~My Running Partner
Now that Piper is fully grown we can run long distances. The vet told me not to run her more than 3 miles at a time while she was still growing (for the fist two years) because it could damage her growth plates. She is three years old now (time flies!) and she has become the best running partner. She trains with me for all of my races and when dogs are allowed, she races right along with me. People often ask me how far she can run and my answer is always, “farther than I can”. She runs all of the miles that I do and I know she would keep going if I did.
I asked for a runner and you picked the perfect puppy for me. Piper was a lot to handle being such an energetic pup, but we survived it with a lot of exercise and training. I used to joke that she never got tired; just a 10 minute power nap and she was back at it. I suppose that means she has always had endurance and it shows on the trails. We have a lot of fun running and there isn’t anyone I would rather be out there with. Piper is my favorite “person” 🙂
Thank you for bringing us together,
Thank you, Lina–for being a smart Weim parent. I always worry that someone will not heed the advice of letting the growth plates close. Honestly, you want to get as many miles as possible–and longevity for those hips and joints. No one can say for sure how long they will hold out (human or Weimar running partner). They have hip, knee, and elbow replacements for dogs, too. We hope it never comes to that. Yes, it appears you have an endurance runner for sure. Thanks for the update. We truly appreciate it.
In Perfect Harmony
Today is THE day that we have worked toward and practiced for since we became a team almost 3 years ago!!
Today Shiny and I melded together in perfect harmony to run 7 miles…on leash. No pulling, swerving or stopping to sniff.
In perfect step with each other – even though we were on the well traveled (and breath taking) Glenwood Canyon trail.
It was if he was owning his “job” regardless of bicycles, tourists, and other dogs.
“I am running with my Mom. Don’t bother me.”
And it was Beautiful!!!! ~Julia and Shiny
There are no adequate words to describe our admiration and appreciation. You and Shiny are doing amazing things together. This running with purpose (and in unison) is one more area where we see the fruit of all your consistent labor. We look forward to hearing more about Shiny–maybe next time it will be another bit of Nosework news. Thanks ever so much for this update.
My Life at Six
At the end of next month I’ll be “6” years old. My first photo on the Blog I was 3 weeks old! I have become for the most part, set in my ways. My mom and dad love me lots. They like to see me happy. I like truck rides, car rides, chasing balls or frisbees at the dog park, going into stores, going for walks with them—but my mom won’t take me running with her anymore because I like to pull her and stop to sniff or pee whenever I please. She says it’s no fun. When they go places where they can’t take me, they put smooth jazz music on for me. They always give me a “bye bye cookie.” Sometimes I find one of their socks to put in my mouth and carry around. Waste baskets are irresistible when they leave—they close doors to keep me out of those places!I have trained my parents to put peanut butter in the 4 corners of my Kong bone every day after breakfast. I have also trained them to give me 2 Quaker Oatmeal Squares and 3 blueberries every single day after the peanut butter.I am a huge snuggler and love to cuddle with my family on their laps. I am not allowed on the furniture or beds—as long as my hind legs are on the floor, everyone is content. I still carry around my “fleece” daily and flip it into a figure 8 to curl up inside one of the circles. I am healthy and strong. I am told my coat is beautiful and I have a great smile.I keep squirrels in line every day in my backyard. I am a happy girl.
At One Year
Question From a Weimar Mom
Okay, so Henry is 1. And I’ve learned that 18 months is when you can start running with your dog. I’m kind of confused by this because “run” is so vague with this breed. When Henry is playing catch, and darts across the yard with the speed of wind, I consider this running. It’s strenuous, fast, he breathes heavier, etc. I’ve taken him on a few short runs with me, less than 2 miles, and my observation, even though I run at a 9 minutes/mile pace, he appears to just be walking fast. Obviously I don’t want to cause health issues for him in the future, so I am wondering if you could give me more information. Are short runs with me, less than 5 miles, going to cause joint issues for him if I don’t wait another 6 months? And do you think a 9 minute mile pace is really considered a running pace for a weimeraner? ~Kiley
Joint development is affected by various things–their DNA, how fast they grow and the amount of high-pact exercise they see before the growth plates close. Typically, we expect the growth plates to close sometime between a year and a year and a half. During this time of development, recommendations are to keep the runs shorter–about 3 miles a day. With the very high-energy Weimaraner, this seems like too little. It is easy to forget the caution when you are trying to achieve a tired Weim pup. In light of this dilemma, we always suggest swimming. The water retrieve is the best and the safest way to burn a lot of energy without causing harm to the developing joints.
Speaking of high impact exercise–things like playing the frisbee is equally hard on the young Weimaraner. Jumping and beating their feet on the pavement should be avoided. The dirt or grass path is much easier, but still, we feel it is wise to hold off on the pounding regime of a long distance runner until they for sure have those growth plates closed. Only an X-ray can determine if the growth plates are closed. So, for the longevity you want, please take to exercising the young Weimaraner with care. Also, we mentioned it earlier–make sure they grow slow. Feeding the large breed (rather than the regular puppy) food is vital to the hips and joints. That puppy chow stuff will fill them out like a butterball and cause them to grow even faster. Slow growth is preferred. Regardless, they grow to adult-looking before the six month birthday. It is shocking!
More From Kiley
Ps. I wanted to pass along too how Henry excels at being an active and lazy dog. He loves his walks, loves being outside, but he doesn’t mind being lazy either. Last night I worked and Kevin was out of town, so Henry was in his kennel. I got home this morning, let him out, fed him, and then took him to bed with me this morning. He contently slept with me until 1:30. Exercising him is ideal, but on the days it doesn’t happen, he doesn’t get restless or destructive, he just goes with the flow.Other than the above questions, Henry has done well with our few runs. He stays to the left, remains mostly focused on me and what is ahead, and doesn’t pull. Henry will be a fabulous running partner for me!!
More Comments from Shela and Cliff
We like to say the Weimaraner has two speeds–on and off. Wiggle your toe while watching TV and they might assume you are getting ready to do something and in turn fly off the sofa.
More than anything the Weimaraner is all about the relationship. If they want to please you and they respect you and you them, it is a beautiful thing. You are off to an awesome beginning. We wish you all the best on your journey.
Kula and Pilikia
Relaxing on Sunday
………A Rare Occurance!
This was of the first Sunday morning in, well pretty much forever that we all had a slow relaxing morning, and the Weim’s (Kula and Pilikia) took full advantage of it! I just returned home from a pretty long trip, and April is going full gas at work on top of running the dogs while I am away. They get plenty of trail and road running. One of their favorite things to do is run the 5.5 miles from our house to the Santa Cruz Bicycles factory where April is the HR director to meet her when she gets off work, then most times they get another 5.5 mile run back home with April! When we are up at our place in Downieville they both have taken to swimming in the river, Kula especially will swim after the stick as long as you will throw it for him! This from the dog that is afraid of the ocean (crashing waves), but thinks nothing of swimming through swift currents and rapids right next to him!
Note: Thank You Brent, we know you are always busy doing incredible stuff. Check out some of what Brent is involved in click here and here. You are an amazing person–we enjoy reading the tidbits about the latest bicycle, or sailing adventure. Thank you for loving your two OwyheeStar Weimaraners–giving them such a grand life.
The Weimaraner — Growth Plate Closure and Appropriate Exercise
Dogs grow until the growth plates close. In large breeds such as the Weimaraner, the growth plate closure tends to take longer than in small breeds. Even with the Weimaraner, the growth plates close by the time they are two years old. Most experts agree (and there is scientific evidence to back up these statements) typically the growth plates close by the time they reach fifteen months. The leg bones draw intense scrutiny for two reasons. First, they receive the brunt from any type of high impact during exercise; secondly, we know that the bones (in the legs) close later than some other bones. Growth plates can close as early as two years of age. The rib cage is the last area to complete the growth stage and become set. The growth plates in the rib cage usually close around three years of age.
Between two and three years of age, the Weimaraner will still fill out, muscle-up, and gain fat. Actual growth is impossible once the growth plates close. Information on this topic is mixed and confusing. This is largely because growth plate closure is not an exact science, and because breeds vary. Even within a breed, such as the Weimaraner, size and other factors affect the growth-plate closure timeline Some agility facilities will not allow you to bring your Weimaraner without actual proof of growth plate closure, and that means X-ray documentation.
With mixed messages, we defer to the Pat Hastings, who is considered the expert in canine structural development. She is teaching in her seminars and writing in her books that the typical large breed dog’s (leg) growth plates will close around two years of age. Therefore, it is important to determine what is the appropriate exercise for the young developing Weimaraner. Cliff suggests that you limit sustained strenuous high-impact exercise to one-half-hour a day. That would mean you run one direction for fifteen minutes, and turn around and head home. Later, you could play fetch on the turf to get in some easier joint exercise. The importance of taking caution to protect the joints cannot be overstated. Damage can happen without notice, and show up later in life.
We place a lot of Weims with runners–casual and long-distance runners. We always caution people about hitting the road in the first year. Being a serious athlete, it is very difficult to postpone this type of activity. In lieu of these longer runs, we suggest swimming the Weimaraner. This is the perfect exercise to set the Weimaraner up for the field or running. It is a low-impact exercise that burns a lot of energy. Although it takes a knack to get the Weim water retrieving, the dividends are many.