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Discussion Starter #1
What do you consider to be the "average" amount of exercise/stimulation a pet dog would get?

What does your dog get?


(Exercise/stimulation meaning any time your dog is deliberately doing something that burns physical and mental energy. Examples: dog play, training, food toys, fetch, etc. Activities like 'hanging out in the yard' do not count)

Disclaimer: I don't mean for this to be judgmental at all. Dogs exist on a spectrum of 'chill in the house with the family all day' to 'work on a ranch all day' and I appreciate the diversity of lifestyles that exist. As long as both people and dogs are happy, I have no issues with how much or how little a dog gets.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And to answer my own question, I see a huge variation among different places I've lived. In more urban areas, I observed that dogs mostly got short walks and hung out in the yard (if there even was a yard). I currently live in a very mountainous and active-lifestyle area and it is normal for dogs to hike multiple times a week.

In my own lifestyle... When Brae was a teeny puppy we did around 3+ hours a day spread into 3-4 chunks. In the peak of summer he got around 2-3 hours a day because we hiked multiple times a week. In the winter and now that he is older, he is getting around 1.5-2 hours, pretty much an outing/training session in the morning and one at night. I think what 'works' for me having a very energetic and high drive dog is consistency (we exercise/train 7 days a week), and I dabble in various physical activities and a variety of brain games. I consider myself to be a very average-active pet owner in terms of lifestyle. But really, I am not running marathons with him or anything like that.

Soro is enjoying retirement :) He goes on almost all the walks but I am training with him less and don't do much high impact stuff with him at all these days. Comparing to when Soro was younger, I'd say I am only working a tiny bit harder with Brae. I was also pretty low-key active with Soro throughout his life. We hiked, biked, trained, and were off leash on a very regular basis despite his urban upbringing.
 

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Honestly, most of the dog people I know don't even walk their dogs. They just hang out with them all day. I don't think it's necessarily horrible.. they're well cared for and they're happy ('hanging out in the yard' probably doesn't count, but there's a lot of squirrel chasing involved). Again though, most of the people I know have more than one dog, so they do get some exercise playing together.

I got my puppy for hiking but it's never going to happen because she's very anxious when we meet people or dogs she doesn't know... so I just walk her in the neighborhood 40 minutes a day (it's about 2 miles). It's the best I can do before I lose my mind from all the 'dog avoiding' and leash pulling to eat poops (ugh). When it's nicer out I'll try and do 2 times 45 minutes, now that she's 1 and I don't have to worry about damaging her joints too much. I do hope she'll be more manageable when she gets older though...
 

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I wish MORE time especially with my two working dogs. I train 5 minutes here and there with the young dog. Less with the older titled and trained dog (mostly we polish stuff and work on relationship and fun).

It has been hard since the end of last summer. I have a FT day job, an elderly parent living with me who has been having medical issues that have deteriorated and take quite a bit of my free time.

Couple that with WINTER and DARK (it is improving on the last part.. but we have another 6-7 weeks of real winter left). Bah.. not enough with any of them including the house dog.

What I would like is a half hour a day with each to train and another couple of hours for exercise and fun. Doesn't have to be all at once. Dogs are in kennels far too much lately. So frustrating (even though I am making training progress and go to training at least 1x a week).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What I've learned in my personal life and through sheltering is dogs don't actually need that much. Even among the Dutch folks I've asked who actively compete, or among people I've talked to who train for bomb detection... Their dogs aren't getting hours and hours of 'stuff' every day. It's 5-15 minutes here and there. A nice outing to stretch their legs. I had broad misconceptions that energetic dogs needed like 4 hours of work a day to keep them happy.
 

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I mean if we are going by average pets in my area that can vary. Some never leave the yard and are just things to pet and play with in the house/yard sometimes. Others get nearly daily walks. Some get walked once a week.

For me it really depends. It has been freezing where I live for a few weeks. We have barely done anything. I mean.. we still go to classes once a week. I will feed the dogs in puzzle toys instead of their regular bowls. When they get really pent up we will go to the pet store just to get out. Really though? Two herding breeds have been doing a whole lot of nothing lately. They are adaptable. In the warmer months we walk just about every day. Plus classes. Plus regular outdoor play sessions.

So. Really it just depends on that day. I try to raise my dogs to be adaptable because things happen. So in conclusion.. inconsistent?
 

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I would say Ralphie gets between 1-2 hours of one-on-one time with me throughout the day. Typically during the work week, its a short stroll in the morning and then a longer walk on his 30ft long line in a park or other open area in town. Then we'll play fetch or I'll just chase him around the yard for 15 minutes or so. We also might practice agility with my little PVC jumps and weave poles and Amazon tunnel for that day's activity, haha. The remainder of that the day, he's crated because we're at work or he just hangs out with us in the house, perhaps shoving a toy in our hands if that strikes his fancy.

When I lived on the farm, the dogs were with us all day, but they would often find a shady place (or place covered with hay in winter) and lay down to watch us doing whatever it was we were doing. The one sometimes patrolled buildings for vermin and then would come out with a big huge rat, so that was fun. The other was the cow dog, and his typical activity was in the morning and evenings guarding gates or moving cows out of the way for my dad to do chores, which lasted a total of 2 hours if everything went right! So I don't feel like the farm dogs got a whole lot more activity than Ralphie does, they were just outside a lot more. The activity was probably harder, I guess, and they got to spend more time just hanging out and watching the world go by.
 

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I mostly know 'dog people' now - as in dog sports people, so even if the dog isn't doing sports they have a pretty danged active lifestyle.

The purely pet people I know range from 'dog rarely leaves the house/yard and doesn't really get trained' to 'walk and hike for probably 20 hours in a given week' all the way down to 'chained to a tree and never sees people'.

My dogs get about an hour total of training + structured, fast moving, hard exercise (disc, ball, obedience games, tug) one on one a weekday and probably 2-3 hours most weekends. The weekend stuff tends to be very specific outings, and the daily stuff happens in 10-15 minute stints. . None of this accounts for sports related activities (classes, lessons, practices, even specific home training, and trials). Those things add a lot but most are also seasonal.

and, like Ftlod, I also have days and sometimes even weeks where what they get is basically 'let out to pee' and 'fed'.
 

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I don't walk my havenese sprocket at all anymore (except for training) but When I had Luna my Great Dane we walked every day for about 2 miles (less as she got older and harder to move around)
I train with sprocket every day about 5-10 min at a time prob 2-3 times a day
I play with him before and after work to try to get some energy out I work full time but spend at least an hour off and on every day playing and training him more on weekends
Since I lost Luna I've been taking sprocket to day care twice a week also so he's not so bored every day while I work
I also take him to petsmart 1-2 days a week and train there
He doesn't get tons of exercise from me really but seems to be enough for him
Also forgot to add classes once a week usually but we are on a short break right now before starting them up again


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I will try to answer best I can, it really varies depending on the particular dog and time of the year for my own dogs. I don't think there is a set normal, its relative to the dog, but I feel the average pet dog probably doesn't get much or maybe a walk. For my own dogs walking doesn't do much as other activities and varies from 30 mins to 2 hours, even with walking they do other activities flirtpole 15-30 mins, springpole also (they like it but doesn't wear them out IME like flirtpole), training type activities really varies a lot it depends what the individual dog is working on and it might be brief sessions like 10-15 mins a 2-3 times a day, I also might go from one activity like wall climb for short period to running with sled, where as another dog might pull heavier and increasing weight over a period of time. So it all depends on the dog and goals for that dog, but my dogs are more than pets.
 

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What I've learned in my personal life and through sheltering is dogs don't actually need that much. Even among the Dutch folks I've asked who actively compete, or among people I've talked to who train for bomb detection... Their dogs aren't getting hours and hours of 'stuff' every day. It's 5-15 minutes here and there. A nice outing to stretch their legs. I had broad misconceptions that energetic dogs needed like 4 hours of work a day to keep them happy.
Even when I had a bit more time training was about a half hour every other day. I would plan what I was working on and do that. Some dogs can thrive on working every day. Those are not common even in the stuff I do. In fact, the dogs who can work every day and progress are the ones who win and compete at National and World level. Even a police working dog spends a LOT of time in a kennel at home or in a crate in a cruiser.

In my breed, a dog without an off switch is a liability not a great dog to own and often the lack of an off switch can mean other issues such as nerve or even health conditions.

The only dogs who work and work and work are dogs actively tending flocks or herds. Even in that fences have replaced a lot of need for dogs in tending.
 

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Hours of hiking most days in the summer.

Much of winter, we pretty much vegetate in a pile. They have some puzzle toys I'll bring out if the weather's too nasty and they're seeming squirrelly, or I'll teach them dumb tricks. (In my defense, this is interior Alaska winter. We're talking -20, -30 F as normal daytime outdoor temps even before windchill is factored in, with -40, -50 as lows. Plus it's pretty dark out even during the day. And everything is coated in a permanent layer of ice.) I want to learn skijoring, but neither of my current dogs is a sufficiently cold-hardy breed.
 

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We live out in the woods and I'm semi retired, which gives me quite a bit of time to spend with her. She gets a quick pee when we wake up but the she gets a 45min-1 hr walk about 2 hours later, every morning. She'll get 2-3 walks during the day which range from 20-30 minutes. Once a week we go for a nosework class and we also do herding every week or 2.

Most people I know are pretty active with their dogs. I think it's definitely a factor of location and local culture.
 

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I recently got my dog the Whistle3 and I am actually able to track his activity which is cool. I set his goal for 60 minutes a day. It does pick up his activity when he goes out in the yard for to go potty, which is usually only a handful of minutes scattered throughout the day, so most of what it picks up is purposeful activity. His average daily activity time since I got the device a few weeks ago is 79 minutes, so I'll say 70 to not account for just going out to potty. This consists of usually one 30-40 minute walk, and the rest is a combination of training and playing fetch.

This is given that I am currently in school and the weather has not been forgiving. Not as bad as where Parus is, but we had a cold snap of 0 to -20F for nearly 3 weeks and while it has been warmer than that lately, it's still cold and snowy and icy. In the summer when it is nicer out and I'm not in school, I expect his activity level will skyrocket - but purely because I enjoy being active with him, not because I feel he NEEDS hours and hours of hiking.

Where I am, it seems like most people in the neighborhood walk their dogs at least somewhat frequently. There is one woman who walks her dog around the block twice (about a mile total) 4 times a day every day, religiously, no matter what. The other dogs seem to get out for a walk at least somewhat frequently, although there are a few dogs that I have seen in yards/windows but have never seen out on a walk. Could just be a timing thing.
 

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I'd love to track the dogs' activity. We suspect Bucky is far more active but who knows?

Unless each dog gets some training, some play and some walking in daily they make our lives miserable. Ginger does an excellent guilt trip and Bucky is restless and asks to go outside constantly. Both would love a training class daily that's for sure. Bucky has had his weekly class already and is blissfully sacked out on my lap. Ginger is impatiently waiting for her class. We twitch and she is on it.

Training is during walks and a couple minutes several times a day. Bucky gets 5-30 minute 'walks' depending on how bad he is and how patient I am. Ginger gets an hour a day. Play is 5 minutes here and there throughout and we often use trained behaviors during play sessions. They are probably outside free to do as they please an hour a day split into many sessions as they come inside if, no when, they bark.

What I have seen is the more intense dogs don't need more time, they need more of ME. Unless I can match their intensity in everything, training, walking and play, they are unsettled and super annoying.
 

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My Aussie is an over the top active dog. When I’m not working we go out for walks 3-4 times a day abou5 3-4 miles each. Needless to say lots of time. However we get a few minutes train8ng or reinforcing on each walk. At work we get out 3 times a day for a walk in the field. We usually do a couple recalls on the 90 foot leash. The walks are about 15-20 minutes each. She mostly just sniffs around and stretches out as she has to be crated due to shop dangers.

Now with winter fully in we get out to go,potty several times a day but it’s only a couple blocks each way. -15 to -20 deg with wind is plenty cold. She still takes her time to sniff around.

Inside we “play with toys”. Sam has 12 toys that we do a rapid fire retrieve often over a 12-18 inch jump. We usually make two rounds. It’s a good all around exercise and she is usually panting when we are done.

We also do some trick training and very close order heeling around the apt rooms. Switch sides,lead and follow.

So lots of time with the dog.

Even so it’s hard not to gain a pound or two, even for me but it comes off quickly in the spring.
 

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I don't know if there is a "normal." Even just thinking of the pet owners I know, their dogs' exercise ranges from "only runs around the yard" to "short walks of a few blocks" to "jogging on the boardwalk" to "running loose in the woods for a couple hours."

My dogs and I walk for about an hour to an hour and a half most days, longer on weekends and some summer evenings. They're also small, so they can run comfortably in the house and in my small fenced yard.
 

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My dogs (standard poodle, pom, mini poodle) go for 4-6 offleash runs a week, of 15-45 mins in length. Depending on where I go it's either just a walk around a large field (my standard tends to do a lot of running, my pom and mini tend to mostly walk/trot behind me. Or it's fetch for the standard poodle (and wandering/sniffing from the small dogs).
Weekly agility for the standard (my little dogs love agility too but I don't have money to keep everyone in training). Often another weekly competition obedience class (though I've missed a couple rounds due to shows and money).
I've been slacking on the training at home. I have been doing some conformation training, but need to get back to comp ob stuff. Hard to stay motivated without the classes.
My standard eats part of each meal in a food toy most of the time. I sometimes do that with my mini too. (My pom is such a pain about eating I just pray he eats SOMETHING from his bowl.
Then we do some fetch inside. My pom especially likes his indoor fetch.
I don't know how much this would add up to be on average a day.
 

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Think breed has alot to do with this also.
Mouse my English Mastiff does 45 min walk in the morning and 45 mins to 1 hour in evening, weekends depending on weather could be alot more, as we do noon time walks on the weekends generally 2 to 5 miles.

Wife boxer mix pup is on about 18 hours a day, still working on his walking on a leash skills. His attention skills are lacking as it goes "We are walking", "Squirrel", "Leaf", "Cat", finally getting his attention back, "We are walking", "Wind","Some smell from that way", "We are walking", "PERSON who might want to play with me!".
So ya the 30 mins it takes to get 1 block from the house, and then the 30 mins getting him back.

The Aries is pretty active all day bounce off Mouse trying to get him to play. To his credit Mouse does play with the pup for about 30 mins at a time, about 5 or 6 times a day.
Wife always freaks at these times, as the generally end with Mouse making a correction because of puppy teeth and the pup getting to excited. Pup yips for a couple mins and Mouse walks off to my offices, which the pup knows it is not allowed in.
 

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Hmm. Our weekday routine looks something like this
Wake up about 6am. Gsd goes with me for morning chores. Feed and water chickens and little goats. Then play ball for maybe 15 mins. Then he gets about an hour of free play time with our lab ( wifes dog ).
Then they come in for breakfast and down time after that. So thats about 2 hours in the morning. Get home from work at 530. Dogs are let out for maybe 30 mins free time to blow off steam. After that the gsd is velcroed to me until bedtime usually around 10 oclock. Inbetween time consistes of playing with the little goats, doing afternoon chicken and goat chores, one on one training and play time, maybe some light yardwork etc. So all told our average weekday my dog gets a good 5-8 hrs of activity and stimulation. I dont sit down after work until bedtime.....I'm a busybody, and my dog gets to hang out with me and help me with whatever I'm doing. I make a point of it. He needs it.
Weekends are anything goes. Still gets all the training, and interaction with the other animals. Usually also includes morning walks to the boat landing and back, we work on some training at the boat landing as people come and go. My dog goes with me in the boat if I go, sometimes we drive to trails and do day hiking with the dogs. Walks on the beach, swimming etc.
I guess most of my free time my dog is with me.
 
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