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Old 04-12-2017, 04:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is running on a sandy beach with a young dog OK?

As the warm weather arrives, even in Finland, I am considering taking up running on the sandy beach in front of our house. I had to stop running for a long time because I have problems with my knees due to an accident when I was a kid. However, I love to run and since we now have this beach right out front I am going to try running there because the sand is obviously a lot softer than pavement or even grass. I think I can run there without hurting my own joints.

That said, I would like to take Puffy and I am sure he would love to join. However he is only 1 year old and a spoo. I know that we should refrain from running on harder surfaces until he is at least 18 months, but would running on the sand for 20-30 minutes a few times a week also cause potential damage to his growing bones? It is a repetitive action, but at the same time sand absorbs a lot of shock compared to all other surfaces, so I am curious.

I would appreciate to hear what breeders or other health experts would have to say about this. Thanks!

Also:My friend has a 13 month old medium poodle and she wants to train him to bike with her this spring and summer. He is no spoo and is very small in comparison to Puffy weighing in at around 15-18 pounds. For those of you who aren't that familiar with mediums, he looks the size of a big miniature and nothing close to a spoo. So we can safely say that he will finish growing earlier than a spoo puppy would.

Never the less, do you think it is safe for him to be running decent distances on the pavement with a bike at his age? Is he ready for that kind of repetitive impact on a hard surface? He is an agility dog and has an unreal amount of energy, so from that standpoint I think he could take it. Not sure about joint safety, though.

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Old 04-13-2017, 02:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would think that doing something like Couch to 5k and working up to it would help. However, what is beach sand, salt, wind, and sweat going to do to that beautiful coat you are growing on him?


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Old 04-13-2017, 07:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think if you're planning on running on the sand then you'd be better running at the waters edge during low tide, so the sand you're running on is wet and compacted. Running on deep, soft, dry sand increases the likelihood of a twisted ankle. Be careful not to run on a slope as well as that will cause havoc with your joints. I'm referring to humans here of course, I'm not sure how running on a beach would affect dogs but I'd imagine that, as above, running on the flat more compacted sand would be nice and cushioning for his joints. I'm no expert though!
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would avoid having a young dog run on pavement until he's fully grown/18-24 months old and then, not excessively. Grass is better on joints and bones. And repetitive movements are not good for a growing body. In other words, the same pace, the same gait for a fair distance I would not have a young dog do. If they want to rip roar on a beach their own way, romp, stop and sniff, turn, trot, gallop, walk all mixed up, that is apparently better for them. They choose when to do what.

As far as a beach, sand that gives just a little like a sand spit or the water's edge as UKpoodle mentions is great exercise...where the sand is quite saturated with water. But again...not to excess with a very young dog.

If you have surf where you are that makes a lot of noise, just remember the noise of the waves can drown out your voice so your dog may not hear you when you call. (if he's off leash)

Be careful of what is picked up in the mouth...there may be some dangerous critters or a red tide. (?)

I'd be careful if the dog likes to swim when on an ocean beach...not that he has any trouble with adverse types of currents.

Other than that, (or anything else not thought of) a sandy beach would be so much fun for the dogs. I can't let my wee ones run far away from me because they're too tiny and I worry about eagles but you wouldn't have to worry about that with a spoo. If sand gets in the hair, it could be washed out afterwards if you worry about the abrasion on the coat. For me, even when Matisse was showing, it would have been more important for him to get to be a dog and get to have a blast at a beach than a few torn up hairs. Their lives are so short.

If Puffy has a good recall (take some treats) and it's safe where you take him, I think it sounds like a good time. And if there's any reason to, (not a great recall, other dogs or people he may run up to where he may be hurt or bother someone,) then you can use a long line or leash. One thing...if you do go to a beach, photos are required.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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He will be fine if you take it slow and work up to it. Increase a little each day. It is good to start him early and work up to the full marathon when he is older. Grace can run for 5 Km in shallow water at 4 years old.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the input here. We already do play fetch on the beach often and he LOVES it. Our beach is in a residential area with lots of people and dogs. His recall is 95%, but when we play on the beach we use the long leash just because we don't want him to bother anyone with the unpredictable 5%. Not everyone wants a happy dog to come and say hello to them! I don't worry about the coat too much. I mean, I do! But I don't. It is always a hot mess anyway due to the coat change, and I constantly brush, comb and wash it and it is a never ending cycle which I have resigned myself to! He is always dirty and tangled and I am always undoing the process. That's our thing! I am happy letting him be a dog as he didn't ask to grow out a show poodle coat. So I let him be rowdy and get dirty as he pleases in return. That's my philosophy.

I think we may work up to the jogging slowly and just for fun. But I will not ask much of him at this point because he did just turn a year and I want his joints to be healthy. But maybe running for a few minutes here and there will be a good practice for the future. When he is older we would really like him to be able to jog and bike with us. Serious jogging and biking will have to wait until next summer.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh this sounds like fun!

However, I avoid the beach with my Spoo. Why? He has the thickest hair in the world. If I take him to the beach is is impossible to get the sand out. I can go with friends, and their labs, and goldens, and cockers, and dalmatians, and mixes, etc come away from the beach and the sand just falls off of them. Not mine, two hours later it is still matted into his curly tight hair. Brushing, bathing, etc. None of it works very well.

I would love to be able to do this. I used to walk the beach every day at sunrise before I had my lovable spoo.
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Old 04-22-2017, 07:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's a shame Kontiki. I never would have thought that would be such a problem...that bathing wouldn't get it all out. When I think about it, a suppose that could definitely be difficult. Something to think about for sure. I would think if you had a pool or a great big tub that if the dog spent some time in there and you too, and you scrubbed him all over with your hands that the sand would come out. But just one bath might not be enough...unless the dog has a really super short cut maybe. Gosh, that's a problem because what fun it would be. I've taken my little dogs to beaches but they're usually rocky beaches unless the tide is way out.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks kontiki for your input. That is a bummer that you can't go to the beach. For whatever reason Puffy doesn't really pick up much sand, although his hair is also very thick (#coat-change-nightmare). We play fetch on the beach pretty often, and it just doesn't stick to the coat much. I can imagine that beach sand is different depending on the beach. That sounds, a bit obvious, but I think you know what I mean!

There is nothing quite like a morning beach walk! That sounds wonderful.

Personally, I am in the process of researching new running shoes for people with crappy knees (like me): I'm going to buy them shortly! Even if Puffy isn't involved much, I am gonna run on that thing!
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The sand is not too bad if I do not allow him to get wet, but if he goes in the water then it is 20 feet back across the sand to the car and all is lost. As a spoo he is too big for me to carry.

Rocky beaches without sand are ok, but unfortunately the rocky ones we have near here have about 10 feet of sand between them and where we could get back to the car.
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