How much exercise does my dog need?

The short answer is, not a lot.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we need to exercise our dogs. It’s an important part of leadership, however we typically see it being used as a way to stop problem behaviors. In some cases it can help but for a majority of dogs we see it only fuels the fire.

All the dogs here go for one 30 min structured walk a day. Yet they are not destroying the house, trying to break out of their kennels, feeing antsy or any other type of behavior that would lead one to think they need more physical exercise. This is because we focus more on working the mind. We want the dogs to have the ability to be calm without even needing a walk. This is because life happens and sometimes, despite all efforts we just can’t get our dogs out. Does this mean you shouldn’t have a dog? No! It just means you are not able to get your dog out but you still need them to be composed and you will get them out when you can.

Over exercise can usually have the opposite effect. Once our dogs have been getting miles and miles of activity, pretty soon they will be conditioned to need that amount of exercise in order to be calm for a couple hours. In essence we are creating an athlete. Most of our clients don’t have hours to spend exercising their dog, they may have an hour at most. So we work on getting the most we can in a limited amount of time along with all kinds of mental work throughout the day. This creates a dog that can be relaxed with little to no walks.

Sure, there are breeds out there that require more exercise than others but don’t use that as a reason to skip working the mind.