Photo By: Karen Thomason
Exercising your puppy or young Gordon Setter is a must. They need physical exercise to stay in shape, just as we humans do. They also need mental stimulation. A walk is great, but young dogs or puppies should not be taken on long walks on hard surfaces, like concrete and pavement. According to Dr. Susan Nelson, a Kansas State Veterinarian and Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences, this applies to puppies younger than 12-15 months old, and especially the larger breeds. Up until that age, puppies bones are still growing and elongating. The prolonged pounding of walking long distances can cause damage to their joints and growing bones. Playing fetch with a ball, stick, or frisbee is great exercise, but don't throw the item so high that the puppy has to jump high to get it. This too will avoid injury to joints and young bones. For mental stimulation, challenge your dog with a treat toy. One of those that the dog has to figure out the puzzle, to get to the treat. Or, teach him something new. Be creative and remember, Gordon Setters are very intelligent. And of course, the best exercise and stimulation combination, is taking your Gordon hunting. It's what they were bred to do and they can't get enough of it. Just ask them!