Dog Exercise Basics For All Breeds

How long to exercise
If you don’t exercise your dog at all this is for you. Walking to the mailbox and taking them to the bathroom is not exercise. Putting them in the backyard isn’t exercise. Let me give you some examples of why this is the case.

Your dog is misbehaving and not listening. Your dog is running full laps in the house (small dogs). They are in the backyard and they’re digging. You open your dog and the dog burst through the door. Excessive dog barking in the morning and at night. Whining in the cage? Why is it that you can never get the dog to behave? Let’s look at why exercise is important

Why exercise is important

  1. Dog Training
  2. Behavior
  3. Mother Nature

Dog Training

When you’re training a dog there are many times when you need to get the dog tired. I go over a great example with the Top Ten Commands to Teach Your Dog.

Teaching the dog to lay can be easy when they’re tired. Teaching the no command and making sure they or lay after you tell them no is easier. Having the dog become trainable is the first thing to focus on.

However, you will find it difficult to train a dog bursting with energy. Next, we have dog behavior

Dog Behavior

For a brief summary whenever you need to bath the dog, leave them in the crate, put them in the backyard, car trip, or have company over you may want to exercise the dog.

Although TV shows are amazing you don’t need to be a Dog Whisperer in order to train a dog. You simply must set the yourself up for success. Most importantly you must make sure the dog is set up for success.

Certain aggressive behaviors, high energy dogs, excitement, nervousness, and others are all positively affected by exercise.

In addition, some people have a hard time having their dog eat. If your dog doesn’t eat you need to exercise them. Their appetite will explode, and they will drink way more water. We understand the training and behavior changes but we need to look at mother nature more closely.

Mother Nature

Often when looking at dog training we need to watch videos of dog interaction. I try to include a video or two each post of dogs proving my point.

This is something that is important when looking at training a dog. Now, if a dog never lived with humans would they sit in a cage all day long? No! Would they be in the backyard for years and never come out? No

These African wild dogs run and walk every single day.

It makes perfect sense to walk or run your dog and see them actually act the way they are supposed to act.

In addition, this video is from the same animals inside of a gigantic dog pack.

In both videos it is obvious if you didn’t own your dog, they most likely would do nothing but exercise. The reason why they exercise so much is because of survival.

Needing food and that’s the hunting aspect of it. Next, they need water. They will travel far for food and comeback to drink water at some point. 

Let’s take a look at what the science says!

Dog Science

Scientist discovered that wolves, dogs, and coyotes are related through DNA analysis. Wolves, dogs, and coyotes are closed related and they walk an average of 8 hours per day.

Once again, we removed the humans and looked at what would dogs do without the human presence. Results are staggering. Leave your gate open and most people will not know where their dog went. The dog traveled so far so fast because of their needs not being met.

I have a friend from the military who dog got out the yard. A male Rottweiler and female Pit-Bull. Dog pound didn’t find them, and the dogs didn’t come home for almost 2 weeks. Came back exhausted.

I have a Rottweiler and lived at a house with an open gate. When the gate flew open on windy days I would comeback and my Rottweiler would be inside the gate.

Difference is that I run and walk my dog every single day!

This is the dog’s nature

Mother nature is telling us something very important currently. You can’t find a single recording that documents a dog not walking or running. So why would we take their number one outlet away? We should give the dog what they would give themselves which is running, walking, playtime, food, and water.

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO EXERCISE A DOG YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE ONE!

Therefore, here are the tools you need to succeed. 

Tools

  1. Leash
  2. Collar
  3. Harness
  4. Bike
  5. Dog Treadmill
  6. The family
  7. Dog Walker
  8. Puppy playpen

Leash

I will post one picture here, but you get the picture. This is at a dog show and most of the dogs have a slip lead at the top of their neck. That is where you should always have the leash on your dog.

Dog show leash at the top of the neck

Take a look at their homepage. Most of the dog owners have the leash in the exact spot I’m referring to in this section.

My experience and knowledge of walking dogs can say without any doubt. It is the best control you will ever have. Choosing the Right Leash and Collar will go a very long way in maintaining control and stop dog pulling.

Collar

There are many collars. Choke chain, e-collar, regular collar, cute collars, etc. We don’t use any collars at all. The collars at first were earned after they learned how to walk on the leash. Long time ago!

No need for the collar because they’re pointless. No dog walks around with a collar in the wild. Honestly, I don’t even use a leash for a 120 lb. rottweiler but that’s for a different post.

Harness

You can get a dog harness but like the collars I don’t see a point. The dog will pull, and it is on the whole body. Leash at the top of the neck works because they have no leverage or strength there to pull and you become in control.

Silly harnesses defeat the purpose of teaching them how to walk and walking them without the anything. Does more harm than good for our goals on the dog walk but that’s our opinion.

Bike

I run dogs on a bike. As a kid I always rode my bike everywhere. As an adult I drive a car but when it comes to running my dog, I use a bike. I’m not a runner and will probably never be but the dog still needs exercise. I prefer a mountain bike, but any wheels will do! You can buy these new, but you can get a used one with no problem.

Dog Treadmill

I normally buy a treadmill for cheap. Around $50 to $100. Don’t care if it has a timer and a display or any of that. I get one that somebody is looking to get rid of because they were going to exercise, never did, and it’s taking up too much space. They normally last for years in my experience and when they break, I only paid a little bit of money. Look for craigslist or a garage sale. Anywhere they will sell a treadmill for cheap.

The Family

If you have a significant other, make sure they help with exercise. This can be extremely powerful.
Exercise your dog for an hour in the morning. After that your significant other can exercise them for an hour at night. Do you understand how much different the dog will be?

There can be somebody who likes to ride the bike so that’s their job. A kid can help as well. Two birds with one stone because now we will have a tired kid and tired dog. Perfect!

Next somebody needs to sign up for putting them on the treadmill. This can be the kid, you, or significant other.

Last, but not least, let’s get somebody assigned to walking the dog.

Family can be useful in getting the dog the proper amount with almost no effort on any individual. This is the best thing you can do if you have others willing to help.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have anybody to help you will be doing all of these activities in some combination. Pick two out of the three depending on if the dog needs a run. When he is not feeling the run walk him. Any time you need to get extra work on the dog add a treadmill right after.

Dog Walker

If you want a dog, you should be the one walking them. The family should pitch in but if we can’t get you or anyone in the house to do anything outside of feeding the dog, we will visit dog walkers.

Nothing against dog walkers they’re providing a fantastic service for people in need. You’re able body, it is very questionable to hire someone else to do YOUR job. Disability, senior citizen, or someone who is out of town 24/7 is acceptable.

Use the dog walker in the same way we described for the family. Get the dog out as many times using as many people as possible.

What to do

  1. Running
  2. Walk
  3. Treadmill

Running

I recommend running the dog over anything else. I prefer to run the dog more than anything else. The run always gets all the results I’m looking for. For instance, my dog is biting up something in the house or got into the trash.

After that, my first thought is how much have I been exercising my dog?

That day or the next day I get them outside and take care of the extra bad behavior with the run.

Walking the dog

I’m going to be human here and admit this is my least favorite thing to do. Nothing against walking and I don’t hate walking the dog, but I do prefer running over it. Nonetheless, I do it because I got a dog and that’s what you must do.

For instance, if you have a baby you probably don’t like changing diapers, but you always do!

I like to use to walk when the dog isn’t energetic. We may start a run and the dog isn’t feeling it.  Don’t push the dog ever. When they want to run, they get after it. Sometimes they don’t  and there is no need to push and push.

Going to the gym six days a week is fine but don’t push yourself if you don’t feel like working out. Go but I will leave early. Same thing in this situation.

Either jump off the bike and walk them pushing the bike or if you’re close enough drop the bike off and walk for an hour. Why not?

Dog Treadmill

Something to use but not abuse. Like we said about the dog walkers it is better than nothing. The way you want to think about a treadmill is that it’s an addition to your exercise program. You want to add onto what you are already doing but this isn’t the entire program. We clear?

Let’s say in the morning before work you wake up and run the dog for 30 minutes.

After that, you run them you put them on the treadmill until you are ready for work.

Before work your dog has exercised 1 hour and 30 minutes while you did 30 minutes of work.

That’s how you use the treadmill!

Dog Obedience Secret

When my dog is really acting bad or I get a new client’s dog that I’m training this is normally what I do to calm them down right away.

Hour run first

Hour walk second

Hour treadmill third

I have used this for so many years and it absolutely works. When my dog really gets me upset with something, they have done the next day looks like this. The whole weekend can look like this.

Whatever I need to do to get compliance I will do.

There is no reason to sugar coat this one. When the dog is acting up, they are telling me they want exercise. When they are really behaving bad, they’re telling me they need a lot of exercise. So, I give them a lot of what they need.

How Much to Exercise My Dog?

I’m happy you asked!

  1. Daily
  2. When you don’t feel like it

Every single day you need to exercise your dog without fail. That sounds fantastic in a perfect world, right? That isn’t always the case so let me talk reality here.

  • You need to exercise your dog as much as possible.
  • Twice a day will be the best. Once in the morning and the other at night.
  • Once a day is fine for minimum results.

Let’s not go crazy here right! If you exercise your dog once and they are well behaved that’s great. That’s all you should do and enjoy the great dog you have at home. Lower energy dogs or senior dogs will need a walk or two.

Twice a day is when the one walk or run doesn’t stop the bad behavior. You must be honest here. Your dog isn’t listening to anything, strung out with high energy, and causing you many issues give them a night session. Doesn’t have to be long but you must put at least 30 to 45 minutes in and over time watch the magic.

Different age groups

4 months – 3 years old exercise twice a day

3 years old – 5 years old once but twice if needed

5 years – beyond once a day should be enough

High Energy Dogs

A high energy, high exercise person should be matched with this dog.

Get them out twice a day for a very long time up to 5 years

Give them jobs to do

Try to work them out in every way

Final Answer

Ultimately these are experienced based answers, but they don’t mean anything to your dog. Your dog can be outside of this category. Whenever in doubt just look at your dog.

Are they behaving?

Are they tired and out of energy?

Are they sleep all day?

Are they eating just fine?

In addition is there no whining, barking, scratching, digging, jumping, and listening to corrections?

If your answer is yes to all these questions you are exercising enough if the answer is no don’t be ashamed. Take the leash out and start fixing it today. Use of three-headed monster of hour run, hour walk, and hour treadmill. Start exercising once in the day and once at night time.

Conclusion

Come back to these questions and you’ll realize the answer is now yes to every single question. Use your dude as the best indicator of how much to exercise

Comment below and tell us before you read this post how much were you exercising every day, week and month?

Additional Resources