Ten days after your puppy is vaccinated, you can start taking him outside for exercise. In their first few months, puppies will get all the exercise they need from their naturally energetic play in the home, so you don't need to give them any extra exercise. A good walk or run regularly provides your dog with an opportunity to experience new stimuli and meet other dogs. Not only this, regular exercise will also keep his weight down.
- Exercise every day, all year round.
- Use a static collar, rather than a "choke" collar, and always supervise his exercise.
- Keep him on a leash and under control in busy places and on roads.
- To let your dog run free, find an area that is safe, such as a park with a specially designated area.
- Train him to respond to the "heel," "down" and "come" commands. Click here to know more about basic training.
- Part of your walk should be over hard ground. It helps keep his nails short.
Safety is the first priority
- Never overdo the exercise. Before starting get a check-up and seek expert advice.
- Start slowly, and look for signs of fatigue. Stop when you see them.
- Check his paws regularly. Run him on grass or dirt as much as possible and, in cold weather, wash and dry his paws after you've been out.
Breed and age considerations
- Always factor in your dog’s breed, size, and age for his exercise. Ask your breeder or vet about how much exercise your dog needs.
- Puppies don't need to be encouraged to exercise. However, be careful not to over-exercise them.
- Middle-aged dogs may need more encouragement. Ensure he gets regular exercise through his middle years, to keep him to his proper weight. Shorter and more frequent walks work best for them.
- Never force an older dog to exercise beyond his capabilities or in extreme weather conditions. Be aware that older dogs may tire easily. Older dogs tend to become easily disoriented if separated. Make sure you watch him closely.
- If you're just starting to run with your dog, don't overdo it. Start slowly and build up your endurance together.
- Make sure your dog knows the "heel" command, which will keep him running steadily behind your left leg. This will also prevent confusion about who's in charge of the route.
- Don’t let the routine slip during holidays. As you indulge in holiday foods, resist the temptation to feed your dog table scraps.
- Stick to a normal feeding routine, and make sure you take your dog out regularly - if not as often as usual.