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How much exercise?

March 30th, 2007, 05:20 PM
Just wondering how much exercise my dog really needs. We just brought him home on Monday, he is a 9 month old shepard/husky cross, about 60 lbs.

Currently, we are walking him about 30 min's in the morning, 20 min at lunch, and then a 45-60 min brisk walk in the evenings. Since we are crating him during the day, I want to make sure he's exercised enough. He seems tired after our evening walks, but then seems really restless at night. Could this be him adjusting to us and the new house, or is he really not getting enough exercise?

We really don't have time to do much more walking, and don't trust him offleash yet as he's still very timid and shy of other dogs. Anyone have any suggestions for ways to get in some extra exercise? We are going to start running with him, slowly adding a few minutes of running to our walks at a time so he can adjust to it.

March 30th, 2007, 09:22 PM
Your doggie's restlessness could be a combination of not enough exercise and being in a new environment. Where does he sleep?

There are lots of other ways to add exercise and stimulatiion to your dog's routine. Retrieving is excellent as he is running off leash and doesn't require much effort on your part. You can also play games such as hide-and-seek with his favorite toys and treats. One of my favorites are stuffed Kongs; you can feed him one meal a day from this; stuff it really tight to provide him with a challenge and lots of jaw exercise. Training in general would be really good for him too as this would require concentration on his part. Not only is physical exercise very important but so is mental stimulation. Pick up a few books or Google search games and tricks you can learn to teach him. Don't forget, it's always more satisfying for both of you if you're having lots of fun too.

Have you posted any photos of him yet?

March 30th, 2007, 10:24 PM
My two and a half year old is never ever tired. While you may not be comfy with this list, it's just starters so you know there's lots you can do.

We play fetch in a tennis court when people aren't using it. We do have recall, but the ball bounces better on pavement :D She has a buster cube from petsmart I sometimes put dinner in. We rollerblade at the lake so the pace is faster. We train in little bursts all day. Currently we are working on agility weave poles with plungers in the kitchen, and heeling by free will.

In winter I signed up for a class a week at a local school, because I was so busy it made sure I had to do something special each with with my dog.

March 30th, 2007, 10:49 PM
Jemma (lab husky) got about 2-3 hours of play a day at that age (or at 1.5 years when we got her, but she was still young ;)). Walking usually isn't enough stimilation for high energy dogs. :shrug:

March 30th, 2007, 10:59 PM
Every dog has different energy levels and exercise requirements. A shepard/husky cross would likely be a fairly high energy dog. I would say a large part of his restlessness is probably just adjusting to his new home. It has only been a few days so he should settle in fairly quickly.

The others had some great suggestions for burning off some excess energy. If he has good leash manners then consider using an extendable leash on your walks (don't use if he already has poor leash manners as this will probably make them worse).

Good luck :) .

March 30th, 2007, 11:00 PM
Just wondering how much exercise my dog really needs. We just brought him home on Monday, he is a 9 month old shepard/husky cross, about 60 lbs.

I think its likely that he needs more time to adjust... Not only is he a puppy but he is also in a new place. You likely won't see the same kind of restless in a few weeks, even if you don't change his routine too much.
However, given that he's a husky and shephard cross, less than 2 hours of on-leash walking per day is not enough IMO. As a puppy 2 hours of walking on a pavement (I assume) isn't the best form of exercise but having said that, this mix likely needs 2+ hours of off-leash running/playing on "soft" ground.
My last dog was a husky/gsd mix and she got 4 hours of off-leash hiking per day (minimum). Granted not everyone can give a dog that much exercise but when you consider what they were bred for, its realistically what they thrive on. Training will definately help because as most people will tell you - 30 minutes of training is more tiring than double the amount of on-leash walking (providing that you and your dog are working together - the dog has to be actively thinking IMO for it to apply...If you aren't motivating the dog to think/learn, the training won't be stimulating or tiring for the dog).

Having said all this, each dog is an individual and some will need more or less exercise. There is no definitive answer - I wish there were;) ! My current dog is a scenthound and even though he can be a couch potato - that's only after 2-3 hours of off-leash hiking in the mornning. Plus training sessions (agility, OB, flyball, shaping) throughout the day and another hour of off-leash time in the afternoon/evening (minimum).
I also agree with enrolling in an positive reinforcement OB course to combat the restlessness. Not only will he bond with you and gain confidence but it will be tiring and teach you how to help him become a well-mannered and reliable dog!

Do you have any fenced in area's you can go where dog's are permitted? You can try using a long line to give him a little more exercise (make sure you tie knots in it every 5-10 feet so you have something to grip). Try incorporating hills or maybe some hiking trails 2+ days a week instead of just walking on the flat (pavement). Sand is also harder for a dog to walk through - but like hills, you have to start slowly... Anywhere you can take your dog swimming in the summer? Maybe start "jumping" training by making cavelletti's to increase awarness and placement of paws as well as adjusting his stride and eventually work up to jumping???
I use a backpack for my dog and have him pull various objects (a tire, me on ski's, bike trailer etc..) Since your dog is only 9months old you'd have to start with an empty backpack or have him pull a small water bottle until he matures (with the proper gear of course)...But you can definately get things started now. I've put little things on command like digging in sand for shoulder muscles, sitting in beg position for core strength, slow weaving for the spine and standing on hind legs for overall stability/muscle strength. Of course Dodger is a borderline performance dog so things like that are necessary but I'm sure not everyone has time for that!!:o They sure do help for those days when a walk isn't possible!:p

Do you know anyone with a friendly and confident and preferably trained, adult dog? Since your dog is shy, you'd need to work up to greetings and playing but I believe that a stable dog, is usually the best teacher and exerciser for a young one!

Good luck and thank you for rescuing! I hope to see some pictures too.:)

March 31st, 2007, 12:04 AM
Wait, is this the dog that was also neutered on Monday when you got him?

If so, he should still be on fairly limited exercise, definately on leash. If he is restless he also may still be uncomfortable. Is there any bruising or swelling from the neuter?

March 31st, 2007, 01:40 PM
I have three very high energy dawgs and they need to be BUSY to be happy. Nine months is still a pup and your dog needs alot more physically demanding exercise than you say your time allows. So, you need to both make more time and make his exercise time efficient. But if as Teri suggests, he has had recent surgery give him another few days to a week to recuperate.

Obedience training CLASSES should be number one. You have a dog with a breed background that is willful, smart, stubborn and an independent-thinker. If you ever hope to be off-leash (a good thing) ~ you, your partner and your dog need training.

I am deeply envious of Lissa :cloud9: ~ if you can get into ANY thing like agility, competetive obedience etc. DO IT. It's an amazing thing for yourselves and your dog.

In the interim, use your time wisely, find steep hills to walk up and down. Is there a place you can hike nearby? Can you find a bicycle path and buy the attachment for your bike? Find a way to use all your dogs muscle groups.

Even in a big city, without single-vehicle transportation or tons of time and spare $$$ ~ I guarantee it can be done ~ you just have to be creative.