some time there, then return home. Just don't expect your dog to run an hour with you without pause just yet.

  • Don't take the dog for a walk more than once or twice a day in the beginning (this also depends a bit where it's able to do its business, the weather conditions, and stuff like that).

  • Distance covered isn't that important yet. Just get out with the puppy. Even a 5 minute walk will be awesome for the little bugger, bonus points if there are other dogs to meet.

  • You'll notice if the dog isn't fatigued enough. On the evening our dog used to start biting/play excessivley or simply try to run around like crazy. If this happens, there's some lack of movement.

  • Always keep an eye on your puppy. Not every dog will show you how fatigued they are, some will start to sit down, others will just troll along for whatever distance.

Here are a couple general thoughts about running with dogs:

  1. The best practices for injury-free training a dog will be similar to those for injury-free training for people:

    • Build up slowly over time in both speed and distance.
    • Include rest days in between running days, especially between your harder running days.
  2. Learn to read your dog while you run together. In my experience, in the first part of a run, my dog will be full of energy and will want to be out in the lead. In the second part she will want to be next to me. If we keep going, there is a third phase where she will start to lag behind. I am inclined to stop her in the middle of phase two when she still has gas in the tank. It is possible that dogs have some ancestral need to hide weakness or injury from their packs. I don't know. Either way I am happy to stop early or at least stop to rest under a shady tree in the middle of a run.

  3. Keep in mind that humans are uniquely well-evolved for endurance running. Dogs are not. They have a harder time regulating their temperature. They cannot sweat and, as with all quadrupeds, their respiration and their gait are linked together. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_running_hypothesis

Never run with your husky until they are 1 year old. Trust me I'm at a vetinary school at the moment. Their bodies need time to develop and really I would stick to 15m walks and leave them to run around dog parks etc because then your dog will decide how much exercise they get. The dog will run but it might not want to and it certainly won't be good for them, especially 5km-marathon distance.

i run my 9 month year old husky about 2 miles a day its perfect for him and when i say run him i mean i put rollerblades on and let him pull me around our neighborhood

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