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Long Walks, How Far Is Too Much?


Gilly91
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Hi guys,

 

Ive been trying to build up my dogs stamina ever since i brought him home around 5months ago.

 

He has at least 3 walks per day totalling around 2hrs of walking with a few sprints here and there.

 

Question is;

 

Will he be ready for a long walk? probably around 6 miles?

 

He seems to be fine walking any distance ive taken him on so far, he has never stopped and refused to walk any further due to be tired.

 

I am going to test him this weekend but dont want to over exert him (unsure on any bad implications due to excessive excising if there is any?) - Bearing in mind the temperature here is around 5-10 degrees C

 

Obviously the last thing i want is to be 3miles away from the car and have to carry him back.

Edited by Gilly91

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You have been doing the right thing by building up the exercise, and if he is a fit young dog I think he would be fine for six miles by now, but take your point about not wanting to carry him back to the car!

 

Personally I'd do the kind of walk where he can have a brief rest in the middle, while you have coffee or a pub lunch. (Ken loves pub lunches - especially pub sausages!) Or a circular one where it's not too far back to the car, at any point, should he balk and refuse to carry on.

 

That's the likeliest potential problem. There is something nasty called exertional rhabdmyolosis which can affect greyhounds, but it is associated with high-speed running and overheating: https://pets.thenest.com/rhabdomyolysis-greyhounds-6571.html

 

Are you in the UK? The only other thing I will say is, watch out for stiles. Ken usually has to be carried over stiles!

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Also watch temperature. I find that when it gets below about 20 deg. F (-7 Celsius) my dog starts holding his feet up, which I take as a sign the ground is too cold and cut the walk short. (But there are a lot of Canadians here on Greytalk who seem to take their hounds out in much colder weather so maybe I'm being overly cautious here). Surprisingly, greyhounds are very sensitive to hot weather. You would think not given the lack of fat and undercoat, but mine starts to slow down even in the 70's Fahrenheit (20's Celsius) and certainly when it is high 80s (27 C) walks need to be way shorter. I got Logan in May 2013, and on some of our first walks I thought something was wrong as he would just stop during a walk and lay down for 5-10 minutes at a time - it was the heat.

Rob
Logan - LoganMaxicon15K.jpg - Max (Aug. 4, 2004 - Jan. 11, 2018)

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When we lived in Illinois, sub zero temperatures were the only time that Rocket would hold up a foot during a walk. The cold was actually burning his foot, so we would turn around. He wouldn't wear boots but still insisted on his walk, even in a wind chill of minus 25F. It usually depended on a combination of conditions such as humidity, ice on the ground etc before it bothered him.

 

I think 6 miles is quite a bit for a greyhound, but again it will depend on the conditioning of the hound and over what period of time. It just sounds like too much for me unless the hound has really worked up to it over a long period of time, mostly due to wear and cold or hot temperatures on the pads of the feet over that distance.

rocket-signature-jpeg.jpg

Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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I've done 6 miles along the river and under shade with our Peggy but only with an hour's stop midway for lunch. She will sleep like a log after that so it's 'far enough'. 4 miles is more realistic max for this type of dog.

 

In weather over about 18-20C (64-69) 'far enough' - which almost always is signaled by a pee and turn back the other way - occurs much sooner and she doesn't really even want to do a mile by the time it reaches 25C. Winter is her favourite walking time really and she wears a coat when it's under 8C (48) and wet.

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I've taken young dogs on 6 mile walks with no problems. While we don't get really cold weather here, it does get hot, so I do have to watch that they don't get overheated. I've also learned the hard way that if it is sunny, even though the air temperature may be fine, sand and pavement can get really hot so pay attention to their temperature. I learned this the hard way by taking my dog, Scout, on a hike on Mt. Hood. We were walking on glacier-produced sand. I realized that Scout's pads were being burned when we were 2 miles in. I couldn't carry her, so we went from shade spot to shade spot to get out. Not a good experience.

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I did the same for my grey, just gradual building of exercise. He LOVES the cold weather and has no interest in going far in the summer humidity. Under 60F is his favorite, so the temps you're describing sounds great.

 

How many miles per hour do you normally walk? That would answer your question.

 

For example, I can walk a mile in 20 minutes on flat ground. For hiking with the dog, I give myself 30 min a mile for all the sniffing and marking for the dog plus stopping to see the sights and going slower uphill, rocks, crossing water, etc.

 

So if I want to go for a 6 miles hike, 3 hours is the goal to work up to for a singular walk, not broken up throughout the day. It can be done! :)

Sarah with P Kay Ruger "Rogue"

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When Felix was young (&we were younger)4 to 6 miles was not a problem. Don't over dress, note road or trail conditions and enjoy a nice tired, happy, healthy hound. We also took him camping and our long long day trecks were handled well. We were able to maintain good 4 he. Outings(if not longer) until he was 9 when tick borne diseases got the best of him.

 

Heat is more of a problem than the cold. In NY windy walks along a reservoir at 10+ degrees were never a problem.

Edited by cleptogrey
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Grace doesn't like walking on sharp gravely stoney footpaths or roads because of her soft pads and will try to find a smoother surface to walk on, but has managed to walk 4 miles on soft ground with no problems, apart from sleeping for the next 24 hours...

Grace (Ardera Coleen) b. 18 June 2014 - Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 - Going grey gracefully
Guinness (Antigua Rum) b. 3 September 2017 - Gotcha Day 18 March 2022 - A gentleman most of the time

 

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