Exercise and play

Most dogs look forward to going out for walks on the lead or for a run in the local countryside or park. They need both free running and lead walking for their physical and mental well being.

How much exercise?
Your dog will need to be exercised, either on a lead or running free, every day, but the amount needed will depend on his size, conformation, breed and age.

Most dogs can take as much exercise as their owner can give, but if you live in a built up area then two good walks a day and run at the weekend are the minimum that should give your dog. You can also exercise your dog in the garden: just 30 minutes playing with a ball or Frisbee is good exercise for him.

Hounds, gun dogs, working and pastoral dogs:
These dogs generally require a great deal of exercise, and you must be prepared to walk them several miles a day. They designed to move over great distance, and thus a stroll round the block twice a day is unlikely to keep them in optimum condition. They are suited to country living where there is space for them to run. Gundogs will also enjoy swimming and it may be hard to keep them out of ponds and rivers. You must realize that dogs kept alone do not rivers. You must realize that dogs kept alone do not have the motivation for running about unless they hunt, and it is up to you provide the motivation.

Terriers, utility and toy dogs:
Dogs from the terrier group and also some the utility and toy groups are busy and energetic. They like exploring gardens, sniffing about in bushes and long grass, play-hunting. Looking for mice or rats and trying to catch birds. They also enjoy going for walks, seeing new things and smelling new scents.

A regular walk twice a day and a long run in your local fields or woods will be beneficial for both of you. These types of dogs are usually very playful right up into old age an hour spent with the children in the garden playing catch or hide and seek in addition to their routine walks occupies their mind and keeps them out of mischief, especially terrier breeds.

Toy breeds, such as Pekingese’s, Chihuahuas, pugs and Pomeranians, will need very little in the way of formal exercise just a short walk round the block on a lead or their normal activities plus some playing in the garden are usually sufficient. However, they love to go out on excursions with their owners, even if it means carrying them.