It should go without saying that all dogs need exercise – meaning that they need to be taken for walks. But how often should they be walked? How far? Do smaller dogs require shorter walks than larger dogs? And does breed make any difference?
Interestingly, the size of the dog doesn’t have as much impact on walking requirements as does the breed. Some breeds just need a short stroll around the block daily. Others need vigorous exercise every single day, even more than once per day.
Exercise requirement depends on size, age, breed and general health. Puppies need much more exercise than old dogs do. Most dogs need between half and one hour of walking every day.
As a basic guide:
- Puppies need plenty of exercise given in short bursts
- Terriers are energetic and need plenty of exercise; due to their small size they may get a lot in their yard but still need a good walk daily
- Sight hounds need short bursts of exercise
- Scent hounds need a lot of exercise
- Guard dog breeds generally need a short walk each day
- Hunting and herding dogs as well as sporting dogs need a lot of exercise; two walks per day
- Dogs like pugs and bulldogs need exercise in short bursts as their squash-faces make breathing difficult and overheating is a problem
- Senior and geriatric dogs need a short walk each day
- Walking should not be undertaken in extremely hot or extremely cold weather – time walks for more temperate times of day depending on the season.
- Change your route sometimes to provide mental stimulation for your dog
- Dog parks are great for well-socialised dogs to run and play
- Dog day care can be great for exercise and mental stimulation
Without adequate walking and exercise, some dogs will not only put on weight; they will expend their pent up energy by misbehaving, including barking, digging, chewing, and trying to escape their yard. Put simply, your dog’s good behaviour, as well as his physical and mental health, depend on his daily walk.
Choosing your dog at the outset must be done with consideration of his breed and his walking and exercise requirements. Make sure you have the time and inclination to provide what your dog needs. Some breeds that require less exercise (but still a daily walk) include the Basset hound, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, French bulldog, Maltese, Pomeranian, Pekingese, Saint Bernard, Shih Tzu, and Tibetan Mastiff.
Are you short on time to walk your dog? The solution could be to hire a professional dog walking service, like we offer here at Urban Paws in Yarraville. Professional dog walking can take the job of walking your dog off your hands if you are pressed for time or not up to the task, and will help keep your beloved pet healthy and happy. A tired dog is a good dog!