How To Provide The Right Exercise For Your Dog

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How To Provide The Right Exercise For Your Dog

by Rosie Harvey

Exercise for your dog is an essential part of their every day life. If your dog doesn?t exercise how is it going to keep fit and healthy? Oh, and let?s blow this particular myth away, large dogs do not need more exercise than small dogs. What you should consider when determining how much exercise your dog actually needs is to consider what your dog was originally bred for. This will help to give you some kind of indication as to the type and amount of exercise your dog really needs. Let?s think about it for a minute. Would a dog breed that is built for sprinting get more benefit from a long walk on a lead or two walks off the lead that allow the dog to open its legs and run? Here are a few examples for you to consider:

? Greyhounds are sprinters ? long lead or short runs?
? Terriers are bred to sniff out vermin ? on lead or off lead?
? Retrievers are bred to retrieve ? on lead or exercise through fetch games?

How did you do? I hope you said off lead for all of them because they cannot function like their breeding tells them to unless they have the freedom to run, sniff or chase.

Remember, human walking speed is too slow for dogs, it?s not a natural pace to them. Your dog will benefit far more by being allowed to run free off the lead in a safe environment than they ever will from a long walk on a lead whether that?s on grass or on a pavement.

Even though being off the lead is better for your dog you must ensure your dog is trained enough so as to always come back to you when called. If your dog won?t come to you then always keep them on a lead for safety.

There are also certain breeds that need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. If you have an active dog you should consider mental activity like agility or obedience classes. This should help keep your dog stimulated and prevent it becoming overweight, disinterested or a problem dog.

All dogs exercise requirements will vary because of their breed and size. Also, your dogs exercise requirements will change due to age.

Let?s take a look at that particular aspect.

Whilst a puppy your dog needs controlled exercise which will keep them occupied and help build strong muscles. But, if you make them twist and turn suddenly through exercise that is too hard you will injure your puppy as their joints are still developing and their bones are soft. You particularly have to be mindful of this with large breeds.

Make sure you factor in plenty of sleeping time for your puppy between exercise periods.

As your dog gets older and moves towards becoming a healthy adult build up their exercise tolerance gradually, although you may find that they determine their own exercise needs part of the time.

As your dog progresses into old age they still enjoy their exercise even if they cannot manage as much as they used to. If you want to keep your dog as mobile and fit as possible in their later years give them gentle exercise through regular short walks.

Some of us have two dogs and usually one is a young dog that we got as company for our older dog and this can sometimes lead to pitfalls in our dog exercise routine. Although it is nice for our older dog to have company whilst having their exercise you have to ensure that the younger dog has had sufficient exercise and this may mean exercising the two dogs at different times.

By giving your dog the right exercise you are giving them every chance to lead a healthy and active life.

Rosie Harvey runs a site on dog training and dog care. This site provides tips, advice, reviews, products and information all about training and taking care of your dog.

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