Your puppy will be in a very rapid growth period during the first 12-18 months of life.  Growth plates in Swissys don’t close until approximately 18 months of age.

During this time, bones and joints are constantly being remodeled.  To allow for all the changes, the bones and cartilage are soft and contain many blood vessels.  The young tissue is resilient but prone to trauma and stress and can be damaged by shock and excessive exercise.   

Puppies cannot be trusted to limit their own activity so you must be vigilant in protecting your puppy.  However a puppy’s activity shouldn’t be over-limited;  proper bone and joint development require a certain amount of activity and stress on connective tissues.  Moderation is the key.

  • Leash walking is fine, but don't take a young puppy on long walks.  Keep it very short and at a comfortable pace for the puppy.  Length of walks can be gradually increased as the puppy grows.

  • Avoid extended activity on inclines and hills.

  • No Jumping!  Try to prohibit your puppy from jumping on or off of any surface that's higher than the length of his legs.

  • Lift your puppy in and out of your vehicle until he's big enough to enter and exit with jumping.

  • Avoid having your puppy stand on his rear legs repeatedly or for extended periods of time.;

  • Limit stair climbing.

  • Doggie playmates should be about the same size and weight of your puppy to avoid injury during rough and tumble play.

  • Watch your puppy when he's running and playing with children and other dogs.  He'll get caught up in the fun and won't know when it's time to quit.  Remove him for a rest period when you observe him becoming tired.

  • Don't let your puppy run and play (and slide) on slippery floors.  If your home has slippery hard surface flooring, use carpet runners to provide traction for the puppy.

  • Do not put any weight on your puppy's back (such as a backpack) and do not let your puppy pull weight wearing a harness (like a cart).  There'll be plenty of time for these fun activities later on.

Exercise restrictions can gradually be decreased as your puppy grows.  If you’re not sure of the exercise level that’s appropriate for the age of your puppy, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.