Exercise is critical to your pup’s mental and physical health, but too much or the wrong kind can injure him. Here are a few guidelines:
In general, the larger the breed, the more careful you need to be. Giant breeds who are growing unbelievably quickly can get sprains or twists easily during rough play with other active or powerful dogs. These dogs can be better off during the first year playing by themselves or with one appropriate playmate at a time. The dog run, which looks like such a good time, can be a bad idea. Would you let a first grader play football with junior high kids? No, and it is an equally bad idea to allow a young pup to play off lead with older, bigger, better-conditioned, more experienced animals.
Also, if your pup is hurt as a young dog, he may generalize this bad experience to all dogs and take the offensive in the future. That is how some aggressive dogs are created.
In general, the less hard stopping and turning, the better. Again, be extra cautious with the larger breeds. Toy breeds can play fetch and not risk injury, but a lanky German Shepherd Dog or Great Dane might be at risk. With these larger dogs, we play fetch up slight slopes or wait for the ball to stop rolling before I let the pup go, and we always play on nonslippery surfaces.