Puppy Exercise Chart
In the world of dog training there are many things that you have to keep in mind when it comes to your pup’s physical health. One of them is their physical fitness level. A well-conditioned canine will perform better than one who isn’t. Dogs with poor muscle tone or weak bones may not be able to run as fast, jump as high, or even climb as high.
You want your pup to have a good body so they can do all these things without getting injured.
The first thing you need to consider is their weight. Some breeds tend towards being leaner while others are heavier; some are just naturally bigger than other dogs while others are a bit on the chubby side.
You’ll want to make sure your pup is at least 50% of their ideal weight before starting any exercise program. If they’re overweight, you might see decreased energy levels and increased fat deposits around their organs. They could even develop arthritis later in life if left unchecked.
If you don’t feel like counting calories, then you can use a formula such as this: (Bodyweight x .55) – (Bodyweight x .55) = Number.
For example, if you had a Bulldog that weighed 100lbs, then the number would be 55. If he weighed 200lbs, then the number would be 110. Now all you have to do is subtract that number from your dog’s current weight.
If the result is a positive number, then your dog needs to lose weight. A negative number means your dog is underweight and needs to gain weight. If the result is 0, then your dog is at a healthy weight. It doesn’t matter what you do, positive, negative or zero, your dog’s weight should not change drastically.
You can change it slightly over a period of time, but any drastic changes can be unhealthy for your pet, so make sure to monitor their diet and exercise regimen to make sure they don’t lose or gain too much weight.
The next thing you need to consider is their muscle tone. Different dogs have different builds. There are leaner dogs, muscular dogs, and stocky dogs. There are also short-haired dogs as well as long-haired dogs.
Some need a lot of exercise while others don’t need as much.
General recommendations include:
Stocky dogs that require minimal exercise should only be allowed to walk or jog very short distances at a slow pace (less than 3 mph).
Dogs that fall in between lean and muscular should be walked at a moderate pace for at least 30 minutes per day.
Thin-skinned dogs that fall in between lean and muscular should be walked or jogged for up to 60 minutes per day.
Long-haired dogs should partake in water-based activities rather than land-based ones. This will help prevent their coats from matting and keep them dry. Long-haired dogs that fall in between lean and muscular should be walked or jogged for up to 60 minutes per day. Long-haired dogs that are lean should walk or jog for no more than 30 minutes per day, while those that are muscular can jog for up to 60 minutes.
Once you’ve determined a daily walking distance and pace, you can start building endurance by gradually increasing the daily distance, speeding up the pace, or both over the next few weeks.
For example, if you wanted to build up your German Shepherd’s endurance, you might start out walking him around the block. A single block is roughly ¼ mile which means you’ve walked your dog for ½ mile from your house. You’ve started him off nice and slow so that he doesn’t get tired too quick so you take things even slower during the second lap. By the time you’ve done a couple of laps and walked about a mile, your dog is ready to go back home.
Over the next few weeks, you continue to increase the daily distance you walk until you’re jogging a half-dozen blocks at a reasonable pace. By this time, your dog should be panting a little but still able to keep up with your pace. If he seems fine, you can always pick up the pace a little bit more. If he’s starting to lag behind or seems out of breath, slow down a little so he’s not too tired.
As your dog drops weight and his endurance increases, you can start to increase the distance you jog a little at a time as well as speeding up your pace during every jog you take. By the time your dog is comfortable running the length of a few miles at a fast pace, he’ll be in much better shape and have much more endurance than he did before you started training.
Do please keep in mind that if you do start having problems with your dog dropping weight during this process or showing any other signs of fatigue, you need to drop back and slow down your training until he’s back to his normal routine. Only when he’s back to 100 percent should you start increasing things again.
If your dog has any underlying medical conditions that might be affected by this, please make sure to consult with your veterinarian before proceeding so that you don’t do any harm.
Sources & references used in this article:
Defining the puppy farm problem: An examination of the regulation of dog breeding, rearing and sale in Australia by K Cooke – Austl. Animal Protection LJ, 2011 – HeinOnline
Adaptation of respiratory muscle perfusion during exercise to chronically elevated ventilatory work by CCW Hsia, SI Takeda, EY Wu… – Journal of Applied …, 2000 – journals.physiology.org
Puppy training device by M Eversdyk – US Patent 5,203,279, 1993 – Google Patents
Basic requirements for good behavioural health and welfare in dogs by C Corridan – BSAVA manual of canine and feline behavioural …, 2009 – bsavalibrary.com
Made in the Midwest: Missouri’s Puppy Mill Problem and How It Should Be Fixed by BM Schamel – Mo. L. Rev., 2019 – HeinOnline
Abnormal bone mineralization in a puppy fed an imbalanced raw meat homemade diet diagnosed and monitored using dual‐energy X‐ray absorptiometry by S Dodd, M Barry, C Grant… – Journal of Animal …, 2019 – Wiley Online Library