Exercise and Play | Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

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Exercise and Play

Three Labrador puppies run across a footpath towards the camera

Exercise is very important for a young puppy as it develops its physical and mental health. However, remember that over exercising can cause damage to a puppy’s soft bones.

The amount of exercise a dog requires depends on its breed. If you have any enquiries about the level of exercise you should be giving your dog, ask your local veterinary clinic.

Exercise tips:

  • Consider weather conditions before going out for exercise.

  • Avoid exercising your puppy in the heat of the day. Morning or afternoon walks are much preferred.

  • Concrete footpath tends to get too hot for your puppy to walk on. Try walking your puppy on the grass instead.

  • Keep an eye out for hazards on the ground.

  • Pick up after your dog.

Walking on lead

Get your puppy used to walking on lead at an early age. Learning how to walk on lead is a very important skill for all dogs. Train your puppy to:

  • Walk on lead without pulling

  • Walk on your left hand side

  • Remain calm and settled around other animals and people

  • Not lunge or jump while on lead

Playtime

Playtime is an important part of puppyhood, as it stimulates mental and physical growth. Here are some tips:

  • Teach your puppy that outdoor and indoor are different. Allow your puppy to run, chase and use its high energy during outdoor play; have a calmer and quiet interaction for indoor play.

  • Placing toys in a box is a great idea. This will encourage your puppy to select a toy that will keep it interested.

  • Ensure that toys are age and breed appropriate.

  • Whenever your puppy gives you a toy, say ‘give’ clearly. Soon your puppy will give you the toy on command.

  • When your puppy gets overexcited or too rough during play, stop playing and walk away. Ignoring negative behaviour is the best way to teach your puppy that the behaviour is unacceptable.

NEXT CHAPTER: Obedience and Training