Exercise for Puppies and Dogs

We all know that it is great to get out and about with our dogs for nice long walks in the countryside. However, what some people especially those who are new to dog owning don’t realise is how much exercise is required.

Over exercising a puppy can be really damaging to their joints. Putting excess strain on them from a young age can cause long lasting damage.

Physical exercise should make up a very small proportion of your puppy’s day.

The general recommendation for exercise is 5 minutes per month of age twice a day for puppies.

You also need to take into consideration exercise at home in the garden or house. It’s essential to avoid jumping on and off furniture or jumping off steps. Try putting in ramps on steps and teach your puppy to walk up and down them so they aren’t launching themselves of steps and landing heavily on their paws. Don’t encourage jumping.

The best way to tire a puppy out is by making them use their brain, which is where your clicker training will come in. Lots of short frequent sessions teaching them various elements form their training course. Gradually adding in distractions to make the training harder. 

Let them do the problem solving. Allow them the opportunity to work things out. Look at free-shaping their behaviours more than luring into position.

Make them work for their food. Hide it in your garden ensuring there are no hazards for them to hurt themselves on. Use cardboard boxes, toilet roll tubes, scrunched up paper.

Snuffle mats, Kongs and treat balls are great accessories to your training kit. Your puppy will have to work out how to find the food.

With dogs over a year of age you can walk them for longer and they can start jumping. Large and giant breeds keep jumps low if they are doing agility.

Getting in and out of the car needs to be done carefully. For bigger puppies and large breed dogs you may want to consider using a ramp. Start off by introducing the ramp on a flat surface until your puppy or dog is confident with going on it. Ensure it is non-slip. Then raise one end of the ramp gradually on blocks, you must ensure that it is level and safe and strong enough to hold the weight of your puppy and dog. When they are confident with them going up at a slight incline gradually increase the incline until it is at the height of your car boot. Then start practicing with them walking up the ramp and getting into your car.