Labradoodles are adorable balls of fun that are incredibly popular as family pets. But, both the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle are historically working dogs with large exercise requirements. So it’s important to ensure you understand how much exercise a Labradoodle needs before committing to one.
How Much Exercise Does a Labradoodle Need?
Labradoodles adult dogs need around 120 minutes of moderate activity spread over a day. But, younger puppies and senior Labradoodles should be treated individually to prevent joint issues.
Let’s look at the exercise requirements of Labradoodles further so you can understand exactly what your Labradoodle needs. I’ll also look at the differences between the exercise requirements of the different sizes of Labradoodles.
Labradoodle Exercise Requirements By Age
Labradoodle puppies should be treated very differently from adults. Their joints are still developing, and any excessive pressure on them can cause damage that may affect them later in life.
Exactly how much exercise depends on your Labradoodle puppy. But playing it safe and not exercising them more than five minutes for every month they have been alive is best.
The amount of exercise that an adult Labradoodle requires can also vary greatly. Most of it depends on the way that the Labradoodle has been raised and whether they have any genetic conditions, such as dysplasia, that affect the amount of exercise that they require.
On average, Labradoodles will need between 60 and 120 minutes. If they are healthy, a full 120 minutes may be required.
This is a rather large amount of time but can be split into two sessions of one hour each.
Senior Labradoodles might be affected by their health issues and injuries as puppies. They also calm down a great deal as they age.
Although they may want to exercise less, it is important to keep them moving. However, the intensity of the exercise can be decreased. It is best to play it by ear and closely monitor your senior Labradoodle’s joints and weight.
Labradoodle Exercise Requirements By Size
Size can affect the amount of exercise that a Labradoodle needs. The difference in time requirements for moderate exercise does not differ between sizes.
The 120-minute guideline refers to moderate-intensity exercise, so if the intensity of the exercise is increased, the overall time requirement decreases.
People sometimes forget that covering the same distance in the same amount of time is far more intense for a little dog than it is for a bigger one.
Importance of Exercising Your Labradoodle Enough
One of the biggest reasons you should ensure your Labradoodle exercises enough is to manage their weight. Labradors are particularly prone to overeating.
Being overweight can exacerbate other health issues, particularly those affecting their joints. Managing the weight of your Labradoodle may prevent these issues entirely or may reduce the severity of symptoms.
Cardiovascular Health and Muscle Strength
Just like people, regular exercise can help dogs increase the health of their hearts and circulatory systems. Additionally, regular movement can build and maintain muscle strength as your Labradoodle ages.
A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. Dogs with enough exercise are usually calmer, partially because they are physically and mentally exhausted.
A Labradoodle that has been exercised is more likely to listen and follow commands because its excitement is mitigated.
How to Exercise Your Puppy and Senior Labradoodle
Puppy and Senior Labradoodles may need less exercise, as mentioned above, but also very different exercise than that of a healthy adult Labradoodle. Here are some things you can do to ensure they get enough exercise while preventing excessive pressure on their joints.
Gentle walking is one of the easiest things you can do with a Labradoodle. Doing this on a leash is encouraged, especially with puppies who may get overly excited.
This can double as training and socialization, depending on the setting you decide to walk in.
Obedience training is a great way to tire out your Labradoodle, whether young, old, or somewhere in the middle.
It does not put much physical pressure on them but is mentally stimulating. This is just as necessary as physical exercise. It is also a great way to bond with your Labradoodle.
Swimming allows your Labradoodle to move their muscles. The resistance of the water helps build strength too. But all of this is done without the sudden pressure on their joints that they may get when running on the ground.
In my experience, swimming can improve symptoms in arthritic dogs because it allows movement without pressure. This means it may even be viable for dogs that struggle to walk.
And, if you have a pool, swimming with your puppy and teaching them how to leave the pool will help keep them safe if they ever fall in when you are not present.
You can play a fun game of tug-of-war with your Labradoodle at any age but it is particularly good for puppies to get out some of their excess energy. I really like this Flirt Pole Toy but be warned, your adult dog will love it just as much as your puppy!
How to Exercise Your Adult Labradoodle
Now, let’s look at some of the best ways to tire out your perfectly healthy adult Labradoodle. You may find that your dog loves some of these ideas and does not enjoy others.
Each Labradoodle will differ, so try to find the right exercise or combination of exercises for your dog.
Brisk Walks and Runs
High-intensity walks and runs are great at tiring out your Labradoodle. It has the added benefit of getting you to exercise too.
The faster you run, the faster you will reach your exercise requirements. But make sure that you build speed and distance slowly. And, if you are forced to take a break for whatever reason, come back to this intense exercise tentatively to ensure your Labradoodle stays healthy and uninjured.
Swimming is not only good for puppies and senior Labradoodles. Most dogs in this breed, especially the larger ones, will love the water and may get into your pool of their own accord. Just ensure you supervise your Labradoodle.
Obedience training is great for mental stimulation. It is best if it is done in a park or school with many distractions. The focus required for this is incredibly tiring for dogs.
The high-energy and eager-to-please nature of the Labradoodle makes them ideal for agility training. The variety of obstacles will tire them out physically. The obedience portion of agility will tire them mentally. This combination makes agility particularly good as a form of exercise for a Labradoodle.
You can set up your own agility course at home with a simple starter agility kit like this one.
Frisbee or Fetch
If you are after maximum intensity or have less time than you would otherwise like, consider a game of frisbee or fetch with a ball.
Your Labradoodle will sprint after the object as fast as possible, often reaching speeds that it would never have been able to if you were running with it.
Just make sure you discourage jumping, as this may lead to back injuries.
Indoor Activities for Labradoodles
Outdoor activities are great. But it isn’t always possible to get outside to exercise your Labradoodle in a wide open space. In cases like this, there are several activities that you can do indoors.
These are not as physically demanding but provide great mental stimulation
Puzzles and Snuffle Mats
Usually involving food, you can load up a puzzle or snuffle mat and leave your Labradoodle to figure it out. This means that you can get some work or household chores done. If you see they are struggling, help them after a few minutes to prevent excessive frustration.
Hide and Seek
Hide can be done with treats, toys, or with people. If you have kids, try to get them involved in the game. One person keeps the dog on one end of your home while another hides.
It sometimes takes a while for dogs to understand the game, but it is great fun once they do.
Learning New Tricks
Obedience training at a school is great, but training at home is also very stimulating. Go over your Labradoodle’s old tricks, and try to teach them new ones so they have to focus. This is very rewarding for both you and your dog.
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