Exercising Your Dog

It's easy to get frustrated with the so called "chore" of walking your dog (especially if it’s pouring with rain or boiling hot outside), but if you keep a dog, regular walkies is all part of the deal. It will also help keep you fit.


Breeds German Shepherd Alsatian wearing muzzle
A German Shepherd wearing a muzzle while out on a walk

If the weather is completely inhospitable, you can exercise your dog inside by making him work for his treats and using pathways through your house as makeshift obstacle courses.

How Much Exercise Does A Dog Need?

It’s easy to see that the athletic and muscular Rhodesian Ridgeback will need more exercise than the stocky English Bulldog, but for many other breeds it can be less obvious. How much exercise or how far your dog should be walked depends on its size, age and breed.


Dog playing pulling rope tug of war
Exercise isn't just about walking and running - there are lots of games you can play too, including tug-of-war

It is important to understand that taking your dog on a big, long walk at the weekend will not make up for any exercise that he isn’t getting during the week. Giving your dog regular exercise every day is the perfect way to keep both you and him in shape.

To understand how much exercise your dog needs, take him on a walk and see if he is worn out by the end of it. If he has had enough exercise he is likely to rest or sleep. If he is still full a livewire, or if seems to be getting a bit overweight, you will need to lengthen your walks, or provide him with more strenuous activities along the way. Some great ways to give your dog more exercise on a walk include swimming (if the breed is able to do so) and a game of fetch or frisbee.


Two English Bulldogs playing outside
Two English Bulldogs playing outside

Make it interesting by bringing a ball to play with and get the whole family involved. This will provide your dog with a great deal more exercise and will offer a great opportunity to bond and get stuck into more training.

Enough exercise will help to calm your dog down, and will prevent him from developing destructive behavior. If you don’t give your dog the opportunity to use his energy, he’ll find other ways to use it. Many dogs burn off excess energy and frustration by chewing, digging, raiding cupboards, and digging through the garbage, along with attention-seeking habits such as barking, whining and play biting.


Dog playing with boy frisbee in the park
Playing frisbee in the park is great exercise for everyone

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