Before taking home a puppy, I think you should have in your mind your way of life and you should consider how much exercise does a Labrador need. A lot of people are just thinking ‘oh, so beautiful pup, I want it :). Things are not so simple. You have to be sure that you know his needs and you can offer him a comfortable life.
Why is it so important?
Dogs, like humans, needs to be fit to have a healthy life so…the health is one of the reasons Labradors need a lot of exercises. They are very greedy and they love food, and sometimes we are tempted to give them more than necessary.
Labradors tend to be overweighed and are very often in danger to become diabetic. This is one of the of the health issues we can avoid if they have the amount of exercise required.
Also, their heart and muscles need to be strong, and a fit body always helps. Like this, we avoid heart problems and not only this.
As we know Labradors are very energetic dogs and they love running, playing, swimming and anything has to do with the outdoors :).They were used for difficult and demanding tasks, hunting, retrieving in hard conditions like cold water.
Labradors are strong dogs and they NEED to do things. So, one more reason for exercising them a lot is their psychological condition, their happiness. If we choose this hard working breed as our companion, we have to make them happy and give them what they need.
What happened if we don’t exercise our labs?
First of all, you will have an unhappy puppy.They will become depressed or destructive. Your Labrador will be bursting with energy and he will start to chew everything, your shoes, furniture….
If you don’t offer the exercise and fun they need they will start to be ‘disobedient’ as you will say. But it is not their fault. If your Labrador has a chance he will try to escape outside and when you will call him, your pup will not listen to you. Also, it is possible he will bark a lot.
Of course, if we don’t exercise our Labrador he will be overweight and liable to suffer from health problems like hips and elbows disease, heart problems, diabetes and increased blood pressure. As you understand…his life span will be a lot shorter. So…If you love your furry buddy and you want him longer in your life, you have to take care of him. 🙂
Actually how much exercise he needs to be healthy.
I cannot give you an exact figure. Of course, the time needed differs from dog to dog and depends on his life style. But I know most of you want a number. So, on average, for a Labrador to be healthy, he needs one hour of exercise per day.
Some dogs are more relaxed and this also depends on the age of your dog. In this case, 45 minutes of exercise can be enough. For the more active full of energy young Labradors, you can even need one and a half hours per day and more 🙂
Starting from the first 3 months, we don’t have to tire our puppies too much. They are small and the play time they have is enough. If they are over-exercised they can have problems later with their joints.
When you see your pup has played enough, stop the game and give him rest. Try to make him relax 🙂 This is why you have to be careful when you have children in your house or elder dogs that will tempt our puppy to play and run.
So a good time when he is 3 months old is 15 minutes per day and later add every month 5 minutes more until he is 1 year old. This is a good rule that you should follow.
When your Labrador reaches the 7th year of his life he may slow a little bit, but some of them are very active until the age of 10.
When your Labrador gets old it is better to slow the exercise, not the time but the energy required for this exercise should be less.
Labradors are very active dogs and they love to do everything for you to be happy so, even when he is old, he will try to run to play with you, to climb to fetch but you have to observe him and to not tire him too much.
Don worry when I say exercise I don’t necessary mean running 🙂
What kind of exercise can you can offer to your Labrador?
We know what Labradors like: retrieving things:). So, if you don’t have the possibility for long walks and run, retrieving exercise is good, fetching.
So this is a very effective way to exercise your Furry companion. They can fetch, chase balls and give them back to you again, and again :). Now there are many games for fetching if you don’t have time, but the best way is to spend time with your dog so…retrieving games and training in your garden, on a beach, in the park…are the best solution.
Of course, long walks on the mountain, on the beach, joking, are very good ways of exercising your dog as many times you have the time and opportunity.
If you are near the sea, river or ocean or you have a pool, swimming is one of the best exercises, good as ever for the elderly dogs. Swimming doesn’t hurt his joints. So, again, depend on your life style and the place you live.
Playing with other dogs is always the best fun for them :). I think we all have the choice to go to the park or to visit a friend which has a friendly dog but again, be careful with both of them to be friendly and willing to play.
You should know the character of your dog so if he is a male and he doesn’t like other male dogs, choose a female dog to play with and avoid other incidents.
You have to know something. If you have a garden it doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t need exercise. When you go for walks with your Labrador at least one of them to be off the leash to can keep your dog healthy. He really needs to walk in his own way, speed to keep healthy.
So for the first part of our lesson, we stop here. In the next post, I will tell you how to understand if your dog has had enough exercise, what other benefits you can have exercising you Labrador and when you DON’T HAVE TO exercise your furry friend and other things 🙂
Thanks for the reading and have a nice day. If you any questions I am here to answer.
Nice to have you here again 🙂
For further reading about your furry babies choose below