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How many hours a day should a dog exercise?

 Physical exercise plays a very important role in the daily care of dogs, as it directly affects the animal's well-being, as well as helping to prevent certain behavioral problems, such as stress or anxiety. However, it is not always easy to determine what type of exercise is most suitable for a dog or how we should adapt it to each stage of its life.

In this dog57 article, we will explain how much exercise a dog should do daily, keeping in mind the specific needs of each individual, similarly, we will also talk about walking routines, types of exercise for dogs we can exercise or how to adjust the time and intensity of physical activity.





Almost any needs a daily walk. The exceptions are dogs of decorative breeds, such as Chihuahua, Toy Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier. But some dogs of these breeds are also not against walking. Many owners ask questions - how to walk a dog? How long should walking last? How many times a day to go out with your beloved dog? The answers to these questions will be given below.

Benefits of exercise in dogs

Regular practice of moderate physical exercise helps prevent weight gain in dogs, as well as associated diseases. It also allows the development of proper muscle strength, strengthening the bones, and increasing the thickness of the joint cartilage. Additionally, doing activities that stimulate our dog's mind using positive reinforcement will allow us to keep his cognitive and social skills active while improving our relationship with him.


It is also necessary to point out that dogs with behavioral problems will greatly benefit from this practice, as it helps channel accumulated stress and thus improve anxiety, depression, or destructiveness, among others.

Joints and bones will be strengthened.
You will get a good performance of your cardiovascular system.
It will be more obedient.
You will sleep better and healthier through the night.
You will get to know him better. (As long as you accompany him in the exercises.)
He will be more social with other dogs and people.
You will cease to attract attention, for example, by excessive barking or whining.
You will develop your cognitive skills.

How much should a dog walk a day?

Before delving into physical exercise, we must learn what the dog's walking needs are because both activities are closely related. How long should I walk my dog? I hasten to reassure you: the need to run all day does not arise in that he regularly receives proper nutrition at home. It is only necessary to provide the dog with motor activity, which is due to the instinct inherent in it, and the rest of the time, feeding and satisfying it, will sleep peacefully in the house.

The ideal is to take 3 to 4 walks a day, about 15 to 30 minutes each. It is important that the dog spends itself calmly during the walk, smells, and reacts if desired.

Guarding, hunting, and shepherds

Movement needs vary from breed to breed. The logic is simple: in being bred for hunting, guarding, tracking, herding, or other work, there is initially a great deal of endurance and the need for movement - without this, he simply will not be able to properly perform his duties.

How long do you need to walk with such a dog? At least 2-2.5 hours, divided into several exits to the street. Use the weekends to increase the time and distance of walking - this will give you the opportunity on weekdays, in case of time pressure, sometimes "not to walk". A fully satisfied instinct tends to "sleep" for a while.

Small and decorative breeds

With a small breed, you can walk for much less time - on average, from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours a day. How much - decide, focusing on the weather and the pet's wishes. However, not all small breeds are the same - this is worth remembering.

So, for example, the Maltese, Pekingese, Chinese Japanese Pomeranian Spitz, and other decorative dog breeds were originally bred for home maintenance and travel in the hands of the owners. But, for example, Dachshunds or Jack Russell Terriers that do not exceed their size are hunting with an appropriate level of activity, and therefore the need for movement.

Before buying a puppy, I advise you to carefully study, firstly, the history of the breed, and secondly, the kennel program. For example, there are breeders who for many years bred only “decorative versions” of the breed - the same dachshunds, Labradors, huskies, settlers, other leggy, and even gray hounds.

And some consciously try to preserve the working qualities of the breed. And they get very different! With well-developed taste, hunting instinct, and high activity.

How many times a day to walk the dog?

Having decided on the time to walk, you should determine the frequency. How many times a day should I walk an adult dog? In principle, you can be satisfied with two one-time "outings", between which no more than 12 hours should pass. Physiologists believe that such an interval between the departure of natural needs is the maximum law without harm to the health of the animal.
However, everything is individual: for some owners, it is more convenient to take the dog out briefly in the morning, and instruct a relative at home to do the same in the afternoon, so that in the evening they can have a quiet dinner, relax and go for a long walk with their beloved pet.

Physical activity needs vary greatly depending on an individual's age. Exercise in puppies should be especially moderate and limited to walking and games, as excessive activity at this stage can negatively affect their physical development. Very old dogs and those of dog breeds with cerebral palsy will follow the same guidelines, as they are a dangerous group as health problems due to intense physical exercise are frequent.

We can start playing sports with a dog from the age of 12 months, as it is considered to be fully developed, and always gradually, so as not to adversely affect its bones and joints, especially if we are talking about large or giant dogs.

Although some dog breeds are more active than others, we should focus not only on this aspect but on the specific needs of the individual. To better understand the needs of our dog, we advise you to follow these five steps:

We will start with short exercise sessions, so that the dog does not get tired, and learn to know its limits and its response to exercise.

We will do different activities to discover your preferences.
We'll combine exercise and mental stimulation to exhaust you both physically and mentally.
We will avoid those games that cause hyperactivity and anxiety.
We will leave at least one day of the week off.
Once you start practicing dog sports, we recommend that owners visit the vet every 6 months to make sure the dog is healthy and to avoid some health issues that may arise, such as wearing pads or joint problems.

How should an exercise session for dogs be?

Exercise sessions should always be conducted in an appropriate environment that promotes a state of well-being. Therefore, exercise should be avoided during hot daylight hours or on unsuitable surfaces, such as asphalt in the summer months, as it can cause injuries and burns to the dog's pads.

We will start with short sessions, about 10 minutes until our dog begins to get used to regular physical activity. We can gradually lengthen the time, always according to the dog's acceptance and tolerance of the exercise. We will take breaks from time to time so the dog can breathe calmly and relax for a few minutes. During these breaks, we will provide you with a shaded area. If we're on a track or circuit, we can get out, turn and go back.

To finish, we should point out that we should never exercise if our dog does not rest himself beforehand, in addition, once the session is over, we should allow him some rest time to relax before returning home.

Develop several methods and note how long each takes - this will help you a lot in planning your day. In the morning, you can limit yourself to a short route - for 15-20 minutes, in the evening use a long route - at least an hour, and just in case, consider a certain average option - 40 minutes.

Full walking includes the dog's freedom of movement without a leash, which should take up at least 60% of the allotted time. Otherwise, you simply will not be able to provide the dog with the necessary motor activity, that is, running.
The maximum speed that a proportional physique and a height of about 60 cm at the withers can develop is 45 km/h. Usually, a healthy youngster moves with a strong trot, that is, at a speed of about 12-15 km/h.

This is the optimal form of motor activity to maintain a good physical shape for the pet. Of course, using a leash, you will have to severely limit the movements of the dog, because you are not able to move so quickly. Therefore, the best way out is to release the dog into the wild. But you need to do this only when you are raising your pet responsibly.

You are the main person on the road

First of all, develop the tactics of walking with the dog. Often, when watching from the sidelines of some owners, you can think that it is not a person walking with ale, but an ale walking with him. How do you train your dog to walk where you planned, not in places that somehow attracted your dog?
With any attempt to change course, you must call it yours. Since your dog is running away from you, be sure to practice contacting at certain intervals. Roughly speaking, this will teach your pet to remember your presence and check if you're following along.

Make sure to reward your dog when you make these seemingly unreasonable calls. This will help reinforce this type of behavior, after which the dog will begin to move like a "shuttle": turn away and come back to you, turn away again, etc.

Instead of a treat, you can practice playing with your dog with a toy for you. Owners of puppies and small animals should never leave the house without them. After all, with the help of the game, you can distract the dog from the irrepressible knowledge of the world around you, which sometimes takes unsafe forms, as well as strengthen your relationship.

Types of exercises for dogs

In the end, we will mention some of the activities that we can do with a dog:
Jogging: Running at a steady pace is a good way to exercise with our dog. It can be interesting in adult dogs that have high levels of activity. It should later be combined with mental stimulation exercises.

This is a professional way to run with dogs and is generally practiced in mountain environments. There are regional, national, and international tournaments.

Bicycle: The benefits are similar to jogging, however, it is an activity that requires a prior start time in which basic commands to communicate with the dog are practiced and the ability to move around safely and comfortably for both of us. It is not recommended for dogs with behavioral problems such as fear or aggression.

Look for the ball or Frisbee: Before doing this type of exercise, we must teach our dog to find and bring the ball. It is a complete activity that allows a dog to actively exercise, however it can generate stress and anxiety if there are no breaks during the exercise.

Swimming: is an option that allows us to fully exercise our dog while providing a rich environment full of stimuli with which we interact.
Agility: Dog sport combines obedience and physical activity, so in this case, we will ensure a good dose of mental stimulation. It helps improve the relationship with the owner and is a great way to get active exercise.

Dog Training and Skills: Teaching dogs different tricks and commands helps us keep our minds active. In addition, it allows us to tire her out without exercising intensely. It is highly recommended that all dogs have weekly sessions.

Proprioception: It is usually practiced in specialized centers, such as dog training enclosures, and works with the help of various items, such as balls, collars, or other surfaces. Through positive reinforcement, the dog learns to avoid or interact with the elements, while gaining self-confidence, learning to practice balance, and exercising its senses. It is indicated for dogs that have fears, insecurities, and other behavioral problems.

Hiking: This is a good option for those dogs who are not enthusiastic about the above sports, as it is a freer and more relaxing activity. The dog will receive a lot of mental stimulation from the environment
Now you know how to assess your dog's needs, what to consider when starting a training session, and some ideas to inspire you. Do you do any sports with your dog? Do you want to leave us your thoughts, doubts, and suggestions? Then don't hesitate, write us a comment!

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