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Discussion Starter #1
Hi could I have some advice on how much active play my 4 month should be having. My father sometimes dog sits when I'm at work and Lola loves playing ( running around, chasing etc) with his little dog ( Olly, a 1 year bishion)and doesn't know when to quit. They're never left alone and he's very gentle with her but it's non stop. When I'm there I regularly encourage breaks and timeouts but it would be nice to have more defined times for my father as he's a bit more lax
Thank you x

Premium Member
116 Posts
I am a owner of 4 chihuahuas. My first chi is now 15yrs old. He played with everyone. I now have two young chi 5 and 4 months in Hawaii. When we are home we have started giving them a little more freedom, they have learned to use our dog door. They both love to play, chase each other, and wrestle. When we have company we don't stop them from engaging with other people. They love all the attention. In fact, when we take walks we encourage the kids we run into to pet our babies. Ewa is a micro-chi (barley 2 lbs) and since her scull hasn't completely closed, we do watch her closely cause we dont want her to hurt herself, but she is the roughest little girl in a dog dress. She love to start wrestling with her brother :)

Our goal is to socialize them as much as possible while they are babies. My resuce chihuahua, who wasn't socialized as a puppy has extreme anxiety with strangers. You are extremely luck to have someone who wants to engage with your chihuahua. I don't see any problem with having your chi play, when they are tired they will take a nap.

839 Posts
I was actually flipping through a binder at our vet recently while waiting for our appointment and came across an article written by one of the vets at that office on the proper play for puppies. They posted it to their website, so I've pulled it from there:

Appropriate Exercise in Puppies
Dr. Victoria Van Wyk

There are few things that are as adorable as a puppy. They come in to our lives usually
when they are 8 or 10 weeks of age as little bundles of energy. Some seem to sleep a lot
the first 2 or 3 weeks after they have come in to our homes but then become energetic.
Many of you have heard the saying “a good dog is a tired dog”. Puppies like to chew and
can be destructive if left with free rein in our homes. Crate training your puppy can
keep the puppy and your home safe.

But puppies need exercise and mental stimulation. Mental stimulation can be achieved by putting their kibble in a kong wobbler toy so they have to push it around for the kibble to come out. They can have kongs stuffed with canned food. They require training for manners such as leash walking, housetraining (bathroom training), coming when called and for tricks like shake a paw, sit, down and so on.

Socializing them to different people (men with beards, kids, people in uniforms) and different places is a definite must. All of these things can help with mentally stimulating the puppy which can help to tire them out. But what about physical exercise? How much exercise is too much? What is the appropriate amount of exercise for a puppy? Why are these questions important?

Puppies have growth plates in their bones. These are areas of growing bone near the
ends of the long bones. Each long bone has at least two growth plates: at least one at
each end. The long bones grow from these areas. The larger the breed the longer the
bone will grow and the longer the growth plate stays “open”. By open we mean that they
continue to grow. Once the puppy has finished growing the growth plates “close” and
the growing and lengthening of the bone stops. The growth plates of the tibia near the
knee (stifle) in a toy breed close at about 10 months of age and in a large breed dog they
close at 14 months of age.

In a growing dog an injury to the growth plate can result in abnormal bone growth,
bowing or bending of the bone, damage to a joint, and causes pain. Blunt trauma such as
a fall or blow to a limb can damage the growth plates and chronic injuries such as
overuse can do the same.

These general exercise guidelines should therefore be followed carefully.

Exercise guidelines for puppies:
Puppies less than 6 months of age:

– all the playing they want but no body-slamming games
– non-impact training is good: sit, stay, come
– moderate free exercise such as short walks or short hikes in the woods
– for agility dogs, no jumping above wrist height
– no long swimming sessions, no jogging
– none of the activities that are allowed in the next age groups

Puppies 6 to 14 months of age

– all the playing they want but no body-slamming games
– increasing period of free exercise such as walking and hiking
– tugging in moderation
– retrieving on land and in water in moderation
– for agility dogs, gradually increasing maximum jump height from wrist height to
no higher than elbow height
– none of the activities that are allowed in the next age group

Puppies older than 14 months of age:

– daily free exercise
– gradually start with three 20 minute jogs per week
– for agility dogs, gradually increase jumping height above elbow height to full
competition height
– serious endurance training (long swims, several kilometre jogs) should not start
until after 2 years of age
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