How Much Exercise Does a Goldendoodle Need?
Exercising With Your Goldendoodle
Do you have a Goldendoodle? If you do, then you know they are one of the best dogs around. They are friendly, loving, and make great pets. But did you know that they are also great workout partners? That's right! Dogs make great workout buddies, and Goldendoodles are no exception. Here we will discuss some fun exercises you can do with your furry friend and get in shape together. But before we ask how much exercise does a Goldendoodle need, let's go over why exercising for dogs is so important.
Why Is Exercising With Your Dog Important?
It's a Great Way To Bond With Your Dog
If you are looking for more ways to bond with your dog, exercising together is a great option. It gives you quality time to spend together and strengthens your bond because you get to rely on each other during the workout. Depending on your workout, you also get to be playful together, which is great for bonding.
It Can Help Reduce Behavioral Problems
If your dog has a lot of energy and tends to act out, exercising with them can help release that energy positively and reduce their behavioral problems. It can also help reduce anxiety and aggression, which helps them stay calm.
They Make Great Workout Partners
Dogs are great workout partners because they are always up for it, they don't complain, and they will push you to be better. They don't care if you take a break or stop to catch your breath; they just want to keep going. And that is what a good workout partner does!
It's Good for Everyone's Health
Just like humans, dogs need to exercise to stay healthy. Exercise helps keep their muscles and joints strong, their hearts healthy, and can help them maintain a healthy weight. Working out with your dog is also good for your health. Getting active with your dog can help you improve your physical fitness and mental well-being. And what could be better than getting in shape with your best friend by your side?
So How Much Exercise Does a Goldendoodle Need?
The amount of exercise your Goldendoodle needs will depend on their age and personality. A good rule of thumb is to give them at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. This can be done all at once or broken up into several sessions a day. If your Goldendoodle is a puppy, you could give them 15-30 minutes of walks or playtime several times a day. If you have an adult Goldendoodle, you can schedule 20-30 minutes of exercise daily. Other factors may influence how much exercise your dog needs. Their energy levels, special health and physical conditions need to be taken into consideration. If you are unsure how much exercise your particular goldendoodle might need, talk to your veterinarian.
Now that we have discussed the importance of Exercising with your Goldendoodle and how much exercise they need, let's talk about some fun exercises you can do together!
Goldendoodle Recreational Activities
If you ask a dog owner, they might tell you that one of the best things about having a dog is seeing their reaction to new places and experiences. Watching your dog's face light up at the sight of their favorite lakeside beach, or being pulled by a taught leash while on a pleasant stroll through the forest are pleasures only a dog owner can enjoy. Dogs are adventurous by nature, and much like people, they love to get out and explore new environments, have their own favorite places and activities — and genuinely enjoy the beauty of the world.
Outdoor activities also help keep your dog happy and healthy, with exercise and green spaces providing a big boost to your dog's immune system and mental wellbeing — and to yours! With every new adventure, your puppy's world grows bigger and becomes filled with exciting smells, sights and sounds. In this guide, we'll review some puppy recreational activities that take us out into the open — and where your dog can truly come into their own.
How Much Exercise Does a Goldendoodle Need While on Neighborhood Walks?
Your puppy's first walk — what an adrenaline-filled, mind-blowing and thrilling experience!!!
But seriously, you should be almost as excited as your puppy to join them on their first walk. After all, it's their first time around the block — and the stimulation is almost too much to bear! The sights, the smells and the sounds can have your puppy's adorably-limited attention span pulling them in every direction all at once. Going on a walk is not only physically healthy for dogs, but puppies will enjoy the extra benefit of an educational experience. This brain-stimulating good time will challenge your puppy to observe, discover and understand things as they begin to familiarize themselves with their surroundings and the world.
Since Goldendoodles also love to be around people, they will enjoy meeting new neighbors on your walks. There is no set rule for how long or far you can walk your dog, especially if you walk slowly. You can start small and move towards a set goal, then increase the pace and distance as the days go by. Besides keeping fit, walks are great for reducing common behavioral problems in dogs.
Walking a puppy should always be done on a short leash, at about 4-6 feet long. It's important not to spend too much time on a walk when your puppy is still young, as their bones and joints are still growing and you don't want to overexert them. A general rule of thumb is to walk your puppy for 5 minutes for every month of age, so a 4-month old pup typically shouldn't be on a walk for longer than 20 minutes.
How Much Exercise Does a Goldendoodle Need While Running in the Neighborhood?
Unlike with adult dogs, running with a puppy should only be done on the puppy's terms. Also, you should only run with a puppy in the neighborhood or at the dog park if they are still young. Remember, your puppy's bones and joints are still growing, and overexertion and shock can lead to growth plate injuries. Just keep your runs short and gentle, and everything should be ok!
Chances are, your pup will be so busy inspecting everything on your path that running for an extended period of time will seem impossible anyway! But if your pup suddenly wants to have a trot at your side, be sure to limit your pace and keep an eye on them to avoid any silly mishaps.
As we've discussed, you should walk your puppy for no more than 5 minutes for every month of age, so if your puppy wants to run the whole time, your walk should be limited to about half that, or even less.
How Much Exercise Does a Goldendoodle Need While on a Hike?
Ahh the open trail, what fragrant wonders await a puppy's insatiable nose? We can all agree that dogs are the ultimate hiking buddy, and a puppy can make your visit to nature even more refreshing and fun.
If you're the outdoorsy type and feel like your pup has graduated their neighborhood walk and the dog park, then it may be time for an adventure in the sticks! Remember, the younger the pup, the shorter the walk, or about 5 minutes for every month of age. However, because this rule applies to flat surfaces such as a neighborhood street or sidewalk, it's best to reduce the amount of walking time by as much as half when on a trail with your pup (use your best judgment to determine if the puppy is exerting more energy on your trail of choice than they would in the neighborhood or at the dog park).
You should never take your puppy on a hike until they've received their final vaccination booster and are fully protected from common pathogens that affect dogs. Also, experts recommend never taking your puppy out on long and steep hikes or through difficult terrain until their bodies are fully grown, which occurs between 12 to 18 months of age.
After your puppy has received their final vaccine and is familiar with going on walks, you can begin to slowly introduce them to walking on nature trails. While your puppy is still young, or under 1 year of age, you should always use a leash. As your puppy grows older and becomes more experienced with being leash-free while at the dog park or on a walk, you can consider taking them out into nature without one — provided that they can respond to your commands!
Remember, the outdoors is full of small animals that can seize your puppy's attention and make them give chase, which can turn a pleasant stroll in the woods into a prolonged and stressful game of hide-and-seek. Also, depending on where you live, the woods can be full of toxic plants such as poison ivy, poison sumac, mushrooms, poison berries and others. Typically, letting your dog run off in the woods is not recommended, unless you are well-informed of the natural surroundings, plant life and geographic features.
If you decide to take your puppy on a nature walk while they're still young, a great tip is to bring a puppy carry pack where they can rest when they get tired without slowing you down. Always bring plenty of water and snacks for both yourself and your puppy when wandering in a natural environment. If you enjoy an evening or nighttime hike, you can equip your puppy with an LED leash and their own flashlight while keeping a close eye on them at all times. Keep your puppy from jumping on rocks or getting too physical when outdoors, as their bones and joints are still forming and strong shocks can result in growth plate injuries. For the same reason, too much exercise and exertion is not recommended for younger dogs.
When hiking with your puppy, take frequent rests and keep an eye on their energy levels. You certainly don't want your puppy to be exhausted after hiking, so always stop before they look too tired. Give them a frequent drink of water, and the older they get and the longer the hike, an occasional snack can offer a well-deserved energy boost. When introducing your puppy to rougher and more challenging trails as they grow into an adult dog, make sure that you are working them up through experience levels and that they are ready to tackle the trail at your side.
How Much Exercise Does a Goldendoodle Need While Trail Running?
Trail running is a great option if you and your dog are up for the challenge. It keeps things exciting, and the earth is soft enough for your dog's paws. Trail running allows both of you to get in some cardio while also taking in the sights. Just be sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your dog and take breaks as needed. If it's hot outside, consider running in the evenings or early morning when it's cooler. Running puppies on trails is typically not recommended as it may be too much exercise for their growing joints and there is a greater risk of hazards, running off, etc.
How Much Exercise Does a Goldendoodle Need While Swimming?
The weather is warm and the water enticing, so what better way to spend the day than by going for a swim?
Swimming is another great exercise for Goldendoodles since they are bred to be good swimmers. It is also a low-impact activity that is easy on their joints. But just like people, dogs have unique personalities, so your pup may take to the water like a fish or show hesitation at first. Be patient and try to gauge their reaction and interest in the water before letting them in. You should never force your puppy into the water if they seem scared or unwilling to do so themselves. This can cause them to panic, have a traumatizing experience and even develop a water phobia.
Pooch experts recommend starting young when it comes to puppy swimming, so in the case that your puppy is younger than 16 weeks and is not yet fully vaccinated, the only place you should go swimming with your puppy is in a bathtub or in a private pool. Your puppy's first swimming lesson should always be performed in a shallow pool of water, such as a baby pool or in a bath tub to give them a comfortable sense of security. If you have a built-in backyard pool, your puppy may or may not take to the idea of going in. If they seem interested, make sure to practice in the shallow end under strict supervision only.
Before beginning your puppy's first swimming lesson, always equip them with a puppy life jacket. This will not only keep your puppy safe, but it will make it easier for you to grab and control them while they're in the water. Let your pup spend a little time in their life vest outside of the water and get used to it before getting in.
A great way to get started is by bringing some of your puppy's squeaky toys along for a swim. Enter the water before your puppy and start playing with their toys. When your puppy sees you playing with their toys in the water, there's a good chance they'll jump right in. If they don't, be patient and keep playing while trying to lead your puppy in. Don't be discouraged if this doesn't work on the first try. Some puppies might be afraid of the water at first, but it's no reason to give up. Just try again on another day, and if it doesn't work, try again! The more patient you are with your puppy, the more likely they are to overcome their misgivings about the water and eventually plop right in — to your delight!
Keep in mind that while swimming is a great exercise for your puppy and is easy on their growing joints, they will get tired quickly, so you should either be with them in the water or at the least very close by and fully attentive at all times. As your puppy gets better at swimming, you can experiment with taking off their life vest and allowing them to swim on their own. Extra supervision is important at this stage as your puppy may feel slightly disoriented without the assistive buoyancy of a life jacket. Make sure to be in the water with your puppy during their first several attempts at swimming without a life vest.
Chlorinated water is safe to swallow in moderate amounts, so don't worry if your puppy gets pool water in their mouth or even decides to take a little drink. After swimming in a pool with your puppy, give them a rinse or a bath to wash the chlorine off their fur, which can make it frizzy otherwise. Although rare, some dogs may have sensitive skin that becomes irritated by chlorine. If you see your puppy scratching itself an awful lot after swimming, it may be a good idea to take a break from the pool. In general, regular and extended swimming pool activities (in chlorinated water) are not recommended for dogs, as this can remove natural oils from their skin and fur, causing it to be dry and brittle to the touch.
Once your puppy is fully vaccinated, you can explore the notion of taking a dip in a natural body of water, such as a river or a lake. Ocean swimming for dogs is generally not recommended. This is because oceans can have unpredictable currents and dangerous marine characters such as jellyfish and sharks, which makes it no place for a puppy.
Before taking your puppy for a swim in a river or a lake, it's important to do a background check on the body of water to ensure that it is free of harmful seasonal algae, known pathogens or possible chemical spills. You may contact your local DNR with any questions about a lake or a river and in order to confirm that it's doggie-safe. When taking your pup to a natural body of water, make sure that they're equipped with a life jacket and that you are always with them. If you are not a swimmer yourself, you should not let your puppy go swimming in a lake or a river. Always make sure that the selected swimming area is free of fishermen and any leftover fishing gear such as hooks and barbs, which can harm your puppy. Remember, your puppy is your fur baby — so you're not being overprotective!
Other Fun Ways To Get Your Dog Exercise
Taking a Trip to the Dog Park
If you want to mix things up, take a trip to the dog park. It's a great way for your dog to socialize and get some exercise at the same time. By playing with the other dogs, your dog can get out some of their energy while keeping fit and making friends. Since dogs love to socialize just like humans, they can come up with their own games when they come together.
Before taking your puppy to the dog park, it's a good idea to do a brief doggie stakeout and make sure that the park is a safe and accommodating place for your puppy. Good dog owners will always practice courteous dog park etiquette, which includes controlling their dogs—whether they are free or on a leash—and cleaning up after them. The park should also be well-maintained and have a fully intact fence, and be free of trash and small, dangerous debris such as pieces of glass, metal or other objects that your puppy can pick up with their mouth.
If your local dog park looks like the perfect place to spend time with your puppy, it's best to use an extended leash at first just to see how your puppy behaves and interacts with other dogs. When exiting a vehicle, always pick your puppy up and place them gently on the ground, as their bones and joints are still forming and you should avoid letting them jump out of the car.
Because the dog park can be very stimulating and exciting for your puppy, make sure they feel safe at all times and try not to get distracted by your phone while your puppy is wandering off alone. Any negative experiences your puppy has at the dog park can impact their social development and cause them to be nervous around other animals, so you should only let them near other dogs after you've confirmed that the dog is friendly and will not intimidate or upset your puppy in any way.
If you don't have the luxury of going to the dog park, you can let your dog play with your neighbor's or friend's dog and see them having lots of fun together. A dog park is also a great place for people to relax and socialize, so you can also have a good time as your dog plays. Just make sure to keep an eye on your Pup to ensure they're playing nicely with the other dogs. If there are no other dogs at the park, you can carry toys to play with your dog.
Building a Backyard Obstacle Course
If you have some space in your backyard, you can create an obstacle course for your Goldendoodle. This is a great way for you to let them use up their energy and have some fun at the same time. It's also a great training technique, as you can teach your dog to follow commands while they are playing. You can use hula hoops, cones, tunnels, and more to create an obstacle course that is perfect for your Goldendoodle. Be sure to start with easy obstacles and work your way up to more difficult ones as they master each one. Goldendoodles love a challenge, so don't shy away from switching up the course now and then.
Playing Tug of War
All dogs love playing Tug of War. Tug of War is a great way to bond with your dog while also getting some exercise. This exercise is also important for building your dog's confidence, strength, and impulse control. Just make sure your Pup is playing by the rules! Dogs can get very excited when it comes to Tug of War, so it's important to make sure they don't get too rough. Always let your dog win and end the game on a good note, so they don't get too worked up!
Playing Fetch With a Puppy
When the question is how much exercise does a Goldendoodle need, you'll soon find out with a simple game of fetch! A game of retrieval that teaches your dog to act as a furry boomerang, fetch is practically a cornerstone of dog ownership. It can be played with dogs of any age and is a great exercise and bonding experience to enjoy with your Goldendoodle puppy. For your pup's own safety, fetch should only be introduced in a safe and enclosed environment, such as a gated backyard.
When your puppy gets good at playing fetch and you are comfortable with taking them off the leash outdoors, you can play fetch at a park, beach or other dog-friendly open space. Unless your dog is already an adept swimmer and is equally skilled at fetch, you should never play fetch in the water with your dog or puppy.
If it's your puppy's first time playing fetch, a quick demonstration may be in order. Before you begin, make sure you are using something soft, chewable and easy for your puppy to carry, such as one of their smaller toys. Sticks should never be used to play fetch with a puppy because they can irritate or injure your puppy's mouth and even cause them to swallow the bits and pieces.
Your puppy may favor some of its toys over others, so bring a few along to see which one they respond to best. Toss one of your puppy's toys towards a safe location, and see if they go after it. If they go after it and begin playing with the toy on the spot, try calling your puppy back. If your puppy comes running back with the toy, they've just won the game of fetch! Such a good job warrants lots of praise and even a treat, so make sure to make your puppy feel special when they bring back their toy. Sometimes, you may have to lead the puppy's toy to get their attention. Play with the toy in front of your puppy to show them that the toy is fun, and lead them around the yard until they can't wait to get it. Now, give it a toss!
However, your puppy is more than likely to take its time playing with the toy before bringing it back to you, so if your pup goes after the toy and starts playing with it, just stay where you are! Wait patiently to see if your puppy brings the toy back when it's done playing, and make sure to reward them with treats and praises if they do.
If your puppy comes back without the toy, try demonstrating the required action yourself by throwing the toy and then running after it. When you pick it up, run back to the spot where you threw it from, even sometimes with the puppy running at your feet! Try this a few times and let your puppy run after it alone, then call them back. When your puppy comes back with the toy, make sure to let them know they're a very good boy or girl!
Keep fetch sessions short and fun, and no more than 10-20 minutes at a time to prevent your puppy from getting fatigued. If you've already taught your puppy commands like sit or stay, this is also a great opportunity to practice their obedience, just be sure to have plenty of patience — they're just babies after all!
Wresting With a Goldendoodle
Wrestling is another great way to play with your dog and get them some exercise. While wrestling, it is important to ensure that you are both having fun and not getting too rough. Since dogs get very excited when playing, set boundaries so that it doesn't go too far.
Dog Exercise Safety Precautions
It is smart to take several safety precautions when exercising with your dog so that everyone can have a good time. Here are some of them:
Get Them a Collar and Id Tag
The first thing you should do is make sure your dog has a collar and ID tag. This way, if they happen to get away from you, someone will be able to identiy and return them. Have your phone number on the tag and some key information about your dog. Keeping your dog on a leash is important in public areas. No matter how well trained a dog can be, distracting environments can confuse them and they can run away or not always obey your commands.
Check for Any Health Issues
Before starting any exercise regime with your dog, you should check with your vet to see if there are any health issues you need to be aware of. For example, some dogs have heart conditions preventing them from doing certain exercises. You don't want to put your dog into a situation that is dangerous for their health and longevity.
Know Their Limits
You don't want to overdo it when exercising with your dog. Start slow and gradually increase the intensity of workouts based on your dog's limitations. When your dog has been overworked, they may start exhibiting signs such as staggering, panting excessively, or refusing to follow you, so watch out for those signs.
Walking or running on rough surfaces can be tough on your dog's paws! Be sure to start slowly and work your way up gradually. During summer, avoid too much contact with sand or asphalt, and during winter, check your Goldendoodle's paws for ice build-up. If you are constantly venturing into rough terrain, consider getting your Goldendoodle some dog booties.
Give Them Plenty of Breaks
When exercising with your dog, give them plenty of breaks in between so they can rest and recover. They may want to keep going, but it's important to listen to their cues and let them take a break when needed.
Provide Plenty of Water
It's also important to provide plenty of water for your dog when exercising, especially in hot weather. Signs of dehydration in your dog include excessive panting, weakness, confusion, and collapse.
Do Lighter Exercises for Older Dogs
If you have an older dog, it's important to do lighter exercises with them. Older dogs are more prone to injuries, so you don't want to put too much strain on their bodies. Try things like walks, light jogs, or swimming are usualy enough.
Is My Puppy Too Young for Outdoor Activities?
Veterinarians strongly advise waiting until 2 weeks after a puppy's final vaccination shot (or when they are about 16 weeks old) before taking your puppy outdoors. Of course, that's not to say you can't play with your puppy in the backyard or take them for a walk in the driveway in the meantime. If you decide to take your puppy outdoors at any time before their final vaccination booster, it should be in a safe and familiar environment where there is no tall grass, natural water, mud, dirt, or other elements which may possibly endanger your puppy or expose them to disease. It's also best to avoid public spaces and locations where other dogs may have visited due to the possibility of there being diseases such as canine parvovirus, canine distemper and other pathogens — at least not until your puppy has been fully vaccinated.
Socializing Puppies With Other Dogs
As your puppy begins to see the world, they'll inevitably run into other dogs that may want to socialize and play. It's important to only socialize your puppy with safe dogs early on, particularly dogs that have received all of their vaccinations and show non-aggressive and friendly behavior. This ensures that your puppy stays healthy and can avoid any negative experiences such as fighting or being attacked, which can traumatize a puppy and make them afraid of or aggressive towards other dogs later in life.
An extended family pet or a neighbor's friendly dog are great candidates for your puppy's first social encounter with other dogs, which should always take place in a safe and familiar environment such as in a backyard or home. As your puppy gets older and bigger, you can begin to feel safer about letting them have social encounters in the street, at the dog park or elsewhere with stranger dogs just looking for a new friend.
Exercising with your Goldendoodle is a great way to improve their physical and mental health. It's also a great bonding experience for you and Your Pup. By getting out there and being active together, you'll be able to create lasting memories while keeping fit. The above list consists of just a few of the many ways you can exercise with your Goldendoodle. By getting creative, you can find activities that you and your furry friend will enjoy. No matter what activity you choose, be sure to have fun while spending time with your dog. Also, be keen on their needs and always put their safety first.