How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

Exercise is a topic that comes up all the time in training classes. Trainees are asking what type and how much exercise their dog needs. The answer is fairly simple. If your dog is constantly bringing his ball or favorite toy to you while you are trying to relax, he’s not getting enough.

High-energy dogs such as retrievers need more than lower energy dogs like Dachshunds or Shiba Inu’s. Exercise not only tires your dog out so both of you can relax; it also provides a healthy lifestyle for him or her.

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So, what is enough exercise?

Most dog owners whose dogs are having a hard time focusing or bouncing all over the place, when asked how much exercise their dog gets reply; “We went for a few blocks to a mile walk today.”

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Taking a high-energy Lab or Golden Retriever for a one-mile walk is the equivalent as a marathon runner jogging around the block. In most cases, it’s going to energize them and leave them wanting more. Most dogs need at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise every day some need much more.

There are a number of ways to exercise your dog. You can take your dog out for a jog, play fetch, take them swimming, go to a dog park, have them run or walk on a treadmill or take them to doggie daycare.

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If you have a dog that likes to fetch things, using a 50-100 ft leash and throwing a ball or Frisbee works great. If you don’t have a fenced in yard where you can play safely, tennis courts work well. If your dog likes water, swimming is a good option.

Dog parks are an excellent alternative for exercising your dog. There is normally plenty of room for playing ball or Frisbee; some even have ponds for the dogs to swim in. Dog parks also have the added benefit of socializing your dog with other dogs.

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One of the best options for exercise and socialization is doggie daycare. Doggie daycares are normally staffed with people that not only like dogs, but are also trained on how to handle large groups. They also understand the difference between good play and play that could go bad.

Be sure to do your homework by stopping by any facility you plan on taking your dog to. Get a tour of the facility, talk to the staff and ask plenty of questions. Find out if you can see the dogs interacting during your tour. You will want to make sure you feel comfortable with how your dog will be handled.

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Exercising your dog will not only tire him out so both of you can relax; it will also help him live a long and happier life.

So, go on, give it some thought! Adopting a homeless pup may turn out to be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. The puppy or dog you take home will be one of the lucky ones, but you’ll be lucky too… lucky to have found a loving, faithful four-legged friend to share your life with.

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