Are Rottweilers good running partners? Rottweilers or Rotties are popular because they are playful, extremely loving, strong, devoted, and fast dogs. But, learning how fast they can run and if you can even run with these dogs in the first place is important so you can guarantee that your pup will be happy and healthy all the time.
Can Rottweilers run with their owners
The answer to this question is actually both a yes and a no.
The Rottweilers are incredibly famous guardian and pet dogs. The Rottie, the fond nickname that owners gave these dogs, is actually the 8th most popular purebred breed in the United States alone.
This is in spite of the fact that these canines often have a quite dismaying short life expectancy, not to mention that they are also susceptible to suffering from a particular type of dangerous cancer in canines.
When a Rottweiler becomes a full grown adult, he can be very enormous. Adult male Rottweilers can weigh as much as 135 pounds with a height of up to 27 inches from the paw pads to the shoulders.
Now, you might be wondering how all of these have something to do with running with your Rottweiler.
Large to giant breeds of dogs such as the Rottweiler grow up a little bit more slowly compared to medium and small sized ones. In fact, it takes as long as 3 years for a Rottweiler to become fully mature.
What it means is that until your dog’s growing up phase has been completed with his bone plates fully fused, excessive exercise may end up injuring your Rottie instead.
This is the reason why the best and safest approach is to always talk with the vet of your dog during every health checkup to know the growth progress of your Rottweiler puppy. You can also get some advice on the specific types of exercise and the amount of exercise that your pup can do according to his individual growth pattern.
Remember that since all Rottweiler puppies grow at slightly different rates, it is imperative that you have the information customized to the growth of your dog.
What health issues can your Rottie puppy suffer from if you run with him
Excessively fast growth of bones can lead to muscular, bone, and joint problems once your Rottie becomes an adult.
There are three primary health problems that vets have identified that can get triggered if you run too much or too early with large breed puppies such as Rottweilers.
Osteochondritis Dessicans or OCD
OCD is the condition wherein the cartilage fails to grow properly, turning into a bone as the dog gets older. This can lead to different health problems such as constant lameness and pain.
Elbow and hip dysplasia
Elbow and hip dysplasia are quite common in larger breed of dogs because of environmental and genetic reasons alike.
There are certain dog breeds that are more prone to this condition although it can be worsened or triggered by what vets referred to as forced exercise way before the body of the dog is prepared to support it.
Dysplasia is the term used to refer to the malformation in the socket and ball join in the elbow or hip. If the joint fails to form properly, it will be impossible for the leg to work properly as well.
Dysplasia in any of the joints, similar to OCD, can cause chronic lameness and intense pain.
Forced exercise and how to prevent it
Forced exercise is defined as a form of exercise that can meet the criteria below:
- Any form of strenuous play that you wouldn’t see pups naturally engaging in together
- Fence running
- Jogging together with their keeper
- Allow a Rottweiler puppy play with a large adult dog
- Lengthy sessions of any jumping or running game
The point here is that you need to understand the temperament and personality of Rottweilers. Rotties are considered as completely people dogs. These dogs want to be with their owners, doing whatever their owners are doing, for however long their owners plan to do it.
It means that even though you may not be intentionally forcing your Rottie puppy to go for a run or keep up with you or even throw that stick for several hours, your pup will exert himself too much to keep up with you since this is exactly what the breed does.
Once you get to understand the devotion of Rottweilers to their owners, it will help you ensure that your pup won’t be doing excessive exercise way before his body is fully ready.
How much exercise is safe for your Rottweiler
As mentioned earlier, all Rottie puppies grow at slightly different rates. But, it is possible to reach some generalization if you actually know the breed well.
If you will consider how your pup has come out to the world weighing just one pound or so to grow to a triple digit weight in just one year or so, it will surely make more sense how the body of your dog is put under lots of stress combined with some growing pains.
You can use a simple math formula so you can stay on the safe side when planning the daily exercise routine of your Rottweiler.
All you have to do is take the age of your Rottie puppy in months then multiply this by five.
For example, you have a five-month old Rottie puppy. Multiply five by five and this will give you 25. This means that your Rottweiler puppy can safely do around 25 minutes of exercise per day.
If your Rottie is 11 months old, just multiply 11 by 55 and this will give you 55. By this time, your Rottie will be able to safely do 55 minutes of daily exercise.
Even though not all Rottie breeders and owners agree with this particular formula, with some even claiming that this is too conservative, it is very important to be careful when dealing with this large breed canine.
The moment damages occur in the bones, joints, or muscles due to excessive exertion way to early in life, this can no longer be undone. There might be a need for your pooch to undergo expensive surgery or physical therapy and even these might not be able to fix the issue completely.
This means that it will be smarter to just take things slow until your vet confirms that the growth plates of your puppy have already closed and that it will be safe for the two of you to exercise together.
What is the safe running distance for Rottweiler puppies
The answer to this question will depend on the age of your puppy and the specific type of surface that you will run on together.
Say your Rottie puppy is 5 months old, for example. Using the above formula, you have determined that your puppy will be able to enjoy around 25 minutes of exercise per day in a safe manner.
So, does it mean that the two of you can run on hard concrete together for a full 25 minutes with no breaks at all?
As you can see, it is extremely important for you to take the running surface into account and how you are breaking up the 25 minutes of daily exercise of your pup.
If you will just walk at leisurely pace at the local park, it will be safe for the two of you to go for 25 minutes.
If you will jog or run on asphalt or hard concrete, even 5 minutes of continued activity may be unsafe for the bones, cartilage, and bones of your puppy.
However, you can run together for 5 minutes at the park at a time provided that you stick to a reasonable pace and you take several breaks in between.
When will the growth plate of Rottie puppies close for good
The earlier that you can expect for the growth plates of a Rottie puppy to close and fuse will be around 12 months.
With adult Rottweilers weighing anywhere around 90 to more than 130 pounds, it will be smart to have your vet X-ray your pet at 12 months to check how close you are to this point.
Also, it is important to choose a time to spay or neuter your dog, which is after the closing of the growth plates. If not, this may delay the closure.
What is the safest way of running with a Rottweiler
An adult Rottweiler enjoys exercise, particularly with his people. The safest way of enjoying a run together is to choose a softer surface that has some give to it to keep the joints of your dog protected.
You can begin at a slower pace with a shorter running time. It will help you in building up to the running distance and pace that suits your dog to properly condition his muscles.
If you are not sure or you see any signs of over-exertion or lameness from your Rottie, make sure to stop and call the vet for guidance. It will help you ensure that you and your beloved Rottweiler will be running together for several more years in the future.