Am I over exercising my Springer?

by Lonny

We have a 18 month old Springer and I have a question regarding springer spaniel exercise.

I started him running at about 8 months old, only taking him out for about 2 miles, twice a week. Now he is 18 months old, he joins me on my 6 mile runs 3 to 5 days a week. However I would love to take him on some longer, 9 mile, runs.

We live in the country so he does run off the leash, running through the woods and fields.

Sometimes he's fast but most of the run he's at my side, doing about 9 minute miles. Do you think this is too much? He LOVES it, but I don't want him to be injured.

None of the running is on concrete or blacktop...its all fields and dirt roads.

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this? Thank you for your time and again for the great site. Regards, Lonny Jarrett


I think the levels of exercise your springer is receiving is fine.

You have built it up slowly since he was 8 months old and, as they were bred to work all day, he will be in a position to handle it.

I take George out for 10 mile runs myself and he copes very well with it, in fact he runs four times further during that time.

If your springer rests when you rest, then the body has time to recover just like yours. Let's face it, they are designed to run for much longer than we are! He will probably sleep much more at home though.

If he gets stiff joints, try him on cod liver oil and make sure he sleeps in a warm spot with no drafts, just like us really. You can tell if he gets sore joints if he licks his paws and legs too much. I talk about this more on my hip-dysplasia page, although I am not saying that the 2 conditions are the same, but the link gives you details of how to manage sore joints in Springers.

You also want to look into his diet as he is running so much. Make sure he is getting enough calories and ensure you choose a good quality dog food.

If you are really concerned talk to your vet, but otherwise, in my opinion, you are just letting him do what he is designed to do. I bet you have a very fit and happy Springer with the added bonus that he will be too tired to caused havoc in the house, which is what many under exercised springers' do!

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