• I'm an avid hiker and looking forward to my girl joining me on my longer hikes. I want to make sure I don't do this too soon. Any information on when B. growth plates close? Right now we're keeping it to <1 mile walks @ 18 weeks old.

  • @beth314 - Growth plates close usually between 6 to 9 months. Injuries can cause them to close sooner depending on the injury.

  • I think you need to look at your dog to figure this out. Some seem to mature faster than others. I think I waited until our youngest girl was 18 months before starting on more strenuous activities.

    That said, I don't consider walking or running to be strenuous. I'd reserve that for activities like jumping where more stress is applied to the joints. For hiking, I'd be more concerned about paws, heat, and dehydration than about growth plates.

    You should be able to figure this out just by how your pup responds.

  • I'm minded that coursing is only in straight lines, not curves, until the puppy is 18 months - could be wrong but this seems sensible to me.

    So a little holding back in the early month should prevent any damage to the growth plates.

  • Here's a really good article about growth plates in dog's. I never knew it was a thing until I read your post @Beth314


  • @beth314 - I will talk about one of my Basenjis that broke her leg climbing a gate in the house and hit the front leg, breaking both bones in the front leg... she had surgery at 4 1/2 months and had a plate put in to secure the break (this was back in 1992) and then two weeks later that growth plate closed on that leg. Another surgery to reopen the growth plate (and make sure if this is ever needed that you have a board certified orthopedic veterinarian) she recovered just fine, finished her Championship and also her Field Championship.... so injury regardless need to be seen by a certified Vet Orthopedic Vet!

    That said, hikes should be fine for your pup.... When she is tired stop the hike.... she will tell you

  • I’ve been keeping my 5 month old to hikes 3 miles and under (our every other day hike is a 2 mile out and back with 1000 feet of elevation behind my house) at a 2.0 mph pace and off granite when possible, and he blows me away for stamina. I try to stay on bouncy pine needles. I can’t imagine it’s more dangerous than 2 miles on sidewalks.

    He seems to love it, doesn’t show exhaustion or laying down, takes numerous sniff breaks, doesn’t limp, and his foot pads are fine. I much prefer it to dog parks and neighborhood walks. Maybe I’m messing up but I don’t I’m pushing him at all.

  • @jengosmonkey

    This made me feel a lot better.

  • @tanza said in Basenji Growth Plates:

    When she is tired stop the hike.... she will tell you

    I've heard about slings that you might opt for as a way to carry a pup the rest of the way when they get too tired.... maybe someone could offer a link or description?

  • White Mtns of NH is not trivial hiking (they did not bother with switchbacks; just straight up the mountain and straight down). I will wait on that sort of hiking for her. I'm beginning to age out of it myself. 🙃

    She, like many dogs, will tolerate more pain than is good for her so I don't trust when she says she's reached a limit. Today was warm here in So Cal and clearly too hot for her paws. She went into my sling and was not happy about it but I am using a sling! She hates it! But it does help me as she's getting too heavy from me to carry for long.

    I will do my best to keep her injury-free but there's always risk, I realize. My history is agility where growth plate closure is much discussed. But it's been a long time since participating in this sport.

    I will read the article, @Jengosmonkey, so thanks for that.

  • @elbrant Slings abound on Amazon and on the net generally. I had one for Mku when he was a puppy and Kito then used it. Just google 'puppy slings'

    Ideal for taking the pup out on walks before he has had his shots and can go walkies or on squirrel hunts. The older pack is not penalised by having a shorter walk or having to stay home until the puppy can come out too, and the pup gets to see people and other dogs and socialise.

    Everyone wants to pet the pup in the sling !

  • @beth314

    I hike the belknaps/ossipees with my pup. Would never take him up a 4ker until like after 10 months. After all which are less than 5 miles?

  • @bill-t Awesome, Bill! Ya, in CA people laugh at the NH 4Ks ... until they try them. Then they cry. Lots of dogs on the trails, though. I'll PM you to see about a B hike!

  • @zande Yes, I use my sling a fair amount and bought it on Amazon before I even got my pup. She does not love it - too many lizards and rabbits to chase - but it saves my back.

  • @beth314 They do get too heavy, even for the sling !

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