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Mixed messages - how much exercise????(6 Posts)
Hi all, hoping I can pick your brains on this. I have a 2 and half month old cockerpoo. On the one hand I’ve read that he should only get 5 mins of exercise per month so max 15 minutes at the minute. On the other hand I’ve read they are very high energy dogs and need loads of exercise. Which is it?
He tends to get wild in the evenings running around and barking and nipping - is this because he’s not getting enough exercise? Sometimes he will also whine like he’s lonely (we are working from home so sitting at table)
The exercise we do is usually in the morning, fetch/give, out in the garden for a walk around, a bit of tug and then some monkey where we each sit at opposite ends of the kitchen and get him to run between us to sit and get a treat. This is mainly in the morning. He is not crated for the rest of the day so he can trot around the kitchen in between naps and he has lots of toys out for him to play with and then he will come with us if we are going out to bin/to hang out washing. Is this sufficient? We find it hard to get him to nap as he wakes up any time we move!!
Aside from this we are also doing mental agility - touch, leave it and into bed and sit.
What do you think?
The going mental in the evening at that age is typically because they are like an over hyped up over stimulated tired toddler. Enforcing a nap is probably your best bet. I would put mine in his crate, he would throw his bed around for a couple of minutes then crash out asleep to wake up a nicer puppy.
As for the exercise what I was told was that it typically refers to on lead road walks and is there mainly to make you think about their growing joints so you don't drag them on an hours walk when they won't be able to rest if needed. Off lead it doesn't matter as much because they can stop and sit when they need to. That also applies to playing in the garden.
Therefore I kept to the 5 minute rule on lead but off lead when walking on soft surfaces we did more but made sure he didn't go overboard e.g. on his own he was ok but if we were with other dogs I would have to make sure he rested as he would not stop.
As for being a high energy breed (I have a working cocker) the best advice I was given is to mentally exercise them more than physically. If you keep walking and walking to tire them out they just get fitter and fitter and you then have to walk further and the cycle continues.
For a young pup that sounds about right, I think we gradually increased the amount of time our terrier puppy 'walked' (I use that term loosely as for ages he would walk 5 paces and then sit down and refuse to move 🥴😂.)
The zoomies in the evening is completely normal, normally a sign they're knackered and need to go to bed!
There is no scientific support for the '5 minute rule'. I'd just be careful about loads of lead walking on the road and anything high-impact like stairs or chasing after a ball.
The evening mania is IME often linked to being knackered, like an over-tired toddler.
The 5 minute thing is just a rule of thumb to make sure you support joints by building up muscle tone gradually.
It’s also not all exercise... it’s for anything they can’t see their own pace for or is so exciting they’re not likely to rest or pay attention to needing to rest.
So, on lead walking, playing with other dogs, exciting games like fetch.
But that still leaves loads of stuff you’re then not limiting.
Agree 5 min rule is more of a guideline, there's no evidence to support it.
I let mine run off lead as a pup for socialising, but if she got tired she could take a break herself and stop. It's definitely meant that she is quite a fit and healthy version of her breed. But exercising on lead on pavements was more limited because of the impact on hard surfaces.
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