Dogs need more exercise

If you have to ask whether or not your dog is getting enough exercise, the answer is no, he is not.

Most of us realize and admit our dogs don’t get enough exercise, not even close. We accept that and live with the consequences. That is, we live with hyper, anxious, bored, loud, whining, obnoxious, territorial and unruly dogs. We’re OK with that, we settle for it.

Plus, if we aren’t getting enough exercise ourselves, how can we possibly make sure our dogs get enough exercise?

One of the easiest and most obvious things to do is get out there and walk more.

How far should I walk my dog?

Just as an example of how much exercise the average dog can handle, my 65-pound black lab mix has no problem running 20 miles while wearing a dog backpack.

I am of course tired after running even 10 miles with no pack while Ace comes home eager to play a game of fetch. Obviously it wouldn’t be healthy for the average pet to run that far every day, but once or twice a week would be no problem for some breeds.

Ace is the most content whenever I’m training for a marathon because he goes along on all my long runs. I brought him to a weekly training group and I’d get comments like, “Can he really run this far?” My response would be, “If I can do it, he can.”

Josh and I take our dog on backpacking trips, and Ace easily covers the 10 miles or so each day while carrying his own gear.

Josh and I are usually about to fall over. But most dogs can easily run as far as any person. So if you are thinking a 6- or 8-mile walk or run is too far for your dog, think again. You might get tired, but he probably won’t.

Obviously the length of walk a dog needs depends on each individual dog, taking into consideration his breed, age and health. We’ve all heard the phrase “a tired dog is a good dog,” but most of the time our dogs are not tired after a walk because they haven’t been walked far enough.

Black lab mix Ace standing in the snow in the woods

In general, dogs need a 30-minute walk every day just to get by.

But 30 minutes is nowhere near long enough. A 60-minute run every day would be ideal for most dogs. Keep in mind if you go running with your dog for an hour, he is only trotting at your side while you huff and puff.

I can cover about 6 miles an hour when I run with Ace. That’s why in the summer I like to bike with my dog so he can move at the speed he wants – fast!

And this mutt is no border collie, springer spaniel or Jack Russell terrier. Some breeds have way more energy and endurance than others. I consider Ace pretty mellow as far as labs go. If you bike with your dog, you might be interested in a bike leash for dogs.

Exercise does more than anything to improve a dog’s behavior. When he’s had enough exercise, Ace is content to lie around the house and chill out.

If my dog has a job to do (a structured walk), then he doesn’t feel the need to find other jobs such as guarding me, following me around, “supervising” the cats or barking at every sound that resembles a knock.

The best training tool is not showing leadership, enforcing rules, teaching commands or enrolling in an obedience class. The best training tool is to provide a dog with enough exercise.

Create mental challenges for your dog.

My black lab mix Ace needs about a half-hour walk every day

The walk itself is challenging for your dog if it is structured. Many people like to use the walk as a time to practice formal obedience like training your dog to heel and practicing random sits, stays, switching directions, etc. That is a great way to make your dog think.

Mental challenges for Ace include wearing his dog backpack or carrying something in his mouth. He likes to pick up random pieces of garbage – beer boxes, Mountain Dew bottles – and bring them to a garbage can.

If he is off leash, I make him heel before he’s “free.” Then I make sure to call him back to me randomly so he keeps checking in and watching where I am.

What do you do to challenge your dog?

Plan walks with your dog into your schedule.

My schedule with Ace varies from week to week, but I try to run or walk my dog for 20 minutes every day in the winter. That way he at least realizes how cold it is and won’t mind when we go inside. Dogs don’t understand time, so I doubt Ace knows the difference between a 20-minute walk and a 60-minute walk. Unfortunately, I see a big difference.

That’s why at least once a week I take Ace out for an hour or more in a quiet park where I either run with him or let him run and explore off leash while I walk. In the photo, Ace and I are at Gooseberry Park in Moorhead, Minn. Besides our walks, Ace gets an hour of agility a week and at least an hour of obedience training.

Is this enough exercise for my dog? No, but we manage. Between my Solana Beach pet sitting and dog-running business, I don’t always have enough time to walk my own dog.

Ideally, I would like to exercise my dog for an hour every day. In reality, that doesn’t happen.

Obviously in North Dakota when it’s -20 for days at a time, it’s not always possible to be outside as much as we’d like. It’s also easy to use the cold – or the heat – as an excuse not to walk when really it’s life, not the weather, that’s in the way.

How do you provide exercise for your dogs? When was the last time you and your dog walked for more than an hour?

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87 thoughts on “Dogs need more exercise”

  1. I’ve been taking Jake to trick class, after his class yesterday he was OUT! I try to keep him mentally stimulated and that seems to wear on him pretty well.
    Walter on the other hand, is really good at entertaining himself. He requires a lot less physical exercise and mental stimuli for him to be happy.

  2. Oh I feel like a real lazy dog mom now! We go out to go potty and run back in because we are cold and low to the ground here at my house. I know that is not like a 6 mile run at all! And yes my dogs are cranky and fighting and obviously not getting enough exercise, etc. Come on springtime! When we do hike during the spring, summer and fall out here it is in the Delaware Water Gap in the Pocono Mountains. We have 4 dachshunds and a cocker spaniel that drag us up and down the mountains and cry when I have to stop to breathe and shake the burn out of my rickety legs! I wish I was a runner! My boys would LOVE it.

  3. My husband thinks I’m crazy but during the week Biggie either goes to day care for the day (where he plays ALL day and comes home exhausted) 1-2x a week, or we go for a 2 mile walk to the dog run. At the run, he plays for 30-45 minutes. I do this pretty much every morning unless it’s pouring out, and we’ve been doing it in the below-zero temps as well. Thankfully we haven’t had an weekday blizzards and the “below-zero” temps are not too far below zero…
    I think the dog-run-days are just enough to keep him calm and well-behaved; in the evenings he only gets 2 relief walks. I am lucky enough to have a flexible enough job where I can usually go in on the later side, so I get up early and spend quality time with him in the AM, while hubby does the relief walks in the evening.

    On our morning walks I do try to work on good heeling and sitting at the corners and the like, it keeps him mentally stimulated and when we are in sync it really feels like we are dancing. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times when I ask myself who took my wonder dog and substituted this stubborn, deaf, obnoxious puller instead.

  4. Gus gets 2-3 hours hikes several times a week and walks a minimum of 1.5 hours every day. Fortunately, our weather cooperates most of the time so we are able to get out and get him out!

  5. Lindsay Stordahl

    Haha, nice work Biggie’s mom. You are really dedicated to him. You do much better than me!

    I’m sure your dogs love it when they do get out for those hikes, Lori. I can just imagine you and all those dachshunds and your spaniel. I bet the dachshunds have tons of energy!

    Vee, that trick class sounds cool. We don’t have a class like that here. What a great idea.

  6. Wow! As a non-dog parent, this is a really good thing for me to think about. I’ve never had a dog as an adult. (we had a miniature poodle when I was a kid) Before we ever get a dog, we would seriously need to consider the time and energy we would need to put into exercise for the dog! It wouldn’t be fair to the dog if we weren’t willing to do that for him/her!!

  7. Very nice post, and I like how you included that it’s not just the distance that you walk, hike, run or bike, but that it is also important to mentally challenge the dogs too. I know my guys come home from training classes where we did much less physical activity in proportion to the mental exercise that they got, and they are still exhausted. Both are necessary in my opinion.

  8. It is a daily challenge to keep Jack occupied and calm. I have never seen a dog with so much busy energy! I try and walk him at least an hour every day, and do obedience training on walks and throughout the evening, but that can get a little boring during the winter when we can’t be outside for long. Your post is correct – it is life that interferes with the quality time spent with our canine friends. And, to be completely honest, sometimes it is hard to do what you know THEY need, and ignore what you want to do!

  9. Lindsay Stordahl

    I know, I totally agree, Jen. Good for you for getting out for an hour every day. That is way more than most people.

  10. Pickles and I take a structured walk every morning – usually 40-45 mins and it is not near enough. She is still rarin’ to go after these walks, but they certainly are better than nothing. We also play random mental games off & on, such as “find it”, the famous “guess which hand”, and normally have some run around time out in our field. All this helps, but she could handle a lot more.

  11. Lindsay Stordahl

    Morning is the best time to fit a walk in for me too, right away. Otherwise I get too distracted and put it off.

  12. It is so true – we can tell if our dogs don’t get their exercise for more than a day or two – it can get crazy with two 5.5 month GSDs! Thanks for stopping by our site! We will keep up with your postings. 🙂

  13. For Tammy the non dog owner!

    There are some dogs that you are not supposed to exercise much. One breed from what I understand is the great dane. Maybe lazy as I am, I should trade in my crazy weinerdogs for some danes?!

  14. I have a friend who has a boxer, a cocker, 2 rotties and a doberman. Her dogs all take turns walking on a treadmill. The rotties pull sleds around with heavy bags of rock salt on them for “work”. Her dogs even let her cut their nails! Heh! I am impressed!

  15. I have been extremely lucky. We just adopted a friend (Ruby)for our Bruno. Both of our dogs are great in that we can let them outside to run and play on our 5 acres and really not have to watch them. Although I still do watch. Because the amount of enjoyment that I get out of it is probably almost as much as they do. I watched them for about 45 minutes this morning. Chase, tackle, chase again etc. Then it was 15 minutes of digging in the snow. Then they came to the door and wanted in. Soon they were both sleeping on the couch together. Although Bruno is ready to go again in a flash. He doesn’t think he needs sleep unless there is absolutely nothing else to do.

  16. Great advice. People wonder why their Dogs are playing up and when you ask about exercise they think a quick walk is sufficient.

    Sounds like ace gets some fantastic exercise, you both sound an awful lot fitter than me. Just thinking of running for 10 miles brings me out in a sweat.

    Just to let you know, I have added you to my just updated blogroll.

    All the best.

  17. Another important post!

    We walk our golden retriever for at least an hour a day, unless it’s too cold, then we do about 30 minutes.

    We walk him in the evening, between 5-7pm. I really want to make a habit of walking him in the mornings as well, so he doesn’t nap most of the day. A 20-minute walk every morning would complement greatly with his longer evening walk.

    Plus my golden has gained weight lately, ever since he was operated two months ago. We change dhis kibble to ‘light’, but he has still gained weight, so I think I really should start walking him twice a day… it would be good for me too!

  18. Lindsay Stordahl

    Hey Lori,

    Great danes are not “lazy.” Sure, they might require less exercise than a German shepherd, but they require a long walk every day because of their size. After that, they are content to relax once they are 2 or 3 years old. A great dane pup is nowhere near low maintenance and they stay pups for a good two years. They are wonderful, gentle dogs but they need exercise like any other dog.

  19. Lindsay Stordahl

    By the way, a treadmill is a great way to get a dog extra exercise. I don’t have one, but I’ve thought about it.

    Christina, I can only imagine what it’s like to live with two German shepherd pups! Ha!

    Shane, your dogs are lucky to have such a big yard and each other to chase around. I’m sure they still like to go for walks whenever you are willing, though.

    Thanks for adding me to your blogroll, Three Dog.

    Mayra, I need to get into the habit of two walks a day as well. You are lucky your husband is willing to walk the dog.

  20. I love Great Danes actually! I have heard that they do require less exercise than other dogs, but I’m guessing as pups Lindsay’s right! 🙂 We’ll just have to do our research before we would decide to get any dog, and be sure that WE (the humans) are up for the exercise too!!

  21. Oh yeah our dogs get to go just about everywhere with us except work. We have just started working with them on a leash. Due to the fact that they are new members of the family they have gotten a bit spoiled. So it is time to start the learning process.

  22. We take our dogs out daily for a walk in the African bush. If we’re out for at least 30 minutes, we’re all good, but as it’s the bush, there’s so much to explore. Our Rhodesian Ridgeback adores when we take her to the huge rock formations and she gets to jump from one cliff to another, and it seems to tire her mentally too. She also adores going with us on trail rides, but since she is just a pup, we try to take things easy until she’s about a year old, so as not to provoke any hip problems. Our older dog is an Azawakh cross whom we adopted at the age of seven. A 10 min run next to my horse is amply sufficient to wear him out physically, although I am sure he could be trained for more.
    Nice site by the way, will try to check in from time to time. Greetings from West Africa!

  23. Lindsay Stordahl

    Hi Esther! Thanks for visiting my site. I love Rhodesian ridgebacks. They aren’t very common around here and most people don’t know what they are. They are very pretty dogs.

  24. Oh man…we are HORRIBLE with our dogs. We try to compensate by taking the two younger dogs to daycare at least once a week. And Trooper gets agility training twice a week. I’ve started taking Timber with us to agility so that he can play in the field when we are done. But we really need to buckle down and work harder with Timber on a leash. He can be VERY destructive when he’s bored.

  25. He he, I have to disagree, my dogs get a ton of exercise! With agility, flyball, obedience, and going to the park, I need to take a rest just thinking about it all. 🙂

  26. A little bit of exercise goes a long way. It not only improves a dog’s physical health; exercise is also therapeutic. When a dog exercises, endorphins are released in the brain which, in turn, allow him to feel more relaxed and calm. So the next time your dog is feeling anxious, take him for a long walk or run.

  27. I run my year and half german shorthair pointer 6.2 miles a day. I am in training for my third marathon and we run at a easy 11 minute pace. She loves it and wants more but I am afraid to go too far with her. We are going to do our first 10k together in April.

  28. Lindsay Stordahl

    Hey Ruth, that’s awesome that you are training for another marathon. I can’t imagine running without my dog. He goes on every single run with me. We also run at an easy pace. I do not claim to be fast! We usually do about 10-11 minute miles. Good luck on your 10K. And I’m guessing your dog can run further than 6 miles. Just don’t do too much too fast with her. She’ll let you know if she’s had enough.

  29. my dog rudy will exercise evey day he will run in the woods for a hour and then plays catch for a hour then swims in our pund but her stell mess up the hours

  30. Lindsay Stordahl

    In addition to a lot of exercise, dogs also need mental activities and rules, so make sure you are offering your dog enough training and structure.

  31. Paul Markowski

    Thanks for this report- I was worried I was walking my Addy too much. I have three courses I use: 2 mile city street w/sidewalk, 3 mile some city streets/sidewalks- mostly wooded paths, and 5.5 miles- mostly sidewalk. The 5.5 usually takes 2 hours, but that is because Addy slows to a crawl at times- mostly up hill without a breeze. If in a rush, I do the 3 mile if it hasn’t rained in a day- which takes an hour, and worst case scenerio, the 2-mile, 30-45 min. I recently realized that when my legs and back start aching- I have to check my shoes- over mileage. Therfore, been keeping a log which really helps push yourself to do the 5.5 instead of the “weeney walks”.

  32. Lindsay Stordahl

    It sounds like you are doing a great job exercising Addy. She is a lucky dog! I’ve heard that it’s best to get a new pair of shoes every 500 miles or so. I stretch mine out to about 1,000 miles but at that point I can really tell. I haven’t been as good exercising my dog lately as I was when I wrote this post. You’ve motivated me to make sure to get him out a little more!

  33. Hildy Johnson

    I have been trying to lose weight and my dog loves it. We run three miles every morning at sunrise, walk two miles in the middle of the day, and another two miles before dinner. I am working my way up to four miles for our morning run. Dog provides the best motivation possible, because he gets very sulky if we don’t go out for our run. Better than having a personal trainer.

  34. I just walked my new 1yr old Black Retriever about 5 miles (2 hours) and I’m exhausted but he’s still bounding!! I have to give him at least that everyday if not more (and at least 2 or 3 separate walks) otherwise he’s just insanely hyperactive!

  35. Lindsay Stordahl

    I take dogs running for about 5 miles and some of them are not tired at all when we get back. So I hear ya! Your dog is lucky to have someone who is dedicated to providing that much exercise. Imagine how crazy he’d be if you didn’t walk him that much!

  36. I have a German Shepard/Husky mix and we walk in the mornings before feeding. I have 2 different routes timed for at least an hour. 3rd route is the beach which I try to take her once a week. We live in Southern California so there is no excuse not to go outside. Every now and then she would stop the walk at exactly 45 mins. and would start to head home (neighborhood routes). I find this strange as if she could tell time. She’s not spooked by anything or having health problems (I feed her good dog food and supplements). She does get excited really quick when see other dogs (even the ones she sees everyday) and then the heavy panting begins. I know she still has lots of energy left as when we come home she still plays. Could she just be lazy? Any feedbacks would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Do you think she’s fearful of something? I’ve known an few dogs that will want to turn back, and it’s usually because they are genuinely tired or they are afraid of something (could be another dog, could be a loud noise, etc.). Is she excited to head out the door at the beginning of the walk? How about trying a totally new route just to see if she still wants to turn back at about 45 minutes. Maybe there is something along one of your routes that makes her uneasy right at that mark. But if she wants to turn back after 45 mins no matter where you are, then maybe she really is just tired.

      1. If anything, she strikes fear in other dogs and people with her size, energy, and those big blue eyes. She also has a habit of biting down hard when she gets excited which scares a lot of dogs and people. She has a lot of energy when heading back home by pulling me after approximately 45 mins. of walk. I have thought of everything from: “too much CO from cars”, “too late in the morning due to summer heat”, to “she’s simply just lazy”. She is suppose to be 5-6 years old. I can’t be sure her exact age as she’s a rescue dog. What’s really interesting is her timing. I figure 45 mins is enough as we not only walk, we are also pulling each other. Thanks for the reply.

  37. Hi,
    thanks for the post!

    We’re fostering a ca. 7-year old shepherd mix. She has arthritis and her vet said no more than four 15-min. walks a day. I planned out four short routes for her. I wish I could take her hiking though…

    Thanks again!

  38. My golden is 8, and will run along side my bike for a mile, go on two
    40 minute walks a day, after which she pants for 40 minutes once inside the
    I know when she’s done outside, because she will head for home.
    She goes to the dog park for an hour and swims in our pond for a half hour.
    (not all on the same day)
    She lets us know when she needs to go out.
    We’ve never “trained” her, but we walk her without a leash, and she never strays too far from me.
    And, like others, I am so paranoid that I am not feeding her “right”, or giving her what she wants or needs.
    How does one not worry all the time about one’s dog?
    I admire you for your health conscious ways, but I could no more do a ten mile run than not eat potato chips.
    Bravo for you. Boo for me.

  39. And when your dog is lying down, is he or she thinking: “gee, I wish I could go outside?”
    Is a sigh, a sigh of boredom, or a sigh of comfort?

  40. I am struggling to find ways of exercises my rescue pittie. She is 3 years old and is afraid of going on walks. She is constantly ‘on alert’ for a scary sound or situation. Her fear is starting to turn to aggression. I am trying the tugging and pushing that is recommended in Natural Dog Training but just inside because she is too stressed out in the yard to totally focus on it. Any ideas anyone?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      You should still try to take her on walks. Start with short walks and try to go at quieter times. I do love the natural dog training techniques, too.

  41. I am adopting a yorkie mix puppy from a rescue. Presently she weighs around 1 lb. and will be coming to live with us in 2 weeks after receiveing all her shots. I’m guessing by her present weight that she will only be around 4 lbs. as an adult. At any rate, should I be walking her when I first get her? Wait until she’s a bit larger? TIA

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Definitely start walking her. She will let you know when she is tired. She may not be able to go too far yet. Start with 10 mins and see how it goes.

  42. I walk my dog from work and back, about 25 miles a day.
    Then at night we go jogging for another 30 miles.
    And she still has energy when we get home, so
    I play tug of war with her until she falls asleep.

      1. So is 8 miles a day. Who are you kidding? Most people don’t have that much time or energy.
        If that was the case, who would get a dog?
        You are like the guy who says if you only do 50 pushups a day, you might as well not exercise at all.
        All you are doing is making people feel guilty.
        I walk my dog at least an hour a day, and she is a happy, healthy dog. The vet says we are doing everything right.
        Glad you have the land, time, and physical capability to walk your dog 15 miles while pulling 100 pounds
        of salt on a sled. Bully for you. It seems like your blog is simply to let people know what a terrific dog owner you are.
        You discourage people from rescuing dogs because they won’t be able to live up to your superdogownerpowers.
        Thanks for letting me vent. I’m having a bad week.

        1. lmfao! I was thinking the same thing reading this website LOL. I own a rottweiler and we walk about 2 – 4 hours a day while stopping to play ball etc and we go jogging in place of these walks but for a shorter time.

          The writer of this post is stupid though, look how greata dog owner I am LOOL

          1. I didn’t take it that way at all. I think most people do not realize how much exercise a dog needs, nor how much they would enjoy. Dogs in the wild spend the majority of their time walking, trotting and jogging-and they like it. Of course you need to pay attention to your particular pet, and notice when they are tired or sore-but the truth is that the average dog owner has much more likelihood of underexercising than overexercising their dog-because we really don’t have enough time to exercise them as much as they’d like. Should this keep someone from getting a dog if they can’t be a perfect pet owner? No, of course not. If you have no ability to give a pet even anywhere close to enough exercise, then maybe you should rethink it. If you have an efficiency apartment and work 90 hours a week away from home, I’m thinking a large and very energetic dog is not a good idea. But one has to be logical. I don’t think the author was saying “If you can’t be 100% ideal, don’t even get a dog.”-I think it was more like “Your dog could use more exercise than you probably realize-here are some ways you can maybe enhance what you are doing.”

  43. Hi, I got a 7 month old cane corso. We take her on daily walks for at least 4-6 miles a day. She is very well behaved and we even bought her a pack to walk with to get her use to the weight. We are planning on a camping trip next month and was wondering if I’ll be pushing her too much on an 8 mile hike. This would be her first time on a hiking trail and I would hate for her to get injured if she is too young for it. What do you recommend? Is it too early for her? Thank you for any help!!!

        1. You should talk to your vet about these questions if you are concerned. I don’t see why 8 miles one time would be any different than 5-6 miles every day.

  44. I have a 1.5 year old Beagle X- Rescue. He is full of energy. He gets a 20 min walk every morning, then an hour at lunch with a dog walker. When I get home we either go on a 5km run or to the dog park to play. I was wondering, is 5km a day to long to run? He keeps up, and we can do it in about 35 min.
    How many days a week could I do this? He has been running with me a few days a week for a few months now and barely starts to pant. (obviously he is not going full out as he would to play fetch)
    I just love to run, and I am so happy to share this with him, I was just wondering how much is to much and how far, I don’t want to cause him any long term damage.

    Thank you!

  45. we have a 20 month old dane/lab mix (we think) she was a rescue at 4 months.’Sandy’ looks more like a rhodesian than anything else. problem is that my sons and i take her trailing regularly here in west central florida. usually not between noon and 4. we always take sufficient water but she seems to tire-out after about 4 miles. she’ll just stop and lie down and really wants to just stay. we take her trailing twice a week. any tips on how to improve her endurance? she is in really great physical shape please help

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Sounds like 4 miles might be about her limit. If you want to go further, try adding some long walking breaks or even stop and rest for 10 mins. Some dogs just physically can’t do more than a certain distance.

  46. Hi,

    Thank you for the great post! I have a 5 month old cockerspaniel with tons of energy and I’m a keen runner.

    Everything I read says not to run with her until over year old, but she runs further on our daily waks (backwards and forwards, playing with oth dogs etc) so I can’t see any harm doing a 2 mile interval run with her over soft ground.

    Do you have an opinion on running short distance with dogs under a year old?

  47. Hi,

    Do you think it’s okay to take my 9 month old 65 lb. black lab hiking with my on a section of the Appalachian trail this summer? She hiked 8 miles with me before and played fetch back and forth the entire time- she still seemed like she had energy! I would probably be doing about 10 miles/day with her on the leash w/dog booties on and sleeping with her in a tent at night. Does this seem okay? Thank you!!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I think she will be just fine. Have fun! I guess my only concern would be if she gets hot too easily because of her dark coat. Keep a close watch on that.

  48. Hi,

    I stumbled across your blog after Googling for information and advice on walking my two year old Labrador, Poppy. I was a bit concerned that I was overdoing her walks but your article has put my mind at rest.

    At present, I walk her for at least two hours a day over mixed terrain including some steep hill walking at a brisk pace. She enjoys the walk from start to finish and is able to swim in a few rivers on the way plus we do some training on the route. We covered 16km today over two walks and she has spent a couple of hours sleeping it off which made me wonder if it was too much.

    Do I need to think about making any dietary changes with the amount of walking she’s getting? As she’s a Lab, she will never turn food down but the thought crossed my mind that perhaps she may need a little extra to compliment her diet.

    Thanks for any help. I’ve subscribed to the blog and I will be sure to read some of your other articles when I get a chance.

    Nick 🙂

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Oh, yes, I am well aware of the Lab who is always hungry 🙂 I would just watch her weight. Does she look too thin? Then feed her a bit more. Too heavy, then cut back. She will probably need to eat more than her “peers” if she is walking 16 km per day since most Labs don’t get that much exercise. Good for you!

      1. Thanks for the feedback Dick.

        16km a day isn’t much when working from home but I appreciate that it’s not something that everyone can do.

        Besides, since posting my original comment, I’ve had to ease back on walking a bit as Poppy has developed some issues with her paws. After a few trips to the vet, it looks like an allergy of some sort so we’re trying her on Benadryl as well as regularly soaking her feet in Hibiscrub. We still go for long walks and she still enjoys it but I try to limit it to 90 mins and then a couple of short toilet breaks at other times.

        Really appreciate your comments. I try not to brag about my push up prowess on a dog related blog but you’re not far off with 17,000 a day.

        Cheers buddy..have a great a new year.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I don’t think you have to worry about it. If she is healthy and it’s not too hot out, I’m sure she can walk for hours. Five or six miles will likely be no problem. Just pay attention to how she’s doing. If she starts lagging behind, then maybe don’t go so far next time. Also make sure to check her paw pads every 15 mins or so for the first few walks. If she is not used to walks, her paws might need some time to toughen up.

  49. Do some of you have jobs? How are you walking a dog “hours and hours” a day. I walk mine for 1 hour and have a dog walker for one hour. I am not buying that an employed person is walking 3 hours a day. No kids? No spouse? No house to clean? Come on. Most of this is just silly bragging and untrue.

  50. geeze. equating the time you walk your dog to the amount you love your dog and the amount of love you show your dog is bull. Yes, your dog needs exercise. You need exercise, but to brag about how great you are about how long and far you wall your dog is obnoxious. It doesn’t HELP anyone. Play with your dog inside of the house if you can’t get outside. “my dog runs along side my bike for 4 miles” or “my dog walks for 6 hours” just discourages us who can’t do that. So shut up and stop throwing it in our faces.

  51. My 71# am staff/boxer runs 3-5 miles a day with me near sunset. He loves to run in the sand so i let him do that. We try to get 1-5 one block sprints if its clear of people and animals. I can’t take him for runs in the morning since i need to go to school. Id need to wake up at 5, get home by 6, shower and be out by 7. School for me starts at 745. Hes really lazy indoors unless i make him excited with toys or his food. In the mornings he goes outside, does his business, and comes back inside. He has it down. He knows in the mornings he doesnt have time to play or run around. Until i get back.

  52. I love walking my dogs, Cokapoo & Jack Russell we go everyday at least 1/2 mile upwards (depending on weather, it can get hot) to 5 miles. Instead of having mine & my dogs minds full we are more mindful & their additude, behavior, listening, bathroom issues in the house, barking, bonding, & connection with us & nature has been amazingly better. It has & is the best thing not only for them but me too! I organize my schedule & day & always everyday before we go they know & get so excited like they never have been on a walk before, the whole experience makes my day & when we get back its a treat then a nap till dinner lol. When we started a few years ago all of us were overweight, issues, & now were happy endurance athletes!

  53. Thank you! I walk my 11 month maltese \ shitzu mix twice a day for 45 minutes to an hour each. If she keeps stopping we head home. Most of the time she really seems to enjoy it! She is well behaved, quiet, and seems to be content. She has been such a blessing to me, so it’s important to me to make her happy. I just wanted to be sure I wasn’t over exercising her.

  54. Our 3 Havanese are registered therapy dogs that visit cancer, heart & cancer patients at our Regional Hospital. They walk a lot there. Also we take them for a 30 minute walk daily unless the weather is bad. During inclement weather, they take turns on our treadmill for about 20 minutes. I think that 20 minutes on a treadmill is at least equal to a 30 minute walk outside. There is no stopping to sniff etc. on a treadmill.

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