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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious as to what the appropriate age is to really exercise your standard poodle in a disciplined manner...

Mochi is 6 months now and very dainty at about 25lbs (21"). I've noticed she has a really athletic personality. Loves to run/chase/play tag. Her muscles are not yet fully developed and I can really feel her bony hips under her coat. I'd like to start exercising to build muscle tone, but not sure if she's still too young.

It's also very hot and humid in HK in the summers - dogs can easily overheat (so can people). So I've thought about getting her to swim for exercise too. She's never been swimming before, although I took her to the beach for the first time last week and she seemed pretty reluctant to even set foot in the very shallow end. How do I warm my puppy up to the idea of swimming?
 

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You don't want to start road working a dog until after age 1. Until then free play (running around loose, fetching etc) and walks are the best option.

I know that some people teach a dog to swim with organized swim lessons. I'm sure there is a book out there on this. I generally take my dogs out with other dogs who swim and they learn by example.

I also use toys to coax them into the water. My dogs are so ball crazy that they will go into the water to get the ball. I start easy, just the feet and gradually work to the point where they are chest deep and then eventually they are swimming.
 

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Yeah you have to be careful if you exercise too much when they are young because their are still growing and thier joints are fully closed and it can cause problems in the future. Generally a year or 18 months is long enough to wait, especially since Spoo are a large breed dog.
 

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Your pup is really willow-y. She probably is just as strong and athletic as a dog with 20 extra pounds. By one year of age, you can do alot more. Any type of running on solid sure surfaces are fine...NO HOLES like in pastures. No jumping hurdles except very low ones...6 inchs is fine. You don't want her pounding excessively on her shoulders and hips. But by starting slowly, you build upon what you already have.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the inputs, guys. I just discovered that my spoo loves to jump too! It's funny you mentioned hurdles, partial2poodles, because we taught her how to jump over a series of low amphitheater benches last night and she had so much fun going up and down (until she tripped up and took a little spill). Will remember to take it easy on her while she's still in puppy stage, but I think she could be ideal for agility training when she's a bit older.

Is it also recommended that agility training begin after 1 yr as well?
 

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Most trainers MAKE you complete 3 sets of obedience classes....from beginner to advanced. THEN your dog should be age appropriate to start agility. My knees are to bad foe me to do it or I would.
 
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