Our mini Labradoodle Max loves to go for walks. He would walk to the end of the earth if we let him! But how often should I walk my Labradoodle – and is there a maximum distance or frequency for different aged or sized Labradoodles?
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Why we should consider how far we walk our Labradoodles
A “doodle” is any mixed-breed dog. The Labradoodle is one of the most popular doodles and makes a great addition to any family. The behavioral characteristics of a poodle and a Labrador Retriever’s playful nature are seen in a Labradoodle.
If you’ve just got home a Labradoodle or are contemplating getting one, keep reading to learn more about this doodle and how you can care for it better.
My Labradoodle Max is a bundle of joy and excitement. It won’t be wrong to say that this breed approaches life head-on and that too at full speed. It is essential to teach your doodle restraint without breaking its spirit.
Easier said than done, I agree, but this is a breed that is easy to train. The bonus- they are intelligent and eager to please.
Like humans, daily exercise is a must for all dogs’ breeds, some more than the others. The Labradoodle is a boisterous pet and requires some daily physical activity to help it expend energy. Walking is a great way to build its strength and help it socialize with other animals and people.
It can calm an over excited Labradoodle (and even help stop a Labradoodle that likes to chase your cat).
Exercising is part of owning a Labradoodle
Exercising your Labradoodle is part and parcel of taking good care of it. A healthy exercise routine and a balanced diet play a significant role in maintaining pets’ health. Remember that this is a breed with boundless energy. So, the more you exercise them, the less likely they are to be bored or destructive
Your Labradoodle should be made to follow a schedule from the beginning. Labradoodle puppies are very energetic and need 30-60 minutes of activity daily.
This will, to some extent, help in exerting their energy.
For a LabradoodleYou can combine 15-20 minutes of walk with 10 minutes of a fun game of catch twice a day to help burn up their pent up energy. A daily walk is also an excellent way to bond with your pup.
Remember to consider the age of your pet while deciding on an exercise routine. Compared to a puppy, a young adult will need more vigorous exercise.
An older dog may not have the stamina for long excursions. Ten minutes of walk or a quick game of fetch should be more than enough for such older dogs. Anything more will tire them.
Effects of Not Exercising Your Labradoodle
Dogs need to be exercised daily. In other words, if not a planned exercise schedule, ensure that they have plenty of time for physical activity throughout the day like running around the yard with the kids, swimming, playing fetch, etc.
As with humans, your Labradoodle will also show signs of a sedentary lifestyle:
- The most obvious is an increase in weight, especially if it has been coupled with a poor diet. An overweight pet is at the risk of several conditions that can affect its health, including joint problems, back problems, and heart and lungs issues. If your dog is overweight, you may have to consult a vet for appropriate exercises to help it lose weight.
- Lack of exercise will also make your pet restless since it is unable to exhaust the pent-up energy.
- Barking continuously for no reason or destroying things around the house are signs of restlessness brought on by lack of exercise.
- If muscles are not exercised enough, they lose their strength, leading to stiffness and movement difficulty.
- A sedentary lifestyle leads to a reduction in your pet’s stamina level, and they tend to become lethargic.
- Dogs with low physical activity have been known to suffer from diabetes.
How Much Should A Labradoodle Walk?
A labradoodle’s walking needs will depend on its age. Other factors, like diet and energy levels, also play a part. You can, however, follow some general guidelines:
Puppies between 10 weeks to 5 months can safely do a 10-minute light walking. Puppies are not very strong yet, so make sure there is no strain on their legs. The walk is to get them used to it and build up their stamina.
Bigger puppies between 4 and 8 months could do up to 30 minutes of daily walking and intermittent sprinting, followed by a few minutes of rest.
Between 8 and 12 months, your pup has developed more endurance and stamina and can walk for up to 45-minute once daily. You may follow it up with a short walk towards the end of the day or before bedtime.
Adults Labradoodles are those between 12 to 18 months and are fully grown. They are strong enough and will enjoy at least an hour of medium-paced walking each day. Some may prefer a bit more or a bit less, but that should not cause worry.
Older dogs will typically have less energy than they had when they were younger. But it is still important to keep them physically active daily. These can be shorter strolls or a walk on the beach or in a park. Not only will it keep them fit, but it will also help relieve any age-related stiffness.
After they are trained, the walks can be off the leash. Labradoodles are very sociable and enjoy meeting with other dogs and humans as well.
A ball or frisbee can be an excellent outdoor toy to train your Labradoodle to stay fit and focused.
Keep their walking routine interesting. Change your route every other week if possible to allow your pet to experience new scenes and unique scents.
Avoid Walks When…
Let’s look at some situations when walking your Labradoodle is not a good idea:
• Hot weather events
In hot weather, avoid walking your Labradoodle during the middle of the day to keep it safe from the risk of heat-related issues like heat stroke and dehydration.
Instead, early mornings or late evenings after sunset are good times to walk your pet, especially during hot summers. It also pays to keep a bottle of water handy for your pet.
• Cold Weather events
Cold weather can also be harmful, especially if your pet has been left out for too long in the cold when temperatures dip. Hypothermia can happen to pets too.
Play indoor games when it is freezing outside. Keep your doodles warm and make sure they are well fed since winters tend to make them hungry, just like it does to us, humans.
• Illness – Your Labradoodle is Sick
It’s okay to miss that daily stroll if your Labradoodle is unwell or injured. The walk can wait for a few days until your pet is back on its feet again.
Other Exercise Options for Labradoodles
- Play a fast game of fetch. This can be done in your backyard or open ground. A quick game of ball in the garden will also help give it an oxygen boost.
- Playing indoor dog games and activities. This is perfect for slightly grown-up puppies. They will enjoy chasing a ball down the hall and bringing it back to you for more.
- A puzzle toy filled with his favorite dog food is an excellent option for any size or breed. This game can be scheduled during his snack time. Make sure that the puppy does not choke on its chow. In times of excitement, a dog can choke in its food!
- You can freeze a stuffed Kong for example and it will distract and exercise your Labradoodle for a surprising amount of time!
- Quick training sessions with a series of sit-downs, stays, or whatever else your pet has learned can challenge its thinking, reinforce good behavior, and its instructions following capacity.
- You can also try teaching them something new. Don’t be surprised to come across a labradoodle that knows its numbers and alphabets. This is a very intelligent breed.
- If your Labradoodle loves to follow you around, walk all over the house and let them follow you. Do it a few times, and you will see that your pet now knows where you are going next. You can also play hide and seek while doing this.
- Hide some treats throughout the house while playing hide-and-seek, and let your dog find them. This helps them discover and learn new things. This is essentially housework or scent training. Try a simple nosework game like the muffin tin game for dogs.
- If your dog understands instructions, have him go and find your kids or spouse.
- Swimming is an excellent exercise for all, and dogs are no exception to this. Swimming helps build their endurance, and which dog doesn’t enjoy a splash in the pool, and this is a breed that is born to swim. They’ll be happy to keep you company in the water all season long.
- Socializing with other dogs can also benefit your doodle mentally and physically.
How Much Is Too Much Exercise for a Labradoodle?
Before we discuss how much is too much, let’s look at the activities that are a complete no-no for your pup.
• Jumping off the table
• Slipping and sliding
• Making them stand on their back legs
These activities can cause damage to a puppy’s joints. Young pups should not be made to perform stunts, too, since it can impair their joints and cause serious issues.
Puppies are also used to frequently change their walking pace, sprinting one minute, trotting the next, and then standing still looking around. If your pup is forced to maintain a steady pace for a long time, it can damage ligaments and immature joints.
Playing outdoors for a short while or short walks on a leash will provide your puppy with a safe amount of exercise.
Making them do the same mechanical movement for extended periods will also cause boredom and dislike for that activity. Humans may be creatures of habit, but dogs are not.
Dangers and Red Flags
There are certain things that you need to pay attention to while your out walking your doodle or any other pet:
• Make sure there is not much vehicular traffic on the road or near the pavement where you are walking.
• If your walking route passes through a busy street with vehicle movement, ensure your Labradoodle is on a leash. This will prevent it from running into oncoming traffic, which may end up having disastrous results. It is always better to err on the side of caution where your pets are concerned.
• In a park or where other dogs are present, ensure that your Labradoodle is not aggressive and does not attack other dogs. Similarly, be that protective shield against any other dog trying to threaten him.
Where the oodle dog is concerned, the more the activity, the happier the dog!
Labradoodles make lovable companions. It won’t be wrong to say that it lives to love you. They love playing and spending time with the humans in the family. This is why they quickly become an integral part of the family.
This is a breed that is also great with kids- loving and gentle. In terms of suitability, the Labradoodle makes for a great family pet, even for first-time pet owners.
As for me, home is where my doodle is.