Schnoodles, a mix of a Poodle and a Schnauzer, are becoming increasingly popular. But, since both parents are working breeds, it is only natural to wonder how much exercise they would need in order to lead happy, healthy lives. So, how much exercise does a Schnoodle need?
Most adult Schnoodles need between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise daily, while puppies should have around 15 minutes. However, every Schnoodle has varying energy requirements. This largely depends on the genetics of the parents.
Let’s look at why Schnoodle dogs need so much exercise. In doing so, we can better understand how much activity your individual Schnoodle should be getting on a daily basis.
Poodles and Schnauzers were both bred as working breeds. Over the years, there are some lines that have been used more for companionship. This means that the traits of Schnauzers and Poodles differ greatly depending on the line that they originate from
Schnauzers and Poodles that are bred to be family pets will require less exercise than those bred to be working dogs. For the sake of simplicity, I will only be using the working breeds, as it is still very likely that there will be some working history in the parent breeds of your Schnoodle.
Poodles were initially bred to hunt and retrieve waterfowl. This means that they had to be able to go on hunting trips with their humans that lasted several hours. The resulting stamina means that Poodles who are not being used to hunt should be exercised for at least 6o minutes every day.
If you exercise your Poodle in one large chunk in the morning, it should be a very happy dog the rest of the day.
Poodles are also very intelligent and require mental stimulation. Usually, this is done at the same time as they are exercised. However, in some cases, additional mental stimulation may be required. This is especially true if your Poodle stays indoors all day.
Unlike Poodles, Schnauzers were bred to be herding dogs or watchdogs. Their historic exercise did not occur in one large event lasting an hour or two. Rather, they needed to be in the field all day doing moderate exercise.
It is highly recommended that you exercise your Schnauzer for 60 minutes a day too. But, they may not be able to exercise as vigorously during this time as a Poodle might. They will also recover far faster than a Poodle and will need to be exercised again.
For this reason, it is recommended that a Schnauzer’s exercise is split into two or three intervals to better mimic what they were bred to do.
Now that we know the different genetics of the Poodle and the Schnauzer, and how that may influence their exercise requirements, we can better understand how much exercise a Schnoodle dog will need.
It is important to note that, if the parents of your Schnoodle come from non-working lines, it may need less exercise.
If your Schnoodle has more Schnauzer in it than Poodle, you may have to adjust your exercise expectations to be more like that of the Schnauzer’s, which I mentioned above. The same is true if your Schnoodle has more Poodle in it.
Puppy Schnoodles can be extremely energetic. They always want to play and seem to need exercise and activity constantly. But this is not always the best for them.
Schnoodles can very easily injure their joints. If they do so while they are growing, this can lead to a variety of problems later in the Schnoodle’s life which will impede movement.
To prevent these kinds of injuries, your should try not to exercise a three-month-old Schnoodle for more than 15 minutes. For every month that they age, this number can be re-evaluated with an additional 5 minutes added if required.
It is also best if you avoid high-impact activities such as jumping. These easily trainable puppies often reach agility classes early on, but make sure that you are very selective with obstacles in these classes.
Instead, it is best to keep their minds busy. Outside of the 5-15 minutes of activity, you can teach your Schnoodle puppy tricks, or play games that do not necessarily require a lot of movement.
Adult Schnoodles vary greatly, but as a general rule, you should exercise them for about an hour each day. This can be all at once, but due to the Schnauzer heritage, it might be better if you split it into two segments.
For some, it is easiest to exercise them for 30 minutes in the morning, before work and school, and again in the evening.
Some Schnoodles may require a lot less than this. However, in order to prevent health conditions related to lack of exercise it is best to exercise your Schnoodle dog for at least 30 minutes.
Senior Schnoodle dogs calm down a fair bit. Schnoodles can become very mellow from three or four years onwards. It is important to still exercise your senior Schnoodle, even if it does not seem as if it needs as much activity anymore.
Exercise can help with weight management, something that Schnoodles struggle with, and the overall happiness of your dog.
If your Schnoodle is affected by joint issues, consider low-impact activities. You do not always have to encourage your senior dog to run, but a 30-minute walk daily is highly recommended. To supplement this lack of activity, you should also make sure that your Schnoodle has plenty of mental stimulation.
How to Exercise Your Schnoodle at Home
Do you feel as if you don’t always have the ability to take your Schnoodle on a walk outdoors? Maybe your climate is very extreme in either winter or summer, or you don’t feel comfortable walking outside after dark.
No matter the reason, there are plenty of ways that you can exercise your Schnoodle indoors, or in a small backyard.
Thanks to the retrieving nature of the Poodle, Schnoodles love playing fetch. It can be with a frisbee or even an old ball.
When I run out of balls because they’ve all gone over the fence or been eaten, I even use old socks, rolled into tight clumps. This is great for puppies especially as they may not be comfortable with harder balls.
The point is that you don’t need the best equipment or the most space in the world. If you have a smaller Schnoodle, you may even be able to get away with playing fetch in your living room.
Sometimes, doing some training is the best way to tire your Schnoodle out. This is because of the added mental stimulation.
Some active tricks include things like weaving through your legs or finding a specific toy in the house. Spinning is also a great, active trick.
Schnoodle puppies are very intelligent and can pick up more difficult tricks as early as eight weeks old.
These do not require much space at all. You can get a piece of rope or a tug toy like this one specifically designed for these kinds of games.
They are great if your dog is suffering from some sort of injury and cannot run or walk. It uses other muscles which means that you may be able to tire your dog out without needing it to use the injured joints.
Along with exercise, mental stimulation can be very important for an intelligent dog, like a Schnoodle. There are many ways that you can do this.
Using puzzles like this one at mealtime can be a great way to force your Schnoodle to use its brain. Many Schnoodles are very food motivated, so it keeps them captivated without you needing to be present the entire time.
This game is not only for kids, it’s for dogs too. You can either hide and get your dog to find you. Or you can hide certain objects.
One good variation of this is sometimes referred to as the ‘cup game’. In this, there are multiple cups. Under one an item is hidden, and then the cups are moved around before the dog is asked to find the item.
Schnoodles who don’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation get bored. This means that they will try to entertain themselves.
Unfortunately, many active breeds such as the Schnoodle are renowned for becoming destructive in these cases.
Other than destroying your furniture, they may also become very stubborn and refuse to listen in dangerous situations. They may try to run out the door when you enter and exit your home, and may not listen when you call them back.
Of course, there are health reasons why you need to exercise your Schnoodle. Because the Schnoodle is so food-driven, they can often struggle with their weight.
Additionally, this is one of many breeds that seems to have a predisposition to diabetes.
Although exercise is not the only solution to these issues, it can help with prevention and symptom management.
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