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Dogs and Exercise?

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  • Dogs and Exercise?

    You hear people go on about how dogs need SO MUCH exercise. I have a beagle and was told that my dog needed at least 5 hours of exercise a day otherwise it would get bored and unhealthy. I personally think this is BS and can probably do more harm to the dog in the long run.

    So my question is, would it be the same for dogs as it is for humans? What I mean is, short burst intense exercise, free-roaming, small bouts of playing (20-30 mins) rather than 5 bloody whole hours of exercise and walking?

  • #2
    In short, yes, it is the same concept. The biggest problem with canine companions is overfeeding for the amount of exercise they get. When they are active, and by no means 5 hours worth, I feed the dogs more. When they are inactive as they are right now while I am remodeling, I feed less. Trust me, canines do not and have not ever voluntarily exercised 5 hours a day. Mine come back t-i-r-e-d after a three hour exploration and promptly conk out for a while.
    Go by feel on whether your dog is eating too little or too much. My sister's beagles get 1/3 cup of premium dog food twice a day and they are farm dogs. Run your hands down the side. Can you feel ribs without seeing them?

    A tired dog is a happy dog but an exhausted dog is asking for problems.
    Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

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    • #3
      I'm no dog expert, but I know that our buddy (Gus, a 52 pound mystery dog) always seems to be more calm when we mix things up on a frequent basis. We take different kinds of walks (fast, slow, new paths, long, short, etc.), give him a wide variety of different toys and we're always working on obedience and new tricks.

      Gus is almost eight bit has enough energy that he is often mistaken for a puppy, even at the Vet! Bursts of activity that challenge his brain seem to have a bigger impact on toning down the excitement and inducing "coma" more than we ever experienced when he was regularly running half marathon distances with me on a weekly basis.

      I'd say that for dogs, just like humans, variety is the key... and a little extra mental exercise seems to go a long way.

      Kristi in Kent

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      • #4
        we just got a 15mth old lab from a breeder - who decided that she should breed him b/c he's a carrier of exercise induced collapse... which is great for us.... I've been taking him on 2 x 15- 30min walks/day + some ball throwing... he likes the walk so he can pick up his "pee-mail" from around the neighborhood BUT HE Loves his 10-15mins of ball throwing/retrieving. (his version of HIITs) he'd do this all day long if he could... while the walk does him good... its the chasing the ball keeps him happy!

        It really depends on the dog... I know beagles love to smell... so long walks in the woods would be good for both you an him... Our lab - he's a couch potato - except when he sees a ball! each dog and breed is different!
        The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
        What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

        Converted to PB November 2010
        SW 190lb
        Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
        25 Sep 2011 160lbs
        1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
        GW ~135lbs
        5'3"
        Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

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        • #5
          Depends on the breed. We have cattle dogs and they laugh at the notion of 5 hours being too much. If they get less than about 3 hours a day they become destructive. I'm currently on the look out for ways to get our youngest herding, if even with just a ball that can stand up to him. Five hours is probably more than needed for most dogs, especially if you make it interesting for them. Swimming, chasing things, being allowed to run off leash and track small animals will usually make up for actual time spent just exercising.
          Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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          • #6
            My Bernese Mountain dog and Newfoundland both love to swim. My Berner trains to be a draft dog so he pulls a cart, and we train for competition obedience also, and conformation (show dog) But what he loves is a long off lead walk in the woods. That way they run at their own pace, stop when they need to. They are both giant digs and are not built to be running partners.

            I've always had giant breeds, and when young being able to control their own pace is better than long walks on leash.

            Beagles are smart dogs and what they mean by he might get bored, they mean he might like a job to do. Training dogs is a lot if fun, and you really build a very deep relationship.

            Cindy

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            • #7
              I have always believed that dogs can be an excellent source of post work out nutrition. I say go for it!

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              • #8
                Good feedback! Every dog is different. Our 30 lber does great with an hour walk/hike off-leash and another 30 min playtime with other dogs. We mix it up.

                Also, if your dog is eating a good quality grain-free food (Like Orijen or Taste of the Wild), then they may be calmer and more relaxed in between "walks". This is certainly true of our highly active, athletic mongrel, anyway!
                Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
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                Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DarthFriendly View Post
                  I have always believed that dogs can be an excellent source of post work out nutrition. I say go for it!
                  We threaten to eat our dogs all the time but I'm not sure I'd actually want to. They'd probably be REALLY gamey.
                  Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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                  • #10
                    I have four dogs with varying degrees of energy. My Lab/Chow mix needs to go for a good one hour walk every day. We don't do a ton of sprinting type exercise because he is getting old and you can tell that it isn't fun for him. My Border Collie mix likes exercise but we split it up between physical and mental. Some dogs just need to be mentally stimulated more whether that be from walking in various areas so that they can check the place out, or some good mental exercise toys. My small two dogs are Pomeranian/Papillon mixes and they get their exercise from just chasing each other around. Neither of them are too fond of very long walks at all.

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                    • #11
                      training is another key element to a happy dog... having something they can focus on for "work" is a good thing... its another energy outlet. + a trained dog = a well behaved dog

                      I've always found that when I work w/my dogs they're much happier and that makes play that much more fun... it also brings in an element of safety...especially when you're walking w/your dog off leash... having a dog that will respond to a verbal command in a destracting environment is key to the dogs safety!
                      The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
                      What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

                      Converted to PB November 2010
                      SW 190lb
                      Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
                      25 Sep 2011 160lbs
                      1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
                      GW ~135lbs
                      5'3"
                      Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

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                      • #12
                        i don't think a dog needs 5 hours of exercise, but i think at least 5 hours of activity is a good idea. that activity could be just playing with toys, chasing bugs, chewing on a marrow bone or using its brain in some way, like training or sitting patiently waiting for the bacon to finish cooking. i send my dog to doggy daycare (best thing ever for any age/breed/size/etc. dog) a couple of days a week, and he comes home exhausted. on other days, though, we keep him interested in things so he gets some exercise (either physical or mental) and doesn't eat our couch.

                        you may not be in the market right now, but if you have a beagle or any other kind of hound-type dog, the best thing you can get him is a another hound. they will keep each other active, keep each other from howling, and bring you double the joy.

                        bravo dragonfly for mentioning Taste of the Wild. my guy gets the yellow one with bison and venison, and he loves it. they also make it for cats now (wet and dry), and my cats go crazy for it.
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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                        • #13
                          Major craps out after about 1 mile of jogging... He will literally stop, lay down and roll over on his back... but he really enjoys sprints. He always tries to get ahead of me and cut me off. I think it's his herding instinct.

                          "Canned food is a perversion,' Ignatius said. 'I suspect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul."
                          - John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Goldsmith View Post
                            I think it's his herding instinct.

                            I'll probably break down and get mine a Boomer Ball http://boomerball.com/boomerballs/21...ding-ball.html but they're expensive and I want to invest in some training first, one on one. In the meantime I'm looking into reinforcing a stability ball, probably duct tape, so it will last more than 1-2 days.

                            Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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                            • #15
                              Lots of jumping and running on hard surfaces, like concrete, is not good for their joints.
                              Depending on the dog, they like different durations of exercise.

                              Mental stimulation is half of the equation. It is VERY important.

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