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Hi!

I live in Finland. I'm interested about dog exercising habits in the US and all over the world. Here in Finland it's usual to walk and exercise a dog for many hours a day. How much do you walk your dog?

Do you think that walkies are important? What's your opinion of treadmills? Do you think that if a dog doesn't get enough exercise it can cause behaving problems?
 

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I have a 4 year old GSD. Yes, social, cognitive, & cardio daily exercise is critical to his well being. He receives 1 hour of vigorous cardio each day as in jogging with me at < 9 min. pace. He receives another 30-60 minutes of daily task driven interactions. And I speak/interact with him regularly as to how I value him and recognize his role in my life.
 

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We normally walk 2-6 miles a day and then have playtime in the yard as well as training sessions. In general I'd say we "work" 2-3 hours a day if not longer on some days. I do believe walks are important, especially if you want a happy healthy dog. I don't have a problem with treadmills but at the same time, the safety risks involved concern me and I don't think I would use one with my dog. Yes, I believe walking helps deter behavioral issues caused by excess energy.
 

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I normally take Lizzie (my yorkie) out for 3 25 minute walks (about 3 miles total) on weekdays and maybe 5 25 minute (around 5 miles total) walks on the weekends. Tessa is too young to walk as much so I carry her for a lot of the walks.
 

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depending on time of year they get more or less.

Spring/summer they get a 30min walk in the morning before work. then a 1-2 hour hike off leash in the woods after work normally we end that hike with a play in the dog park. and then a 30mins walk before bed. Since it stays light out much longer (7:30amish to 9:30pmish)

Winter/fall its dark early and late (gets light at 8am and dark at 4pm) So they normally just get a 1-2 hour hike in the woods offleash and some play in the dog park.

I think walks are very important. And they should get a good daily run to let loose. Some days a walk gets missed. I feel bad, but they will survive.

If we just dont have much time for some reason. we will normally hit the dog park for 30mins and try for a quick 20 min walk. IMO its better then nothing.

They also hit pet stores 2-3 times a week.

Added in with play dates with friends dogs and play time with us.
 

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Welcome to the forum! I used to walk Luke six times a day, now it's down to four times a day. Unless the weather is bad (extreme heat, raining) I take him on just 10min walks. But if the weather is nice, I take him on at least 30min walks; sometimes the walks can be as long as an hour. He likes it and so do I.

Do you think that walkies are important?
^Yes I do. They stimulate a dog's mind and the dog has fun too sniffing new scents/meeting dogs/etc.

What's your opinion of treadmills?
^For dogs? No thanks.

Do you think that if a dog doesn't get enough exercise it can cause behaving problems?
^Oh yeah of course it will! Their mind won't be stimulated and they can easily become bored and destructive. Plus, how are they going to greet any other dog or human if they don't have manners and aren't taught it when they go outside for walks or anywhere (training lessons)?
 

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I walk my dog probably 1 hour, 20-30 minutes a day. We also play, train, go to petsmart and go to the dog park. I think exercise is vitally important to having a well behaved, healthy dog. So much so, that if someone says their dog is misbehaving in any way, my first question is "how much exercise is he getting?" That's usually the problem.

Treadmills? I'm not a fan. Walking isn't just about moving the legs, it's also about seeing, hearing and smelling new and different things, and just being outside, getting fresh air and sunshine (if the sun decides to show up, that is). I can see using a treadmill if the weather is so extreme you couldn't possibly go outside, but in that case, why not engage in more interactive play with your dog? I think an hour of fetch or flirt pole would be better than an hour on a treadmill.
 

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I will be honest and say that it depends on the day. I don't have a set 'schedule' for walking the dogs. My dogs are expected to be very adaptable and ok with a day or two of no walks if need be. On days I can they get 3+ hours of walks and on other days maybe none.

I work full time out of the home and commute and I work a non-traditional hour job that is an on/off schedule. I work longer than 9-5 but get more days off and thus in the winter it's often dark when I leave and dark when I get home.

This week I've been able to start going for about 30 minutes off leash after work and once the time change happens I can go for about 1 1/2 hours. In the mornings I'm awake between 4:30 AM and 5:00 AM and throwing the ball for Mia. my older dog would MUCH rather sleep in and usually doesn't get off the bed until I make her. On the weekends we go for a few hours every day (and my days off). Sometimes a couple times a day. We do all our walks (or at least 90%) off leash so they can run and sniff and I can throw the ball for Mia. On days that walking is just not going to happen we either take a trip to a pet store or just do some ball playing indoors or in the yard or play with our agility equipment (right now I just have a few jumps and tunnels), or do some sort of shaping work. We also do classes right now once a week but I'm adding in Thursday night agility classes for my younger dog. I purposefully time our pet store visits so that I have to go at the least 1-2 times a week and I just pick up something small. The dogs always come with me and we spend at least 30 minutes in the store.

I think doing things is good for your dog but they don't have to be walks. Getting them out quite a few times a week in both class settings, on a leash, and (imo) off leash is important. I like to give them very structured time such as a class and then walks where they can do basically whatever (but recall is always expected of course). Walks for my dogs are not much for exercise purposes, more to let the dogs go sniff and explore. My dogs are very happy as long as we do something together. :)
 

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Depends on weather, since its winter in Canada for about 6 months out of the year we hibernate for the most part because its cold and dark so we only go for walks in the evenings/weekends when its mild temps, or on weekends we go to dog parks. Niether of my dogs have or develop any kind of annoying behavoiral issues when they're not exercised enough. My young Kelpie mix just brings toys or balls for us to throw around the house for him, or we play some tug, or some quick, fast and fun training sessions. Hide-and-go-seek back and forth recall game is a good way to tire him out in our house - especially with my boyfriend in the top story of the house and me in the basement - Thumper has to run up and down 4 short flights of stairs.

I did purchase Thumper a treadmill, I have a gym in my basement and I do exercise regularily because of the cold weather inside, so I have a couple of my own machines that I use, and while i'm working out for 30 mins to an hour I put him on the treadmill.. he LOVES it. I don't even have to ask him to go on the treadmill, as soon as he sees me put my work out clothes on, he bolts for the basement and sits and waits patiently on his treadmill for me to turn it on.

In the summer when we come out of hibernation, we will be out doors quite a bit on a regular basis so they will get tons of exercise. Thumper will get harnessed up and pull us on rollerblades, or we will go jogging (tons of nice paved trails around my house), and since we will have daylight until 9 pm we will go to dog parks in the evenings, hiking on the weekends, and we do lots of camping so in general they will be fairly stimulated but i'm sure they will be no better or worse behavoir wise then they are locked up in the house most of the time now during the winter.
 

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Holly normally gets two walks a day, apart from one day where she only gets one, they normally last at least 45 minutes, but if she is just getting one than it is longer, she always plays with her toys, and there is a green right outside so she plays on that at least once a day too, she gets at least 2 hours a day, it is normally nearer 2 and a half, but in the summer she can get anything upto 3 and a half hours.
 

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Between 2 and 3 hours a day. Sometimes a tad less when we go sledding instead.

I'd never consider a treadmill since I need the fast paced walks as much as my dog does.
 

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The length depends on the weather, but I do walk her everyday regardless.

Coco is a 10-pound toy poodle mix. Right now, because the temperatures are in the low to mid-70s, Coco gets one 10 minute walk when she wakes up and then a 30-minute walk when I get home followed by about 20 minutes of play in the backyard. I try to squeeze in some training/mental stimulation time after that.

I work full time from 8-5 pm (approximately), and when she's at home during the day I do go home during lunchtime. There isn't enough time to give her a walk then, but I do play with her.

A couple times a week Coco goes to doggie daycare to play all day. She's REALLY tired after that.

During the summer months it gets extremely hot here in South Texas (110-degree weather, regularly). During those months, the walks will have to be shortened and more exercise time will have to be play indoors.
 

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Achilles is right around 60lbs, 1.5 year old Aussie. I walk him 4-5 times a day. Once in the morning, one short walk at lunch (I work less than a mile from home), once when I get home and 1-2 more times after that depending if he lets me know he has to go. Aside from the lunch walk each one is about 30 minutes long. He also gets probably 2-3 hrs of yard time a week.
 

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Jubel gets two 30-40 minute walks everyday at a minimum with some indoor play (fetch, tug, wrestling) and training everyday. At least once a week he goes to daycare and on those days he usually doesn't get a walk, but sometimes he'll come home amped up so I'll give him a 10-15 minute walk around the neighborhood. Often on the weekend morning walks we'll run into regulars walking in the park and have a little play date before heading home.

In nice weather we'll go on longer walks/hikes on the weekends and I started some bikejoring training last fall. We'll probably start back on that training soon but I might end up just getting the side attachment for the bike for his to run with rather than pull. He still seems unsure about pulling the bike.
 

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The people that are saying they walk their dogs for 3 and 4 hours a day, that is pretty amazing. Do ya'll not work? I am a teacher/coach and I work 12ish+/- hours a day. I usually spend at least an hour exercising my dog, that includes on/off leash walks and playing Frisbee. Now over the summer things are different when I am off, but during the school year wow I couldn't imagine spending more time than I already do.
 

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The people that are saying they walk their dogs for 3 and 4 hours a day, that is pretty amazing. Do ya'll not work? I am a teacher/coach and I work 12ish+/- hours a day. I usually spend at least an hour exercising my dog, that includes on/off leash walks and playing Frisbee. Now over the summer things are different when I am off, but during the school year wow I couldn't imagine spending more time than I already do.
I'm also a teacher. I just worked my schedule around to help me and the dog. I get up at 4 to work, go to work, come back at 4 for a long walk, come back to eat and work a bit, a long walk in the evening with a friend and BOOM sleep! I usually add a walk in the morning on weekends.
 

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Between 2 and 3 hours a day. Sometimes a tad less when we go sledding instead.

I'd never consider a treadmill since I need the fast paced walks as much as my dog does.

Haha I agree, and I guess I seem to be the only person that uses a treadmill for my dog, but I have several work out machines so I go on my elliptical or use the universal machine or what not while my dog is on the treadmill. I see absolutely nothing wrong with using a treadmill if necessary, but its a total bonus for me that I can actually work out with him, instead of spending hundreds each year on gym memberships, I bought a wackload of used gym equipment and made a home gym in my basement. I can't jog or run very well in cold weather outside, and when I'm just walking I freeze LOL. Plus, I love having my dog as my work out partner, and he absolutely loves going on his treadmill jsut about as much as he likes going outside for walks. Offleash at the dog park - okay totally different, but he could care less about leash walks. He gets more amped up about treadmill or playing fetch in the yard/house than leash walks.. alteast, so it seems :)
 

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Depends on the dog for me. Each gets at least one 40-minute walk a day with 10-20 minutes of training spread out. They also all get some yard play time. Throughout the week, I try to get them all out separately to go to public places like pet stores/shopping centers for training.

Since Kimma is higher energy than the other two, she gets an additional walk plus some more training. She is (unfortunately) the only one that participates in a training class (agility). None of mine get off leash privileges unless in the yard, or sometimes I take Kimma and Bubbles to the dog park (not very often, though). But they do get time on long leads individually (mostly for recall training).

Kimma has used a treadmill before, but only when we were visiting family and there was a blizzard and also if there was extreme heat/severe weather when we were in Texas. She doesn't mind it, but I think we both prefer walking outside. I never miss a day of walking them, though if I'm sick or something, it might just be shorter walks.
 

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Biscuit goes out around 5 times a day. She gets something like 2 hours of running/dog park/walking time, split into 3 walks, plus 2 quick trips outside, once after dinner and once right before bed. It works for us.

As for treadmills...generally not a fan - I get bored silly on a treadmill, I can't imagine a dog would feel differently about it. That said...today I am down for the count with a bout of food sickness, and I can barely get the dog around the block, much less to the dog park. I wish we had a treadmill today!
 
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