Benefits of Regular Exercise
Like any other dog, Labradoodles need daily exercise, and the best way to give them this is by regular walks. Here are some benefits that daily exercise does for your doodle and you:
- Strengthens respiratory and circulatory systems
- Helps get oxygen to create new cells
- Wards of obesity
- Keeps muscles tones and joints flexible
- Helps digest
Whether you live in an apartment or on a farm, start regular exercise and feeding patterns early at an early age, so your dog gets used and adapts to his and your daily routine.
Daily exercise helps to keep your Labradoodle healthy, happy, and free from disease.
How Much Exercise Does Your Labradoodle Need Daily?
Labradoodles generally require medium exercise. But there is no one-rules-fit-all solution. The amount of activity or exercise that each dog will need varies tremendously. It depends on several factors, including size, temperament, energy level, your living condition, whether you keep him with other dogs, and importantly what he is used to.
According to the Vets, you should take your labradoodle out for at least one decent walk every day. Even better if you can take him out two or three times daily. A miniature Labradoodle will need at least 30 mins of exercise every day, while a large one will need at least an hour or more. Labradoodles are not lazy by nature. It will be an advantage if you have a fenced garden or yard so your doodle can burn off some energy between walks.
You should not get a Labradoodle or any dog if you cannot commit at least one walk every day with your dog.
It is a good practice to establish a regime early in the dog’s life. Dogs like routine, but remember, there are strict guidelines to stick to with puppies. It is important not to over-exercise them, particularly with large breeds and crossbreeds like the standard Labradoodles. While their bones and joints are developing, they cannot tolerate a great deal of stress. So, playing Frisbee or fetch for hours with adolescents or puppies is not a good option. You will end up with a dog with health issues and a pile of veterinary bills.
Establish a Routine
Establishing a routine at an early age is a good idea. Try to get your dog used to exercise at the same time every day that fits in with your daily routine. For example, take the dog out after his morning feed, then perhaps a long walk in the afternoon or when you come home from work and a short toilet trip the last thing at night.
Daily exercise could mean a walk around the block, jogging on the bike path, playing fetch the ball, or swimming. Labradoodles love all these activities.
Swimming is an excellent way for dogs to exercise in the summertime. A lot of Vets suggest a small water tank not only for remedial therapy but also for canine recreation. Your Labradoodle will dash in and out of the water all day if you let him. Just remember that swimming is a lot more strenuous and tiring for dogs than walking, so do not over-stretch him.
Whatever the routine you decide on, your dog should be getting out on a walk at least once a day, and you should stick to it. If you begin by taking your Doodle out three times a day and then suddenly stop, then he will become restless and start to seek attention only because he has been used to having more exercise.
Same way, do not take your dog on day-long hikes unless you trained him for it. The dog will probably struggle. Medium and larger Labradoodles may make suitable hiking or jogging companions, but they will need to build up gradually to that amount of exercise. These activities are not ideal for puppies.
Exercise for Older Dogs
Older dogs also need exercise to keep their body, joints, and systems functioning properly. They will need a less strenuous exercise than younger dogs but still enough to keep them active, alert, and healthy. Regular exercise keeps them mentally stimulated and can add months or even years to your Labradoodle’s life.
Physical and Mental Stimulation
Labradoodle need sufficient exercise for their physical well-being as well as their mental well-being. They are very intelligent dogs, and without adequate exercise, they can become bored and restless. It can result in behavioral and attention-seeking problems, and some of them may become destructive.
It is essential to exercise a Labradoodle’s mind as well as his body. Before, experts used to recommend training dogs when they are one year old, but that has changed now. You can start training your Labradoodle from the day you bring him home, even as early as eight weeks.
If your Labradoodle’s behavior deteriorates or he is suddenly chewing things that he is not supposed to, then the first question that you should ask yourself is: “Is he getting enough exercise?”. Boredom through lack of exercise or stimulation leads to bad behavior. This is one of the reasons why some Labradoodles end up in rescue centers, through no fault of their own. On the other hand, a Labradoodle that gets plenty of exercise is a happy Doodle and a wonderful companion.
Exercising Labradoodle Puppies
Many Labradoodle owners ask, “How much to exercise a pup?”. It does vary depending on whether you have a Miniature, Medium or Standard Labradoodle, and their energy levels. Labradoodle puppies have different temperaments, and some will be livelier and need more exercise than others.
Puppies require much less exercise than fully-grown dogs. If you over-exercise a growing puppy, then you can overtire and may even damage his developing joints. This can cause early arthritis and other issues. The golden rule is to start slowly and build it up. The worst danger is a combination of over-exercise and overweight when the puppy is growing.
Increase the walking time slowly as he gets used to the exercise. It will gradually build up his muscles and stamina. Once he becomes adult and fully grown, he can go out for much longer. Puppies have enquiring minds. Make sure that your puppy can exercise every day in a safe and secure area.
As I mentioned earlier, your labradoodle can get used to an exercise routine. If you overstimulate and regularly exercise him as a puppy, then he will think this is the norm. It is fun when he is a playful little puppy, but it won’t be fun once he is a fully grown 70lb labradoodle and seeks constant attention.
The Key is to start a routine that you can follow.
Do not take your puppy outside until his vaccination is complete, and it is safe to do so. Start with short walks on the leash every day. An excellent guideline is five minutes of exercise x per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is fully grown. That means a 3 months old puppy will need 15 minutes (5 x 3 Months = 15 Mins) of walk twice a day. The same way a 4 months puppy will need 20 minutes (5 x 4 Months = 20 Mins) of exercise each day.
- Never exercise your dog on a full stomach. It can cause bloat, particularly in large dogs. You should not take your dog for exercise within an hour before or after eating.
- Do not throw a ball or a toy repeatedly for a puppy, as he may run to fetch it to please you. He thinks it is a good game, but he may become overtired and damage his joints, pull a muscle or strain his heart.
- Most Labradoodles love swimming. Swimming is an exhausting exercise for a dog. It can be great fun for him to fetch a ball or stick, stop the activity after a while. Repeatedly retrieving from water may cause him to overstretch himself. If you over-exercise your dog, it can place a strain on his heart just like humans.
- If you want your labradoodle to fetch a ball, then don’t fetch it back yourself, or they will never learn to retrieve it. The best way to train him to retrieve while he is young. Give him praise or a treat when he brings the ball or toy back to your feet.