When we lived in a condo I had a puppy play group that I put together with neighbors, and we would go to a fenced in baseball field to let the dogs play everyday, usually after work, also at that time, we went hiking/camping almost every weekend, I also walked my dogs 8 miles a day, I worked a split shift. Now that we have a house with a fenced in acre, and live in the country where there are no side walks, I go out for a half hour 3 times a day to play chuck-it with the dogs, we also take them for run with the mountain bikes anywhere from 5- 8 miles about 4 times a week, we have springer bike attachments, we also run them on the wheeled rig, and a sled. In the warmer month's we go hiking alot, and then take them swimming.
***Edited By: Hailey on 12/30/2006 7:56:45 PM*** Reason: **
Dogs that are mild tempered, and calm that arent that great with running... Im sure then they'd perfer nice long walks.
On the other hand dogs that are wirey and got the long legs buily for running and are just energetic ball of energy then they would probably be best suited running freely to get their own excersize in a yard.
But equally sometimes both is nice. Walking the dog shows obidence and keeps control of your dog around other people and other animals. And they get to get out a see the world. Then when you let them freely run in a yard it just gives them the opertunity(sp?) to be themselves and stretch their muscels. Maybe catch a few fly balls.
Hope this helps (:
Also I let my dogs freely roam the acre in my backyard. Then about everyday they get to go to a state park and hunt,play,fetch,run,swim.. what ever they put their hearts to.
***Edited By: Ookadahusky on 12/30/2006 7:56:26 PM*** Reason: Add in
I exercise my dogs alot less then I should, they only get one or two walks, and 3 times out in the yard through out the day.I think a variety of activities are the way to go. You figure that the trip to the park it self is equivalent to you playing on the internet. Sniffing around the park think of all the info they pick up about other dogs.But back yard only dogs is kind of sad, they really need that mental stimulation to explore.
Cesar Millan (a.k.a. "The Dog Whisperer" who has a show on National Geographic) says that playing never replaces the dog's need for good walks because it is the walk that establishes the owner as the pack leader, which in turn, is what gives you the role you and the dog need to have a healthy relationship. Dogs need the pack experience and they don't get that from just playing. My husband bought me Cesar's book for Christmas and I highly recommend it. Some of it I already knew from my childhood around dogs, but even what I already knew I didn't have a clue as to why and Cesar explains the WHY. Also - Cesar says the play sessions, such as dog park or fetch, are what you can do after the dog has his walks. I find this guy's show and his book fascinating.
my little chihuahua doesn't need to take a walk because she plays with me and my mom. but I still take her for a walk because I like to have a strong healthy dog. and plus it gives me some excersize also.
We have an acre fenced that my dogs run and play in and then a couple times a week we go to the dog park. I rotate everyday on who walks down the road to the mailbox with me everyday, but it's more for leash training than exercise.
My puppy is will be six months next week. We usually go on a walk in the morning and one in the evening, 20 mins each. And I let him out in the yard as much as he wants. If he's interested I will play fetch with him. Sometimes he'll play for 15 mins and sometimes he'll just stop coming back after a few throws and go off to chew a stick or something.
I'm never sure if this is enough. He seems happy and always sleeps through the night in his crate. He doesn't seem anxious but he is always energetic enough to keep me guessing. He's always on the move, but once I put him in his crate he'll take a nap and when its bedtime he's snoring in 10 mins. But out of the crate he's always on the move, plays with his toys, checks on me, plays with his toys, goes outside, plays with his toys, drink some water, etc., etc., etc.
Both are good however if Ihad to pick one or the other I'd pick the walk with YOU the owner. This is most important to me because of many reasons. First the walk establishes you as the pack leader. It gets the dog in new surrounds in the park or whereever you walk. It allows you quality time with your dog. It provides your dog much needed socialization around other animals and people. It is so important for the dog to know their own neighborhood. If we keep our dogs just in their back yard some dogs develop agression issues trying to "protect" their area because this is all they know. I feel the walk helps so much with love, socialization, so much for the discipline and attention your dog needs. Just my opinion. Think about it--which would you prefer--running around the same old yard every day or a new different walk with someone you love, adore and want to please more than anything in the world? I know which one I'd pick!!!
Pinky--your little Chiucha DOES need walks!!! These cute little dogs can become nighmares if they feel they are dominant over you! Your little pup needs socialization around the neighborhood just as a big does does. Don't let the size fool you!
I agree that the walk is essential. I guess what I'm asking is how much is enough? We walk a total of 40 mins a day. To me that doesn't seem excessive or even "alot". But my pup seems to be fine. He's not exhibiting anxiety or tearing the place apart. But he also gets a decent amount of time out of the crate and spends alot of that time in our yard doing his own thing.
Is it the walk or the free exercise that drains his energy? Or both? I'll give you an example. A friend has a 3 yr old Weimeraner. He was telling me that his Weim needs ALOT of exercise or he is crazy all day. When I asked him how much exercise he told me one 40 minute walk a day, when he was a puppy it was two. But I've talked to others that walk and play with their dogs 4 or 5 hours a day.
I want to make sure I'm not creating the kind of dog you see on The Dog Whisperer.
I think every dog is different. If your dog is acting in a way that is acceptable to you (seems happy, not getting into trouble, healthy weight), then his 40 minute walk is plenty. My two get one walk a day, the length varies. If they go with my husband, they run a couple of miles, with me an hour long walk, with my kids...well, depends on how cold it is outside :) I can say that they definitely need a daily walk. If they don't get it, they're antsy and don't settle down in the evening. If they get even a short walk, as soon as I am still, they are still. I can't even fathom having enough time in a day to play with my dogs for 4 or 5 hours. Must be nice :0)
You have to consider that a good 1/2 hour of playing fetch (or even just chasing, if he doesn't fetch yet) is a lot more stimulating, both physically and mentally, then a 2 hour walk. Let's face it-a walk at a leisurely pace for a person is really not a whole lot of exercise for a dog. We always walk Maggie at least once a day-more often on weekends and when time allows (ie-when daylight hours are longer!!!) But if we are short on time, I go for playing in the backyard-it tires her out more.
But as someone else mentioned-if you have a lab, be careful of those joints while he is a pup. Labs are predisposed to dysplasia because of many, many years of popularity and poor breeding.
A true hyper dog is a product of a lack of activity during puppyhood. Meaning that the puppy started out its life in an environment that was almost nil of activities and mental stimulation. What happens is the puppy goes day to day being over excited about everything because he never does anything, he then becomes over a period of time conditioned to being hyper/excited. Some of these dogs literally run like crazy, bang into walls and some even develope strange behavioral patterns like spinning. If you think about the development period of 3 to 16 weeks being the prime time for learning, and at this time they are restricted in activities (yikes I say) Even a hyper dog can be exercised as an adult to control the hyperness, but its always there even just a little. Along with outdoor activities, a dog that learns to play fetch and retrieve, learns to work with a person, and also gets that exersize, 30 minutes of fetch and retreive is equivalent to an hour walk of exersize.Its a good game to teach, they say that dogs that do fetch and retreive are less likey to jump up on people.
dogs are very poor at entertaining themselves. so if putting them in the yard so they can exercise, unless you are out there with them forcing them to run, likely that is not going to do any good. most likely the dog will sniff around a bit and then lay down. so you need to be out there with them, playing.
and all dogs are different. our dog thunder, you could walk him 3 hours a day and he is just as revved up when he comes home as he was before he left. with him and scout i find mental exercises wear them out much better than physical exercise. none of my dogs are fetchers, so unless i feel like throwing the ball and retreiving it myself, its pointless to try with them. but doing obedience with them, getting them to use their brains, works alot better. when scout comes home from her obedience lessons, she is wiped for the night.