When you have a puppy/dog, you must meet its exercise requirements. Before getting your puppy, I hope you have considered the question “How much exercises does my dog require every day?” Also depending on your own/family schedule, it may fluctuate how much time you can give for a dog walk. Dogs generally need, in my opinion, from 30 mins to 2-hours dependant on the breed of dog you have chosen. If we start from the beginning, how much exercise does a puppy require? They have little bursts of energy so I would say 5 mins, 3 times a day, for the first 2 months of their growth. After that, I would add 5 mins minutes each month until around 8/9 months – but bear in mind if you have a toy breed you may not need to follow this template. A 15-minute walk, 3 times a day should be sufficient enough. It is essential to always take into consideration the breed of dog you are going to purchase.
With your puppy, I would encourage short playtime with them and short walks as you will be building a bond with them much quicker. Again, when playing with your puppy making sure you do not make your puppy jump or wanting to them to do things a full-grown dog will do as it may damage your dog’s growth or cause injury to them. So, making sure they are not standing on their back legs or front legs at any time. While playing with your puppy, you will be fulfilling their exercise needs so highly advise playing with but especially if you have no access to a garden at the beginning phase of their growth.
With a full-grown dog, you may be able to get away with 45 minutes a day, depending on the size and breed of your dog. Check my previous post on this to assist you in choosing your dog here. I would say 75% of dog misbehaviour is due to them not getting enough exercise. When this happens, they start to use their energy in different ways. When your dog gets older, personally I would aim towards mental stimulation, as your dog won’t be as mobile as they once were and risk causing injury to their joints.
There are numerous ways you can walk your dog. I suggest you try to mix it up whenever you can. The most obvious is to put your dog on a lead and take them around the block or local park. Straight after this is hiking now a warning with this one. If your dog is not built for endurance, you may be carrying your dog home after 3 miles into a 10-mile hike. I would advise purchasing a dog hiking backpack for them to bring which will have what they need on the journey, i.e. water, water bowl, food and first aid etc.
Next up, my personal favourite – Cycling. By cycling for 15 mins, you will be giving your dog x3 the amount of exercise, as a walk on a lead. Before doing this, I would advise making sure your dog is comfortable around your bike. Taking it step by step to get your dog comfortable walking or running by your side. Also, take into consideration their paws – if you only take your dog for a 15-minute bike ride and then decide to take them out for an hour on the bike, you may damage their paws, which would end with a trip to the vets, and you will be nursing your dog for a minimum of two weeks. I personally cycle 30 minutes around my local park, and for the dog’s second walk, I put him on the lead and walk him for 20 minutes. During the summer, I would highly advise bringing a bottle of water and a probable bowl, to avoid them suffering from dehydration or exhaustion.
Roller Skating I really do enjoy, but you must take caution when doing this. First make sure your dog understands the necessary commands to require them to do this (go, slow down and stop) without them knowing this you might go straight into a wall (talking from experience). Second, making sure they are wearing a harness. A pulling harness would be best. A collar will mess up their neck, and you will lack control at high speeds. I feel this is great for dog-like huskies renown for their pulling and energy. So if your dog’s natural instinct is for them to pull, this might be the right solution for you. I think this is a cool way to walk your dog, as you are getting a free ride while your dog pulls. Roller skating or rollerblading is mainly a summer exercise, but if the ground is dry, you can do this at any time of the year.
Swimming another great tool to exercise your dog. Again I would suggest doing this during the summer months to avoid your dog getting sick. Believe it or not, not all dogs can swim. The most common dogs that can’t swim are Bulldogs and Boxer’s. This may be a blog topic I shall write for those who wish to get a bit more info. For me personally, I stay way clear of dog swimming as I hate the wet dog smell, yucky! If your dog is a swimmer, by all means, get them doing this and while they are, add a game of fetch to add to the excitement. Just as a note, make sure your dog is swimming in dog pools/ponds. As not all rivers, lakes and seas are safe and may contain bacteria that can cause your dog some severe damage.
Playing fetch with your dog is a great way to burn energy. The only annoying part is not all dogs immediately understand the concept of fetch so you will have to teach them this and it can be learned. Using a frisbee or tennis ball thrower is super fun.
Obedience training….. Ahhh this one is a touchy subject amongst dog owners! Personally, if you don’t have the patience to teach your dog some fun skills or mental simulate them, this one should be one you should stay well away from. This training requires both owner and dog willingness to communicate on the same page. You will be training your dog to navigate through obstacle courses, fun commands, hide and seek. Depending on your home situation (if you have a large garden with a fence) you might be able to get away with off lead train in obedience. Still, in any other case, I suggest a long leash to assist in the early stage of training obedience.
There are quite a few home exercises out there. You can get your dog to run up and down the stairs – this is simple but effective. A treadmill is great, but you will need to teach them how to run or walk on one of these as your dog may freak and wonder why he is moving yet nothing around him is moving. Tug with a tug toy is a great way to engage with your dog but warning – if done in the wrong way, this exercise may encourage aggression. Done in the right way, it can be used as a tool to train your dog. As I have done on many occasions. A design tug toy is best for this.
Me personally, I tend to exercise my dog with a combination of tug, cycling, lead walk and hiking as I have a park next to me. In time you will figure out what is best for you and your dog, and you’ll see how much your dog loves you when giving them a significant amount of exercise.
Friends with dogs/Dog community
And how could I forget this? I was just about to conclude this blog and remembered that this is the best way to exercise your dog – if your dog doesn’t mind being around other dog’s. This is the perfect way to exercise your dog as they will keep going until you want to go home. Try to make sure your dog is playing around a dog of a similar size and age. This will help to avoid injuries while playing. If your dog has been well socialised from when they were a puppy, they will never get enough of interacting with other dogs. Why not find out if there is a doggy group by where you live and aim to meet up with them once a week. I can guarantee you if your dog plays with another dog for 30 mins they will be knackered on the walk or drive back home! If your dog is a senior, I wouldn’t advise this type of play.
Whether you own a dog currently or are thinking of getting one, I hope this blog was beneficial to help you understand how you can effectively exercise your dog.
I hope you all have a dogtastic day!
All For Your Dog.