An Australian Labradoodle is a moderate exercise dog. The need to run for hours as some field type breeds is not there, but it does enjoy and need to get out and get it’s heart rate up. As an adult a 1/2 – 3/4 hour twice a day is fine, but more is greatly appriecated!
Exercise is necessary in all living creatures to maintain health, and to develop strong muscles, bones and joints. Exercise also stimulates the flow of oxygen which enriches the blood. The blood in turn carries vital nutrients throughout the animal’s whole system.
There are three different forms of exercise – Free, Forced and Impact. All can be strenuous but only one is beneficial to a young growing puppy while the other two need to be limited until the baby’s joints ligaments and tendons are fully developed.
FREE EXERCISE – This is the exercise a puppy gets when he/she is off leash and free to play, stop, change direction, flop down, get up again, turn and twist and ‘do what comes naturally’. Your puppy will regulate his or her own amount of exercise this way and will lie down and rest when it needs to.
FORCED EXERCISE is when a puppy is walked or trotted on leash. During this kind of rhythmic exercise, the young animal is using the same sets of muscles, tendons and ligaments in repetitive continuous movement. Being forced to exercise this way for lengthy periods has much the same affect on the puppy as a repetitive motion for extended periods can cause ‘repetitive strain injury’ in human beings. Immature joints can also suffer irreparable damage.
IMPACT EXERCISE is when the puppy is allowed to jump down off a higher place (not recommended until after 12 months of age) such as furniture or down out of the car. A dog’s joints muscles tendons and ligaments are not mature until he/she is over twelve months old and in very large breeds often older so exercise needs to be carefully monitored.
Walking On Leash and Swimming
- Three to Four Months of Age: No more than ten minutes in one session
- Four to Six months of Age: Fifteen minutes maximum in one session
- Six Months to Twelve Months : Gradually working up to half an hour in one session
- Twelve Months and Over: Develop stamina for long walks or jogging with ‘interval training’.
For a puppy, Interval Training means varying the pace in intensity over short bursts of timeframes, mixing up a minute or two of galloping, with a few minutes of walking, slow trotting and fast trotting.
Free (off leash) exercise can be interspersed between the regulated leash walking above. Puppies instinctively will flop down and rest intermittently before leaping up and running some more.