The Right Exercise For Your Dog

A couple of 10-minute walks, half hour games of fetch or a good long run every day – how much exercise should your dog get? Well, just as with people, there is not necessarily one that will fit all of us. A good fitness routine for your dog depends on a few things: your pup's physical condition, your likes, and, most certainly, your dog likes.

First, you are able to determine some of his or her preferences, in part, by the breed.

o Companion breeds like the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua tend to have minimal exercise needs, at least a walk a day.

o Gun dogs, like Labrador Retrievers and Poodles are bred for lots of activity and require long walks (at a minimum) all their lives.

o Terriers, although smaller, are clever, high energy dogs. Play is as good for them as much as walks.

o Hounds can switch easily between work and play mode so long, low key walks are good and extremely interesting to them.

o With Guard dogs like German Shepard's and Great Pyrenees, walks and runs are great exercises. Establish limits when playing games, as they can take them seriously quickly.

o Herding dogs like the Collies and Sheepdogs have moderate to high energy levels and are highly intelligent. Exercise is a must for their mental stimulation as much as their body. Games and sports are definitely their thing.

o Northern dogs like Huskies and Malamutes have energy to burn, so keeping them active, walking or sport, is a good idea.

Personality counts

Both of you will be happier if you incorporate activities in your routine that are compatible to your dog's style. What kind of personality does he have?

Dominant dogs are harder to train, irresistent, and competitive. Because they can easily be provoked into biting, a walk or a run (in an area without crowds) may be preferred to games. When you do play games, you should keep them short and you must maintain control before Fido gets serious.

On the other hand, confident dogs are dominant, but they can readily accept their owner's leadership. Most any type of physical fitness will suit this type of pooch, especially games or sports that challenge them or play that includes other dogs.

Apprehensive or shy dogs will likely prefer quiet walks in less populated areas. If you want to work in games in your routine, start very slowly with mild games. In fact, she or he does best with predictable, structured routines that are not overly demanding.

A dog with an independent personality is not demonstrably affectionate and has a low need for human companionship. These dogs sometimes seem so low-key you may think they do not need much exercise. Not so. If in good health, these dogs do well in steady, endurance activities like runs, bike rides (with proper equipment), and hikes.

You will probably need to experiment a bit to find a fitness routine that is a good fit for you and Rover. But do take some time to do just that. If the routine does not work for the both of you, it will be harder to stick to it. Find something fun for the both of you, you both are rewarded.