Today we bring you the explanation why we should not perform intense physical exercise with puppies until 18 months and even 24.
Puppy growth rates vary greatly by size. It's important to adapt diet and exercise to your puppy s' specific requirements to ensure ideal skeletal development. Endocondral ossification (the process during which cartilage turns into bone) differs according to the adult size of your puppy, with closed growth plates (complete ossification has occurred) between 3 months in toy breeds and 24 months in large breeds (see photos).
There are many factors affecting growth rate and maturity age, for example, males mature more slowly than females. There are variations in periods of 'fast growth' ranging from birth to 11 weeks in small dogs and toys. Large breeds range from birth to 20 weeks (Hawthorne et al 2004) excessive exercise and inadequate nutrition during these periods can lead to conformation and malformation of bones, which can lead to the osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease.
Recommended exercise levels for puppies are 1 minute for each week of their life, twice a day. This should be low impact at a steady pace.
If your goal is to train to compete for flyball or agility (for example), it is recommended to avoid any jump training until full ossification has occurred.
This is what we mean to tell you not to rush with your pups, work other things with them. Work their minds, smell, worry about socializing etc.
After spending the development months and making the corresponding plates, consult your veterinarian if your dog is 100 % for sport.