How much exercise does a dog need?
Dogs need exercise, just like humans. A tired dog is a good dog.
Dogs are not only the best friend of man but they are quite similar to their masters. Their requirements, much like yours, including how much food, rest and exercise they need, depend on the individual dog. Not all humans are alike nor are all dogs, which is important to remember when determining how much exercise does a dog need.
How much exercise does a dog need depends in large part on the breed of the dog, his size, age, his health and his unique temperament.
Many people surrender their dogs because the pet is ill-behaved and out of control. Many of these surrenders could be prevented if the dog received the exercise he needed. Dogs, especially puppies, have a lot of energy and need to burn it off. If they are not given the chance to romp around outside they will become destructive. A dog that that is alone for long periods of time should be allowed access to a safe, secured outdoor area with a dog door that is sized appropriately.
If your dog is chewing up everything in your house, or barking and whining incessantly, it may be due to boredom, lack of intellectual stimulation and pent up energy that he needs to burn.
An old dog still needs to be exercised but not as aggressively as a puppy. However, a highly energized 10-year-old Golden Retriever may need more exercise than a docile two-year-old Golden Retriever so age is not the only factor to take into consideration because how much exercise a dog needs will vary, sometimes greatly, from dog to dog. Guard dogs do not require as much overall exercise as do sporting dogs that are used to hunting for hours on end.
High energy dogs include Labs, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Dobermans, Poodles, Boxers, Visla, Irish Setters, Spaniels, most terriers, herding dogs, Portuguese Water Dog and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. Check the exercise requirements of specific breeds in a good breed description database. Mixed breed dogs are usually true to the dominant breed in their heritage.
Most dogs should get 60 minutes of exercise a day plus 15 minutes of training, which should keep them well adjusted, happy and worn out. If you have an extremely active dog, he will benefit from a half hour of hard aerobic exercise daily. A tired dog is the kind you want at the end of the day.
In addition to walking your dog, you can play fetch, toss a Frisbee, engage in agility training and job with him. Use a special leash, according to dog trainer Steve Dale, when you and the dog are going jogging as opposed to walking. He will soon learn the difference in the leashes and what will be expected of him. When the dog is presented with the jogging leash he will understand that this means he cannot stop and sniff every nook and cranny. Serious running is expected.
Your dog will try to keep up with you because that is his nature. Be on the lookout for dog fatigue. Do not push him beyond his means. If your dog wants to stop, let him. If he is listing from side to side or panting heavily, he needs a rest. Take water for both you and your dog.
Always use a leash but do not tie the leash to your wrist. Some dog-walkers and joggers like the hands-free leashes that wrap around the waist or attach to your waist. However, there are those who do not like them because they tend to throw you off balance.
Regularly exercising your dog is going to benefit your pet and you by giving your dog the exercise he needs as well as the exercise you need. Figuring out how much exercise a dog needs prevents obesity, tones muscles,improves sleep, strengthens the cardiovascular system and bones, improves the mood of your dog and your mood as well and enhances mental alertness. Your dog can also make new dog friends when you take him out and about. He will benefit from getting to socialize. Dogs like having friends every bit as much as we do.