Dog Walking and Sore Legs

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Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SurgicalSteel » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:12 pm UTC

So, as some of you may or may not know I recently got a new dog. He's a year, and he's a lab, so he's got some energy. Before I got him, I was a pretty sedentary person, but now we're going on walks twice a day. This is fantastic and all, but it's taking its toll on my leg muscles. My calves are hurting so bad whenever we walk now that the past couple days we've had to cut our walks short. I suspect the problem is that I am exercising my leg muscles, but not giving them time to repair. However, I can't just not walk him for a few days, otherwise he'll be bouncing around the house at night from boredom and lack of exercise. Which brings me to my two questions:
1) Any ideas about how to stop my legs from hurting? Do I just have to rest for a few days?
2) If rest is the only solution, does anyone have other ideas about how to tire the dog out so he'll sleep through the night and not try to eat my curtains? Previously we were doing a short walk in the morning, a 20 minute training session around lunch, and a longer walk in the evening. This worked pretty well. But, see above, my legs, yea. So, I need another way to tire the little bugger out.

Thanks guys.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby philsov » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:53 pm UTC

Nah, pure rest is probably unnecessary. Lighter walks, perhaps, until you're feeling better.

You're experiencing DOMS, and the best method to prevent that is regular exercise in the first place. The first day post-sedentary is the worst, and then it gets better.

Calf DOMS are the second worst, I think -- makes even walking painful. Worst is ab DOMS when you have a cold -- each cough and sneeze is just hell.

No alternate solutions for the pup, though =\. Don't suppose he knows Fetch, huh? You get to be stationary and he does all the work. I have a neighbor who does it with a racket and tennisball -- that dog can book it.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby Jacque » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:20 pm UTC

1. Take an Aleve.
2. A rigorous game of tug seems to tire our golden out. Additionally, you could always slip the dog some melatonin or benadryl.

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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby bluebambue » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:36 am UTC

Things to do to tire your dog out:
teach it new tricks. Taxing the brain can be exhausting for dogs, even if the tricks aren't very physical.
Get one of these (available at most pet stores) and throw the ball really far a lot. This one depends on your dog already knowing how to fetch and having a big enough space.

Edit: also remember to drink water. Eating bananas can also help.

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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:04 am UTC

He's in the process of learning fetch. I'll look up some new tricks and commands to teach him. I added another training session after work today to make up for the shorter walks, we'll see if it works.

Re: aleve, should I take that before we walk or after?

We tried throwing the ball around the yard last night, but the problem is that it's a small yard, and he gets bored with the game quickly, well before he's tired. I think he has a short attention span because of his youth. Our training sessions only last about 10 or 20 minutes until he's completely unable to focus and I can't get him back.

I think I'm going to try sprinkling more, short, training sessions over the day, along with some playing in the yard, and Aleve.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:23 am UTC

Take the Aleve after walking.

When you're not walking, you should still move your legs, to get them used to movement. While sitting, just extend and retract them as if you were walking.

One thing we've found that tires our dogs out is the laser pointer. Take that out back in a fenced yard at night, and just run it around the perimeter of the yard. Depending on the size, it could take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to wear him out.

Is your dog neutered? If not, you should consider do it. Spayed/Neutered pets tend to be more laid back than those still intact. It won't make him lazy, but it might help tone the hyperactivity down a bit.

Also, since you've just gotten the pup, he's still all excited about having a new home, and it may take him a while to get used to you and your family. Once you get a routine going, where you walk him regularly at the same time(s) every day (ideally, two to three times a day, 15 to 20 minutes each time), a set feeding schedule, and add in your household's normal daily routine, he will eventually begin winding down, and only become active when you want him to be active.

Our three-year-old dog Bud has gotten that way. He's learned over the last couple of years that we're not very active people. My dad will walk him two or three times a day, and takes him on one of two or three routes. He knows that 10:00 PM is bedtime (as in, we all retire to our bedrooms; doesn't mean we're going to bed), and not a time to be hyperactive. He's learned the cues as to when we're active, and when we're not, including what show might be airing on TV.

Our new puppy Cricket is having to learn all of this. She gets wound up most evenings, but she's slowly starting to calm down more. We got her spayed about two weeks ago, so that's helped a great deal.

edit: strike through "consider", since it SHOULD be done, no questions asked.
Last edited by PatrickRsGhost on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:38 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:21 am UTC

Is the dog neutered? This is not a "You should consider it" question, this is a "Justify with a 20 point document why your dog deserved it's gonads" demand.

Because there is no justification.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby dudiobugtron » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:34 pm UTC

Are you in the Southern Hemisphere? If so, it's probably warm enough to take the dog swimming - just go to a place where dogs are allowed to swim (beach, river, lake etc... depending on where you are) while you wait on the shore. Or, you can join in too - moving around in the water might also be good for your legs as well. You can also play fetch in the water and get the dog to swim out to the object and then back again.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby addams » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:27 pm UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:Are you in the Southern Hemisphere? If so, it's probably warm enough to take the dog swimming - just go to a place where dogs are allowed to swim (beach, river, lake etc... depending on where you are) while you wait on the shore. Or, you can join in too - moving around in the water might also be good for your legs as well. You can also play fetch in the water and get the dog to swim out to the object and then back again.

I second the swimming idea.
Labs like to swim.
Any water is ok for a stupid Lab.
Keeping them out of the water is the trick.

Water. Then you have a wet dog.
I worried about the dogs moulding.
They were always wet, of some kind.

I taught them to like the blow dryer.
A nice petting with a towel and a little fluffing up of the coat is good exercise for both people. Dogs are people.

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A man told me a story about a dog that destroyed the sofa. The man went to work one day and when he came home the sofa was all over the house in small peaces. After that the dog stayed outside while he was at work. The dog door was blocked or locked or something. It was just a story. I loved to hear it. Each time he told it, some little strange thing about the Day The Dog Ate The Sofa would make us both laugh.
How strange. I asked him. "When did you notice?"
So funny.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby Zarq » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:33 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Is the dog neutered? This is not a "You should consider it" question, this is a "Justify with a 20 point document why your dog deserved it's gonads" demand.

Because there is no justification.


I wonder if this a regional difference. None of my dogs are neutered. I know of no dogs in my environment that are. The vet has never brought it up.

The cats are spayed and neutered though.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:50 pm UTC

Zarq wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:Is the dog neutered? This is not a "You should consider it" question, this is a "Justify with a 20 point document why your dog deserved it's gonads" demand.

Because there is no justification.


I wonder if this a regional difference. None of my dogs are neutered. I know of no dogs in my environment that are. The vet has never brought it up.

The cats are spayed and neutered though.
First off, yes, the dog is neutered. It must be a regional thing, because I don't know any dogs that aren't altered unless their owner is planning to breed them. In the circles I run in it's considered very irresponsible and borderline "you should not have a dog/cat" if you don't get it altered.

I'm not in the southern hemisphere, it is most certainly not warm enough for swimming in Virginia, lol.

I will definitely try the Aleve, moving my legs while sitting, and the laser pointer. I have a laser pointer for the cat (and for a digi-graffiti project I never got off the ground), I'll try it with the dog.

Thanks for the info about acclimating the pup PatricksRGhost. I wasn't sure if he would equalize to my activity level/schedule, good to know that they do.

Thanks again everyone.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:20 pm UTC

Maybe something like this?

Spoiler:
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:36 am UTC

That's certainly planned for when he learns to walk on a leash properly. He's still at the stage where a passing jogger or squirrel or other dog causes him to lose his mind. Which is part of why we've enrolled in obedience school.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:37 am UTC

As for the spay/neuter thing, I wholly agree with everyone who says it should be done, unless you plan to breed the pet. Not sure about other states, but here in Georgia, if you adopt from a shelter or rescue group, they require you to spay/neuter. Even if the rescue group is breed-specific, they require spay/neuter. Many states now have programs in place to help make spay/neuters more affordable, so you pretty much have no excuse whatsoever for NOT getting them spayed/neutered, or as a message board my mom's in dealing with Siamese cats, "educated".
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby Zarq » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:02 am UTC

What exactly are the reasons, other than population control?

Not that it matters, the one is way too old and the other we're still not sure if we're going to breed with him (it's an uncommon breed), just interested.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby bluebambue » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:12 am UTC

I think population control is really the only reason. There are so many unwanted dogs here that for every one that is born, another is euthanized. If there isn't an oversupply of dogs where you are, I suppose it isn't as much of a problem.

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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby Shro » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:29 pm UTC

If the soreness in your legs is a delayed onset muscle soreness, then I would consider taking the aleve (any painkiller, really, naproxen is just our NSAID of choice because it lasts so long, you could also be taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen [but not at the same time!]) whenever it is you feel sore, be it in the morning after you wake up, or a bit before you go on you walk.
The good news is, in a couple of weeks, once your muscles get accustomed to your new level of activity, you should notice your soreness subsiding considerably and should be able to go on multiple walks a day with no problems.
I would also like to second playing tug. It's a good workout for your shoulders and arms to balance out the exercise you're getting for your legs and lungs and heart with the walking. It's also a good opportunity for some training, like the commands "drop it" and "leave it".
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby dudiobugtron » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:09 am UTC

Another reason to mutilate your pet's reproductive system is to prevent the increase in stray or wild animal populations. In our country, stray animals are a big threat to native wildlife.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:41 am UTC

Zarq wrote:What exactly are the reasons, other than population control?

Not that it matters, the one is way too old and the other we're still not sure if we're going to breed with him (it's an uncommon breed), just interested.

Population control is..like, third or fourth on the list.

Do it pre-puberty. The animal is less aggressive, easier to train, more attentive and so on. All animals, humans included, live longer on average when they have no gonads. And they're less prone to various cancers, not just Gina's related ones.

So you have a healthier animal that's better behaved and lives longer. That it also can't make more animals no one wants is just a nifty bonus.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby DSenette » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:13 pm UTC

you could try a treadmill. you can probably pick an old beat up one on craigslist for cheap. if you get him started on the treadmill young he'll get used to it and you'll be able to still exercise him when the weather is crap, and you can also use the treadmill when the weather is crap, and the treadmill could still serve it's primary purpose of giving you a place to hang your laundry from (that's why they make them right?)
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby Coin » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:58 am UTC

I recall that when my brother was in the air force he told me about how the guard dogs were trained. The handlers would get a harness for the guard dogs and tie some car tyres behind it using a rope. Then they would go jogging.
The dogs got a great exercise and so did the handlers apparently.
I guess some tyres could slow down your dog and let you walk at slower pace, saving your legs. It might help against sudden outbursts towards squirrels.
Thoughts anyone? I have never owned a dog and don't know if this is a common practice.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:57 am UTC

Coin wrote:I recall that when my brother was in the air force he told me about how the guard dogs were trained. The handlers would get a harness for the guard dogs and tie some car tyres behind it using a rope. Then they would go jogging.
The dogs got a great exercise and so did the handlers apparently.
I guess some tyres could slow down your dog and let you walk at slower pace, saving your legs. It might help against sudden outbursts towards squirrels.
Thoughts anyone? I have never owned a dog and don't know if this is a common practice.


It would depend on the breed. More than likely, the guard dogs used at your brother's base were German Shepherds, Rottweilers, or American Staffordshires (layman's term: "Pit Bull Terrier"), all of which are bred for strength and stamina, especially the last two. Rotts and Staffs were originally bred to be working dogs, and in some circles, are still used in agility working trials, which feature activities such as cart pulling. Some breeders and trainers/handlers will have the dogs pull car tires, truck tires, carts (small carts, like the kind you might use for hauling stuff around while doing your gardening, or like a child's wagon), and other similar items.

Here's a couple of videos showing some working trials:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiiJKW_GJJc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rttsERHQ7MQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQWnQK-yTX4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsJRJmElY1k
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby Coin » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:09 pm UTC

That sounds resonable =)
I don't know how a labrador compares in strength to a German Shepherd.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:59 pm UTC

Coin wrote:I recall that when my brother was in the air force he told me about how the guard dogs were trained. The handlers would get a harness for the guard dogs and tie some car tyres behind it using a rope. Then they would go jogging.
The dogs got a great exercise and so did the handlers apparently.
I guess some tyres could slow down your dog and let you walk at slower pace, saving your legs. It might help against sudden outbursts towards squirrels.
Thoughts anyone? I have never owned a dog and don't know if this is a common practice.

AHA! even better.

get your dog a doggie backpack/hiking vest kind of thing, and fill the pockets with dry beans (or anything else that adds weight but doesn't take up too much space) your dog can walk shorter distances while getting the same amount of exercise and you don't have to worry about it dragging tires around
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SurgicalSteel » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:45 pm UTC

The hiking vest might be a good idea. I'm actually probably going to get rid of his harness, I've been told both by my trainer and my vet that harnesses are horrible for loose leash walking, because it puts pressure on their chest and they think they want to pull "the cart" (i.e. me) behind them. I'm not training him to be a working dog either, so I don't want him trying to pull anything while we're walking.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:56 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:The hiking vest might be a good idea. I'm actually probably going to get rid of his harness, I've been told both by my trainer and my vet that harnesses are horrible for loose leash walking, because it puts pressure on their chest and they think they want to pull "the cart" (i.e. me) behind them. I'm not training him to be a working dog either, so I don't want him trying to pull anything while we're walking.

i've got two dogs that are notorious pullers and we use these harnesses from petsmart and they work pretty good for our dogs at stopping the pulling. instead of pulling directly on the chest it sort of pulls up under their arms which is a weird feeling for them so they stop doing whatever they were doing to cause that feeling
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SurgicalSteel » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:04 pm UTC

So, it lowers the point of contact so that it's pulling on their lower chest instead of their upper chest? Interesting. I was thinking of looking into one of these, the trainer says they're very good for training, because like a choke chain or the one you posted, they don't like the feeling it creates when they pull, but it's harder to accidentally injure the dog with one of those than it is with a choke chain.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:14 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:So, it lowers the point of contact so that it's pulling on their lower chest instead of their upper chest? Interesting. I was thinking of looking into one of these, the trainer says they're very good for training, because like a choke chain or the one you posted, they don't like the feeling it creates when they pull, but it's harder to accidentally injure the dog with one of those than it is with a choke chain.

you cannot go wrong with a gentle leader (well, you can if you use them incorrectly...but that's beside the point). pulling dogs, or dogs taht don't know how to walk on a leash in general will get the idea real quick with a gentle leader.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:32 am UTC

When I had Rocky, a dog similar to our Bud, our trainer recommended this. Another type of gentle leader, our trainer liked it because it works just like the lead halters you find on horses, mules, or donkeys. Turn the head, and the whole body turns in the direction the head is pointing. Pull in that direction, and the body naturally goes with it.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby Shro » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:52 pm UTC

I have both a gentle leader and an easy walk harness (both made by premier) for our 110 lb golden. I only have about 10 pounds on him, and both work well for giving me more control of him vs. just a collar, but he likes the easy walk harness a lot more. It's a kind that clips to the leash in the front under their neck by their chest instead of the one that clips under the neck on the back, which is what you want if you don't want the dog pulling against you. If you pulling on the leash changes the direction (side to side) of where the dog wants to go vs. just being the opposite direction that the dog wants to pull, it's a good harness/halter to control pulling.
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:06 am UTC

Just wanted to say thanks to the people who recommended the laser pointer and the backpack. Those two things have made his energy levels much more manageable, and have allowed me to give my legs a rest every so often. I also got some new shoes, apparently I was about 3.5 years overdue for a new pair. With generous amounts of bio freeze helping restore my legs and shoulder, and the new shoes and new training techniques helping prevent further damage, things are going much better. Thanks again all.
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PatrickRsGhost
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:38 am UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:Just wanted to say thanks to the people who recommended the laser pointer and the backpack. Those two things have made his energy levels much more manageable, and have allowed me to give my legs a rest every so often. I also got some new shoes, apparently I was about 3.5 years overdue for a new pair. With generous amounts of bio freeze helping restore my legs and shoulder, and the new shoes and new training techniques helping prevent further damage, things are going much better. Thanks again all.


Depending on usage, you should really replace your shoes every three to six months. I replace mine every six months. I have two pairs: One pair I wear to work, and another pair I wear on the weekends. Both are very comfortable and can easily be used everywhere. I use Joe's New Balance for my shoes. I've found New Balance to be the most comfy shoes on this planet, and even though I replace them every six months, they could really go for another six, if I was willing to stretch them out.
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roband
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Re: Dog Walking and Sore Legs

Postby roband » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:00 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:When I had Rocky, a dog similar to our Bud, our trainer recommended this. Another type of gentle leader, our trainer liked it because it works just like the lead halters you find on horses, mules, or donkeys. Turn the head, and the whole body turns in the direction the head is pointing. Pull in that direction, and the body naturally goes with it.

Can't recommend these enough. I don't mind when my gf's German Shep or Retriever pull on the lead-attached-to-collar, but she has real trouble controlling them - this stops that completely.


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