Want keep your dog happy, healthy, entertained and build a bond with your new pup? Want to accomplish all this in a simple, daily activity?
Great! So, what do you have to do?
Let’s first look at what you DON’T need to do. You don’t need to jump through hoops or bend over backwards or clown around to keep your pup happy. If you do any of these, you may get the “looks” – you know those strange looks – from your pup.
So, is there an easier way to bond with your dog?
Glad you asked.
Let’s get down to business now.
Follow these general guidelines to enrich your experience with your new dog. It will serve well for your health as well as your dog’s health. :
Why does my dog need exercise?
Dogs need exercise. “Use it or Lose it” – never fails. Use your limbs, muscles, knowledge, senses – everything you have so you won’t lose it. – It holds true for dogs as well.
A good DAILY walk not only exercises their body but it also satisfies their natural curiosity to explore the smells of the world, gives them fresh air, introduces them to different animals, gives you a chance to let him know how you want it to react to all these various exposures.
A bonus here is – it will create a bond between you two. He will look forward to your return home with even more enthusiasm (with all 4 paws as they say!!) and when it is time for the walk he will remind you.
It will give him a chance to relieve himself – a big relief indeed!! Remember he has been holding it for you to come home and take him out.
It will also stimulate his mind along with the rest of the metabolic functions of his body. Remember all those treats you reward him with for good behavior or when you train him to listen to your commands ? – this walk will help him digest it better.
It will give him a chance to chew on things like grass, plants, smell some litter, hear some noises, feel and enjoy the breeze / wind, fresh air, flowers, other animals – things he will need to stimulate, develop and tone and hone in all his senses and natural instincts.
He will have less temptation to chew on your furniture, shoes, socks etc. Talk to someone who has a dog that suffers from lack of the physical activity and mental stimulation, they will verify this for you.
Your walk with him is his reward! Don’t disappoint him.
In return he will behave better at home – gone is his destructive behavior!
How much exercise does my dog need?
Like the all familiar answer – it all depends! Really! Your pup’s breed, age, size, health, weather all come into play in this decision.
As a general rule, s/he should get an activity workout from 30 minutes to 2 hours every day – bigger & healthier the dog, longer the duration.
How does breed affect exercise needs?
Breeds specifically developed for hunting, herding etc such as Hounds, collies, labradors, shepherds, huskies were bred to be active and survive under harsh conditions and for long work days. As a result, to meet their needs they need more rigorous exercise, longer duration of exercises more frequently.
These breeds may need a half hour of vigorous activity in addition to up to 2 hours of moderate activity assuming they are enjoying the normal good health.
As a general rule. Dogs with a stubby nose ( e.g. bulldogs ) need less activity – a couple of rounds around the block may suffice while a breed with an elongated nose (e.g. Doberman Pinscher) may just get warmed up with the same walk. A long nosed breed may enjoy more agility based exercise.
How do I know my dog needs more exercise? ……….. 9 signals to watch for.
As mentioned before above are only general guidelines. The exercise requirements for your dog will change on any given day based on if the pup is feeling good and healthy versus when he/she is indisposed OR on a very hot & muggy day versus a freezing cold day.
So, how do you know how much exercise my pup needs? – watch his/her size and behavior. Is your dog:
- sad or depressed?
- Have Destructive behavior ?
- Barking too much for no obvious reason?
- Likes constant rough play?
- Pacing and or Restless ?
- Active at night, keeping you awake?
- Constantly seeking your attention?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, your pup most likely needs more exercise.
8 signals indicating that your dog is over exercised.
You have been taking good care of your dog, exercising him well every day – good for you and your dog. Congrats!
But are you doing it too much? – watch for these signs:
- Excessive panting during or after the activity.
- Extreme thirst
- Lagging behind you – in contrast to pulling on the leash.
- Lack of interest in the activity
- Limping or reluctant / sluggish to move contrary to normal days
- Sitting down, resting, lying down during the activity.
- Lack of desire to go out & run.
- Not obeying commands s/he would normally follow.
Start slow, watch and listen to your dog’s signals – use that as your guide to the amount of exercise your dog needs.
As always, your dog’s health & welfare being of utmost concern, please consult a veterinarian before you start this routine if you have any questions or concerns about the type or amount of exercise for your dog.