Every dog needs exercise. Only: how much? How often and when? The needs are individual depending on the breed, but there are a few rules of thumb.
Giving your dog as much exercise as possible should be an important concern for every dog owner. After all, only a busy dog is happy and healthy. There are some guidelines that will help you find the right amount of exercise for your dog.
Rules of thumb for the walkabout
All young dogs (up to nine months) and all miniature dogs (up to 35 cm) need 15 to 30 minutes of exercise several times a day with strenuous and quiet phases. Heavy, large adult dogs are content with a good hour at a leisurely pace and 15 minutes of brisk play twice a day.
But please note: This is not a recipe for success, but only a guideline that only serves as orientation. How much exercise your dog needs individually to be happy can certainly deviate from this.
Body build differences
Light, large, long-legged dogs were bred for working conditions. If you want to satisfy them, you should allow them half an hour of vigorous play, strenuous swimming, demanding sport plus at least three relaxed walks at a brisk pace for no less than 20 minutes at least once a day.
Square dogs, large and small, prefer short rounds, three to four times a day and also crave other kinds of exertion – for concentration exercises, for search games and sniffing actions or a short chase, sometimes a hearty scuffle.
Observe breed-specific needs
It is important that you consider the breed’s preferences for the type and amount of exercise. While sports aces like the Australian Shepherd love to let off steam on the agility course, a Newfoundland dog is less fond of racing across the meadows – water is his element.
Of course, it does not only depend on the breed which type of exercise your dog likes best. Its character and individual preferences also determine how the dog prefers to move. As a dog owner, you have to find out.
The mix is important
One rule applies to all dog breeds: What makes the perfect run is variety. Not only the body but also the dog’s brain needs to be challenged and stimulated. The stereotypical round next to the bike or the same jogging route will certainly not satisfy the dog’s needs in the long run. A good mix is important to every dog.