Labrador puppies are born with their natural activity level set at around 70% of adult levels. They have no idea what it feels like to not be able to run or jump very high. But they do know when they don’t get enough exercise! When your puppy starts getting too old for playtime, he will start showing signs of being tired and may even stop playing altogether. If you see him lying down all day long, he probably isn’t getting enough exercise!
What Is Exercising Your Labradors?
Exercise is anything that increases the physical activity level of a dog. Dogs do not exercise themselves, so if you want to increase their physical activity level, you must provide them with exercise. You can give them walks or play time outdoors, but nothing else! Do NOT leave your puppy home alone all day! (Unless you live in a rural area where there are no other dogs around! )
The amount of exercise a dog needs depends on several factors such as age, breed, size and health status. However, most experts agree that it is best to keep a puppy’s activity level between 60-70%. A healthy puppy will typically go outside for 30 minutes every hour.
Most puppies will need to be walked once per day. Some puppies will only require one walk per week while others may need two walks per week.
How Many Steps Can My Dog Take?
If you have a tiny breed of dog, you may have to walk it less. For example, A Chihuahua that is three months old may only need a short 15-minute walk around the block every day. But as your dog grows, they are going to get more and more restless if they are not getting enough exercise!
However, there is no reason why you can’t give them a lot of short walks instead of several long ones. As long as your Labrador exercise chart says that they should be getting a lot of exercise every day, any time they get more than 10 minutes of walking or playing is a bonus!
You may also choose to make one long walk every day and break it up into two shorter ones. Each owner will have to decide what works best for their lifestyle and dog. But no matter what, you need to stick with the same routine every day so that your dog knows when it is walk time!
How Much Should My Dog Weight?
The question on how much should my dog weigh is always a difficult one. Many vets will tell you that if you stick to the Labrador exercise chart that you gave you and fill out the diet sheet they also gave you, your dog will be just the right weight. However, as every dog is different, this may not always be the case.
While each dog is different, you can see from the chart below that there are some weights that are unhealthy for any breed. There are also weights that are typical for each breed. Of course, this does not mean that your dog has to exactly match these charts, but getting close is certainly a good thing!
How Much Should My Dog Weigh?
(Typical Weights) Breed Typical Weight Terrier: Airedale 25-40 lbs. Terrier: Boston 20-30 lbs. Terrier: Jack Russell 20-25 lbs. Terrier: Patterdale 15-25 lbs. Terrier: Scottish 15-25 lbs. Shepherd Dog: Collie 55-85 lbs. Shepherd Dog: German Shepherd 70-90 lbs. Hound: Basset Hound 40-60 lbs. Hound: Beagle 45-75 lbs. Hound: Bloodhound 70-160 lbs. Hound: Doberman 60-110 lbs. Hound: Weimaraner 70-120 lbs. Hunting Dog (Sight Hounds): Afghan Hound 35-65 lbs. Hunting Dog (Sight Hounds): Basenji 28-45 lbs. Hunting Dog (Sight Hounds): Greyhound 65-70 lbs. Hunting Dog (Sight Hounds): Saluki 45-60 lbs. Hunting Dog (Sight Hounds): Whippet 35-55 lbs. Herding Dog: Australian Cattle Dog 55-65 lbs. Herding Dog: Belgian Sheepdog 35-45 lbs. Herding Dog: German Shepherd 100-120 lbs. Herding Dog: Hungarian Puli 35-45 lbs. Herding Dog: Australian Shepherd 75-90 lbs. Herding Dog: Border Collie 40-55 lbs. Herding Dog: Pembroke Welsh Corgi 25-35 lbs. Herding Dog: Shetland Sheepdog 30-40 lbs. Hunting Dog (Mans Best Friend): Bulldog 50-75 lbs. Hunting Dog (Mans Best Friend): Dalmatian 55-70 lbs. Hunting Dog (Mans Best Friend): Labrador Retriever 65-90 lbs. Hunting Dog (Mans Best Friend): Siberian Husky 40-70 lbs. Hunting Dog (Mans Best Friend): Terrier: Airedale 23-32 lbs. Hunting Dog (Mans Best Friend): Beagle 16-23 lbs. Racing Dog: Greyhound 70-90 lbs. Racing Dog: Whippet 35-55 lbs.
My dog is over weight, what can I do?
If you have allowed your dog to become overweight, the most important thing is not to put too much focus on their diet for now. It is far better for them to exercise more and that should come first. It may be a good idea to talk to your vet about a diet plan to help you with this.
Did you know that overweight pets are much more likely to get diabetes, cancer and heart disease?
The good news is that it is much easier to prevent your dog from getting these diseases than it is to cure them. All you need to do is get your dog exercising and eating a proper diet.
What should I look out for?
Many people believe that dogs will let you know if they are in pain, however this is very rarely the case. Many times a dog will show no signs at all of pain and will continue as normal, meaning that you may not know your dog is in pain.
What can I do to prevent this?
One of the best ways to find out if your dog is in pain is to schedule an appointment with your vets. They can not only tell you whether your dog is in pain, but they can also find out what is causing the problem and work out a treatment plan.
Diet and nutrition
What should I feed my dog?
The main types of food that most pet owners will have in mind are dry and tinned food. Tinned food has the benefit of usually containing more moisture and nutrients, however many people prefer to use dry food as they find their pet eats it much quicker. As long as you are feeding good quality food and watching your pets weight, the choice is really down to personal preference.
How much food should I feed my dog?
The guidelines for feeding dogs are very simple and can be summarised in the 3C’s.
3 Cups of food a day. (Yes this means a cup isn’t a measurement in fluid ounces, but in measure of food).
Sources & references used in this article:
- Hereditary myopathy in Labrador Retrievers: clinical variations (RE McKerrell, KG Braund – Journal of Small Animal Practice, 1987 – Wiley Online Library)
- Labrador Retrievers for Dummies (J Walton, E Adamson – 2011 – books.google.com)
- Presence and impact of the exercise-induced collapse associated DNM1 mutation in Labrador retrievers and other breeds (KM Minor, EE Patterson, MK Keating, SD Gross… – The Veterinary …, 2011 – Elsevier)
- Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs (SE Lofgren, P Wiener, SC Blott… – Applied Animal …, 2014 – Elsevier)
- Diet, exercise, and weight as risk factors in hip dysplasia and elbow arthrosis in Labrador retrievers (MH Sallander, A Hedhammar… – The Journal of …, 2006 – academic.oup.com)
- Exercise induced collapse in Labrador retrievers (SM Taylor – Update, 2007 – labrander.dk)