Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Exercise Ideas for Your Dog

Essential to your dog no matter what the age, is daily activity and exercise. Exercise your dog to help keep weight down, tone muscle, boost energy and ward off disease, not to mention how beneficial it is for your dogs heart and lungs.

A lack of exercise, lets our dog's bodies grow soft and weak and will result in boredom and behavioral problems. All dogs require exercise to lead balanced, healthy lives.

Keep in mind that no two dogs are the same and each has different exercise needs. The amount of exercise your dog gets will depend on his age, size and weight, with exercise regimens being tailored to meet dog's needs.

In general, most dogs should get 1-2 hours of exercise daily to help keep them healthy. Being that our lovable Labrador Retrievers are highly energetic dogs, constant stimulus through exercise is necessary to keep them lean and healthy. Fellow Labrador Retriever owners know that our Labs NEVER, EVER seem to get tired, so plenty of physical as well as mental exercise is a MUST!

I like to give my Labrador Retrievers as much exercise as they want without overdoing it (if that's possible with Labradors). Just make sure you watch them for any signs of exhaustion such as lameness, heavy panting and disorientation to name a few. Always be sure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times.

Fun Ways to Exercise Your Dog by Kelly Marshall

All dogs need exercise and while taking your dog for long walks is one way to give them much needed exercise there are other ways that are more fun that will allow you to bond with your dog while giving them the exercise they need.


Most dogs love playing fetch especially retrieving dogs such as Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers and many of your spaniel breeds. Easily trained to fetch sticks and balls and bring them back to you these dogs can play this game for hours on end if you are willing to play along. It is the perfect way to give your dog exercise while interacting with them.

Bird On A Wire

You don t really use a bird to play bird on a wire or a wire either for that matter. You simply tie a favorite dog toy onto a string and pull it along and the let your dog chase it. Stop immediately once he catches it as playing tug of war can damage a dogs teeth especially that of a puppy. Once the dog drops the toy you can drag it again and he will give chase. Small dogs especially find this game endlessly entertaining.


If you live in an area where you are allowed to take your dog swimming this is a great way for both you and your dog to get exercise together. Breeds such as Newfoundlands, Portuguese Water dogs, water spaniels, and Retrievers all love to swim and get wonderful exercise by joining you in the local lake for a dip whenever given the chance. You can even play some fetch games in the water after a swim giving your dog even a longer exercise period.

Teaching Your Dog Tricks

Another great way to exercise your dog both mentally and physically is teaching them a few active tricks such as jumping through hula hoops or over low hurdles. Small dogs like beagles and larger intelligent breeds such as collies really love learning these kinds of tricks but any dog can be taught them with a little patience.

Nature Hikes

Though you will need a leash for most dogs for this kind of activity nature hikes with your dog offers the same exercise as walking him on a lead with a little less boredom for you. Exploring wooded and other nature areas together can be fun for you both and introduces your dog to new scenery to keep him mentally alert as well as physically exercised. Taking him along when jogging will also provide additional exercise at a faster clip for him to enjoy.

Obedience Training

While one does not normally think of obedience training as exercise it does provide both mental and physical exercise for your dog. He exercisers many muscles as he learns to sit, heel, run, walk and lay at your command as well as finding learning the signals mentally challenging. In addition you can teach your dog other commands such as rolling over and even crawling.

Exercising your dog does not have to be boring. There are a lot of fun ways you can exercise your dog that you both will find satisfying.

Article by Kelly Marshall of, check out our selection of designer dog beds and cool dog clothes.

Here are a couple of videos that mention other methods of exercise with toys that you might not have known about.

The K9 Cruiser Bicycle Leash is a quick and easy way to exercise both you and your dog. "The K9 Cruiser is an excellent way to increase muscle conditioning, improve overall appearance, build endurance, improve gait, and reduce the chance of injuries."

The Egge Dog Toy is an unique "egg" shaped ball that wobbles this way and that. This super tough plastic dog toy with the unique shape prevents most dogs from clamping down on the toy, driving them crazy and providing hours of entertainment. Great for large dogs like our Labrador Retrievers! Another similar product is the Jolly Egg Dog Ball.

Boomer Ball - intended for soccer-style play, to encourage healthful exercise as an alternative to destructive chewing, pacing, and other undesirable behaviors plus animal enrichment.

Our favorite makers of dog toys and products. We mention Kong frequently here on All About Labradors. Here's a review for the Kong Wobbler that we had previously posted on this blog.

Grab your doggies and get out there. The exercise will do wonders for your four legged friend!

Be advised, no toy is indestructible. Supervision should be provided when your dog plays with any dog toy. If you find any broken or loose pieces on dog toys, you should discard the toy. You don't want to risk the problems associated with your dog swallowing parts of a toy!

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