All dogs need exercise to remain healthy and in good condition. A dog lacking in exercise will become bored, unhappy and frustrated.
This can have serious implications often leading to behavioural problems.
How much exercise your dog needs depends more on his age and breed than anything else. It is not the rule that the larger the dog the more exercise required.
The best way to find out how much and what type of exercise your dog should have is to look back at his breeds’ history and find out what they were originally bred for.
For instance, Dalmatians were carriage dogs and would enjoy running for miles next to the carriage horses, so need long walks in big open spaces. Bullmastiffs were bred to be the gamekeeper’s guard dogs, covering short distances quickly to catch and pin down poachers; consequently they only require moderate exercise.
Some breeds need mental stimulation as much as they do exercise. Retrievers, for example, were bred for retrieving hunted game hence enjoy games such as ‘find it’ and ‘fetch’ within their exercise routine.
Border Collies were bred to herd livestock and are highly intelligent energetic dogs that are well suited to activities such as dog agility.
Experiment until you find what your dog really likes and you may find that taking your dog out becomes more enjoyable.
Remember that all dogs need to have freedom off the lead to be able to run and exercise properly. Even half an hour in a city park is better than a longer walk on the lead.
Dogs need exercise to keep fit throughout their lives, but the amount will vary with age. A young dog is full of energy and will require much more exercise, which will help his bones and muscles develop.
The older dog leads life at a slower pace but should still be exercised to remain mobile and in good health.
So whatever the weather get geared up and head outside. After all, your dog is not the only one who will benefit!