|How much exercise does my dog need?
How much exercise is enough depends on your dog's age, breed, and health. A 10-month old Irish Terrier puppy is
going to need more than a five-year old Whippet (you could appropriately sing, "Wild thing, you make my heart sing" as
your puppy races around the house and yard). A sight hound needs short bursts of exercise; guarding dogs don't need
as much overall as sporting breeds who like to hunt all day. Even within a breed, the need varies. A highly energetic
eight-year-old Golden Retriever could easily need more exercise than a calm three-year old Golden. And geriatric dogs
still need to go for walks--just shorter ones than they used to enjoy.
Generally speaking, a leashed walk around the block isn't going to cut it. Most dogs need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a
day. Your canine pal needs enough that he's slowed down by the time you stop.
Some general rules of thumb:
Active breeds need a minimum of 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise most days of the week, preferably daily. Not all
toy or small breeds get enough exercise inside the house (contrary to popular belief). Pugs, for example, are prone to
obesity and need much more exercise than they usually get.It's not safe to go out in extremely hot or cold weather.
During such periods, stay inside and teach tricks to engage your dog's mind, throw toys, or run up and down the stairs
together. Good exercise uses both mental and physical muscles. Exploring a new hiking trail, for example, engages your
dog's mind as well as his body.Live by the philosophy that a tired dog is a good dog
Thoughts from Bullreguard:
As a dog ages, he may require less exercise, but one thing is for sure variety keep the mind young. Bully used to walk 3
miles, twice a day, then a couple years ago, it went ot 2 miles a twice a day, and then 1 mile twice a day. Now we do
only what Bully is willing to do. A good place to learn about Senior dogs it the Senior Dog Project It has a wealth of
information for the aging dog.
An added tip: My favorite places to walk are the perimeter around stores, such as Wal-mart, Hannaford, Target, country
roads. There are amazing woods behind these places and you rarely come across people. Also, an entire perimeter
usually can add up to a mile or more. Bully also loves the new smells when we go to a new place to walk. As Bully has
gotten older, he enjoys sitting and watching the people go in and out of the stores as well. It is like doing cross word
puzzles for us. It keeps their minds young and active.