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Exercising your TM

The Tibetan Mastiff requires daily walks, but should not be over-exercised. Jogging is too hard on the joints due to the breed’s size.

 

As a young puppy, only 10 minutes exercise a day is enough.This is especially important for pups, whose bones are still soft. As the puppy slowly grows, a short, leisurely walk every day should be enough.

 

TM's are regarded as a large or giant breed and as such, need the appropriate time to grow, balanced with appropriate exercise.

 

Puppies cannot be expected to go on long jaunts without tiring. While adolescents may seem to have the energy to run and play all day, growing bones and joints will not respond well to the stress of endurance walks or hikes.

 

It may be tempting once you know your TM will come when they are called, to take him off his lead. I was advised by several experienced owners and breeders NOT to do this but keep my dogs on a lead until they were at least 18 months old, to reduce the likelihood of any mobility problems and arthritis at a young age.

 

Many TMs seem to be able to successfully determine their own physical limits when it comes to play/exercise but many breeders feel that new owners should restrict exercise for your Tibetan Mastiff up to 18 months.

 

Be very mindful of the fact that a "balanced" weekly exercise regime is very important. Because of busy work schedules, many owners save up vigorous exercise for the weekends but sometimes we forget that dogs are not meant to be "get-up-and-go machines. After a week of being cooped up in a crate, lolling on the couch, restricted to a smaller backyard or being taken on daily sedate meandering neighborhood walks in no way prepares your Tibetan Mastiff for weekend hikes or flat out runs in open fields. Just like any athlete, the Tibetan Mastiff needs to have daily exercise and age appropriate "training" periods. Asking too much of your Tibetan Mastiff too soon can be harmful to his health.

 

I recommend keeping your Tibetan mastiff on a lead at the very least for 18 months as over exercising or allowing them to frisk and run around with other dogs whilst their bones are still developing may lead to hip dysplasias and arthritis whilst still at a very young age. Be very careful not to overwork the bones, muscles and joints of a young dog during their growing stage.

 

Keeping an uncastrated male on a lead is infinitely a better idea particularly when their hormones start to kick in around 18 months. Be vigilant around this time as there will invariably be other young male dogs off the lead (not every owner is a responsible owner unfortunately!) that may target your dog as a 'challenge'.

 

TM's are not remotely motivated by running and fetching a ball or stick. If this is what you want from a dog, a TM is not for you. If you are lucky, they may run once. If you throw it a second time, they will look at you as if questioning your behaviour!!