Exercise One week after your new pup receives their final vaccination, it is time to begin exercising! As a general rule of thumb pups will be able for two minutes walking per week old, divided into two evenly divided walks. E.g. 15 week old puppy needs half an hour exercise per day divided into two 15minute walks. This should be done to a maximum of 45minutes at a time. Healthy adult dogs will require an hour and a half of exercise a day! No exceptions!! This is best divided as often as possible…e.g. three half hour walks. A lot of people find this hard to do so there are a few ways around it. There are a variety of food-releasing-toys called "Kongs". These are basically hollow rubber chew toys which can be filled with food. Measure out your dog's dinner into a bow, soak it in some water to make it pliable, pack it into the toy and pop the toy into the freezer (maybe in a bag!). Give the toy to your dog the next morning and they will receive their food as it thaws over three to four hours, while both keeping them entertained and giving them some exercise. This will generally account for about half the exercise you need to do on any given day and so they may only need a brisk half hour walk in the evening.. It is important to remember that it is their dinner that is being put into the toy and not supplementary food, obesity may become an issue if they received their normal dinner on top of this. If you would still like to feed a meal why not give half and half? Some larger dogs may require two or three toys to fit in their recommended daily allowance of food so one can be given in the morning and another one or two at lunch. It is a fantastic way to give exercise while you are at work etc. but also a great way to keep them entertained and helps reduce the likeliness of any behavioural issues which may arise from boredom. For most large breeds of dogs (esp. Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs) the problem with exercise often stems from over-exercising them when they are young. This is due to the fact that when they are young their bones and joints don't develop quickly enough to support a massive work load so until 18 months of age be very mindful not to overdo it at exercise. With these breeds we would recommend that they only ever get up to 30-40mins exercise at a time. Even if you can only manage one walk on certain days, it is far better to do a 40minute walk than and hour and a half. Short frequent bouts of exercise are the key. When old enough for it, three half hour walks is ideal…better still four twenty minute walks! As mentioned above, food releasing toys are a great way for them to burn up some energy. Swimming is an outstanding source of exercise for dogs, especially the larger breeds mentioned above, and arthritic patients. This exercise gets all the joints and muscles moving without ever putting too much pressure on them.