In humans, the importance of exercise has been proven time and again. But what about our canine friends? Is it enough to just feed them properly and give them occasional walks? What are the benefits of exercise to dogs?
All dogs need exercise
Studies as well as experience have shown that dogs who are getting adequate exercise are healthier and happier. They are also more social when they are in public places. When dogs are given regular exercise, they are more calm at home and are less restless when left alone. However, just like feeding, choosing the right amount of exercise for your dog should depend on several factors. These factors are age, size, and type of breed.
Age: Puppies require daily exercise for proper muscle development. Their high energy levels need to be released in some form of constructive activity, and giving them their daily exercise is the best way to do it. Not being able to release their pent-up energy can lead to destructive behavior such as chewing or digging. On the other hand, a mature, aging dog needs less exercise because of their lower energy levels.
Size: Large dogs do not necessarily need more exercise than small dogs. In fact, many large breeds like the Mastiff or Great Dane would rather relax and sit on the porch all day then go out for a 2 mile run. Nevertheless, they also need their daily exercise, perhaps one or two 30 minute walks everyday. On the other hand, many types of small breeds such as the Jack Russell Terrier or Chihuahua still keep on going even after a three-mile walk.
Type Of Breed: Your dog’s breed is also a big factor on the amount of exercise required. For instance, dogs that were originally bred to herd such as the Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, and German Shepherd need to be exercise daily. Another example of a breed that requires daily exercise are those that were originally bred to hunt (hunting dogs). Examples of these dogs are the Beagle, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and German Hunt Terrier. And finally,sled dogs such as the Siberian Husky, Samoyed, and Alaskan malamute share the same high level of energy as the herding dogs and hunting dogs and therefore, need to be exercised on a regular basis.