Many dog owners are unsure of just how much walking their own dog requires. Is one walk per day enough? Do smaller dogs require less walking than larger dogs? Does breed play a part?
Dogs are renowned for being energetic, and if they are not exercised according to their needs, negative behaviours such as barking and destruction will result. Many people falsely believe that dogs need room to run and a big back yard; this is not the case. Even the largest dog can live happily in a small yard – but he does need to be taken for walks.
An individual dog’s exercise needs are dependent upon age, health, and breed. For example:
• A puppy will need more exercise than a senior dog.
• A sight hound requires exercise in short bursts
• Sporting dog breeds like to hunt and be out all day
• Guarding dogs don’t need as much exercise as some other breeds
• Individuals within breed differ too; a calm younger dog will require less exercise than an excitable older dog
• Even geriatric dogs need regular exercise; just for shorter distances and times
Most dogs, regardless of breed, require half an hour to an hour of exercise per day – EVERY DAY. Active breeds need hard aerobic exercise, while less active breeds can go for a walk. Small dogs usually require much more exercise than they get (some being prone to obesity if not exercised adequately), whereas some large breeds (Great Danes for example) should not be taken for long walks.
An inactive dog will become bored, overweight, sick, and age more quickly.
Here is a basic guide:
• Sporting and Herding dogs need at least an hour of high intensity exercise every day – twice daily if possible.
• Hounds have diverse needs depending on whether they are sight or scent hounds. Greyhounds need little relative exercise, sprinting in short bursts. Scent hounds (Beagles for instance) need exercise similar to that of Herding dogs.
• Terriers are high energy, but with short legs, they will get plenty of exercise as long as they also have an hour a day.
• Toy breeds are inclined to obesity and can get their significant exercise requirement in and over a smaller area. Be aware that breeds with squashed faces (pugs, bulldogs) easily overheat as they don’t have optimal airflow due to their anatomy.
Never make your dog exercise in extremely hot or cold weather. Dogs are susceptible to heatstroke and frostbite. During summer, for example, take him out early in the morning or at dusk when the weather is cooler. Always carry drinking water for him. In cold weather, allow a dog with a short coat to wear a doggie jacket. Vary your routine; exercising a dog is as much about mental stimulation as it is physical activity.
If it’s all too hard for you to handle your own dog’s recommended walking schedule, why not enlist professional dog walking services to help? Here at Urban Paws in Yarraville, we provide a friendly dog walking service to the local area and you know that your beloved pooch is being exercised and stimulated as often as you like. A tired dog at the end of the day is a happy dog!