Toy Poodle Exercise Needs
- Pace / Level of exertion
- Siberian Husky Poodle Mix: mini Huskydoodle Puppy
- German Shepherd Poodle Mix – Mini Shepadoodle Puppy
- Chihuahua Poodle Mix puppies: Chipoo Breed Traits and Care
- Black Shih Poo Puppies Breeders (Shih Tzu and Poodle Mix)
- Toy Poodle Allergies
- Can you be Allergic to a Poodle?
- Are Toy Poodles Hypoallergenic Dogs?
- Are Poodles Hyper?
- Are Poodles Stubborn?
Why Is Exercise So Important For Your Poodle?
- Increases blood circulation, which in turn decreases a dog’s risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Increases bone strength; bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger
- Is great for digestion; helps prevent constipation
- Helps maintain proper muscle tone, which can in turn cut down on injury
- Can help prevent canine diabetes and reduce the odds of stroke and even some cancers
- Can help slow the development of arthritis
- Decreases odds of UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections); this is due to exercise stimulating urination which in turn helps to rid the body of unhealthy bacteria.
- Can increase life span, as diet, exercise, dental care and living conditions are the top 4 elements that affect how long a dog lives.
- Barking – One of the main causes of excessive barking is frustration and exercise can help eliminate this element.
- Destructive behavior – Without regular release of energy via healthy, purposeful activity, a Poodle of any age may instead focus his energy on chewing, digging, scratching or other destructive behaviors.
- Aggression/irritability – Poodles can develop the canine equivalent of cabin fever; dogs that are allowed to release tension via moderate exercise are often much calmer once back at home.
- Attention seeking behavior – Dogs that miss out on regular one-on-one time with their owners can end up constantly seeking attention. However, when this need is met, the dog can relax at home, knowing that another session is due to happen soon.
- Overall mood – With tension and frustration released in a healthy way, half the battle is done. The other part is mental stimulation… Dogs are happier when they routinely can ‘be dogs’; they are happiest when they can smell scents and see sights other than what is inside the house. This creates more of a calm, relaxed mood when indoors.
- Sleep – Dogs that routinely exercise sleep better at night, both in how long they sleep and how much REM (deep sleep) they receive. Just a slight case of sleep deprivation that snowballs as the days and weeks pass by can cause all sorts of behavioral issues. This can be resolved with proper exercise.
Social Health – An often overlooked yet important part of a Poodle having the right amount of exercise is how it will improve his ability to be well-socialized.
- Increase bonding – Taking the time to exercise your Poodle will also strengthen the owner/dog relationship. This is particularly true when you use this time to work on Heeling techniques. Regular walks with you gives your Poodle a ‘job’ and taking this on as a team each day can greatly improve the relationship between owner and dog.
- Teach socialization- One of the most crucial aspects of raising a dog to be tolerable of other animals, people and situations is to expose him to the outside world on a regular basis. Many owners of Poodles that act hyper toward cars, dogs and people will avoid taking the Poodle out for a walk; yet this is the very thing that will lead to the Poodle learning to behave (more ahead). In time, regular outdoor activity will allow a dog to gain the experience needed to have self-confidence while out and about.
The Best Exercise for a Poodle
- It can be adjusted as needed. Once you fall into a routine of walking your Poodle often enough and for long enough periods of time(more ahead), his cardiovascular health, stamina and muscle strength will gradually improve… as this happens, walking speed can be incrementally increased so that your Poodle receives the same amount of body conditioning.
- It is low impact. When your Poodle will be performing an action daily and essentially forever, you want that activity to offer all of the benefits without putting undue stress on the body. Repeated strenuous exercise puts stress on the joints, overtaxes muscles and can cause injury.
- It is easy to do. The only things that you will need is a leash and harness (more ahead) and some patience if your Poodle needs some practice to keep his behavior in line (more ahead). Also, with few exceptions, you can walk a dog during any season (we will discuss winter, rain, heat, etc. in just a bit).
How Much Exercise a Poodle Needs
- 3 months old = One 15 minute walk each day
- 4 months old = Total of 20 minutes; this can be two 10 minute walks
- 5 months old = Total of 25 minutes; split into two walks
- 6 months old = Total of 30 minutes; split into three 10 or two 15 minute walks
- 7 months old = Total of 35 minutes; divided into two sessions
- 8 months old = Total of 40 minutes; best if done in three sessions (15, 15 and 10 minutes)
- 9 months old = Total of 45 minutes; best if done in three sessions (15, 15, 15)
- 10 months old = Total of 50 minutes; best if done in three sessions (20, 15, 15)
- 11 months old = Total of 55 minutes; best if done in three sessions (20, 15, 20)
- For standards only, 12 months through 23 months = Continuation of 55 minutes (20, 15, 20). Toys and minis will at this point, move ahead to adult exercise requirements.
Adults – An adult Poodle in his prime, 1 year old (toys) or 2 years old (standards) to 7 years old, should have 60 minutes of exercise per day. Do keep in mind that no matter how active a dog appears while inside the home, this does not decrease the amount of time that the dog should be walked. There will be days that your schedule simply does not allow this or days when weather is so severe that you’ll need to offer alternatives; however those should be the exceptions.
- Morning – If you will be leaving for the day, it’s a good idea to exercise your Poodle before you leave.
- Early evening – When you arrive back home, the two most important things to do will be to bring your Poodle to the bathroom area outside and then take him for a walk to release the built up tension that developed while the dog was home alone.
- Two hours later – Once dinner has been served, some household chores have been done and you are thinking about possibly relaxing for the night, this can be a great time to go for the 3rd and last walk of the day, should you decide to do 3 walks per day instead of 2. While you won’t want to exercise your Poodle right before bedtime, heading out for a quick jaunt about 2 hours before the expected sleep time can help your dog calm down and relax as the family settles in for the night.
Seniors – Do not make the mistake of assuming that an older dog doesn’t need exercise. Unless a senior Poodle has health conditions that prohibit him from exercising, you’ll want to continue with daily walks. Some owners feel that a senior Poodle is more than content resting around the house. And while seniors are often complacent…they’ve seen it all and have done it all… and not much may excite them… Being out in the fresh air and stretching their legs can put a little pep in another wise ho-hum step.
Proper Walking Pace
Overcoming Reasons for Not Walking Your Poodle
My Poodle barks and acts out of control when I try to walk her.
- If your Poodle acts a tad crazy when you try and walk him/her, you’re not alone. However, avoiding walks will not help resolve the issue. Many dogs will bark madly at anything that’s within their line of sight… people, other dogs, cars, birds, squirrels, etc. The key to all of this is that a dog reacts that way when the element is intriguing or if it gives the dog concern. And both of those attitudes will fade more and more as the dog is exposed to the elements.
- If you’ve ever seen a dog barking like mad when being walked, if you could fast forward 6 months (and the owner consistently kept taking the dog out along the same route that whole time), you’d see a very different dog. That dog would be socialized to every aspect of the outside world and those perceived threats would no longer cause alarm.
- The best thing to do is to ignore the barking (and your neighbors that are giving you funny looks) and with your Poodle safely on a harness (not a collar) and the leash kept short, keep walking at the set pace. Walk with determination and without pause, no matter how hyper your dog acts… with the harness, you won’t hurt him as you continue on, ignoring his vocalization. Any time that the barking stops (for even just a count of 5 if it is severe), give enthusiastic praise while simultaneously reaching into your pocket to dispense a small treat as you continue on the path.
I worry about walking my Poodle in the hot summer heat.
- Protect the paws from hot pavement. Far too many dogs have their paws scalded by hot pavement and this can easily be fixed by either using a super high quality paw wax that will create a layer of protection or by placing comfortable doggie shoes on your Poodle.
- Protect the nose from sunburn (this can happen within 20 minutes with direct sun) which can lead to peeling. Use a quality nose balm.
- Avoid going out during the hottest part of the day. Even on exceedingly hot days, early morning and then again right before sunset, the temperature can often be in the 70’s or low 80’s which is tolerable. Not to mention, the sun’s rays will not be as strong.
- Bring along water and plan one break. At just about the halfway point, take a break preferably in the shade. During the break, offer a good amount of cool water to your Poodle (a canine travel water container works well… the cover works as a bowl and you can place a couple of ice cubes in the insulated thermos to keep the water cold).
During the winter, it’s just too cold and snowy out to take my Poodle for walks.
- Protect the paws from winter elements. The freezing ground and/or ice melt chemicals can lead to dry, peeling paws and adding protection also helps a Poodle feel more comfortable. Use a quality paw wax or slip on no-skid canine booties.
- Dress appropriately. This is important advice for both you and your Poodle. When an owner is freezing and miserable, they will be much more likely to rush the walk, take a short cut or skip it all together by rushing back inside after the dog goes to the bathroom. If you bundle up (we’re talking hat, scarf, thick winter coat, gloves and durable water-proof boots), you’ll be much more apt to stick with your Poodle’s exercise program. Likewise, particular for toy Poodles, owners often need to take steps to help the dog stay warm. A thick lined vest, hoodie, coat or sweater will help your toy Poodle keep his core body temperature warm and toasty.
- Protect the nose – Cold air and whipping chilly winds can quickly cause a chapped nose. Be pro-active in protecting your Poodle’s nose before chapping happens. Use a dab of quality nose butter.
Depending on the weather, and the safety of the road conditions, you may need to take a shorter route or limit the time spent outdoors. Of course, during blizzards or a severe weather event, staying inside is the safe option.
Top 6 Exercise Tips
Don’t assume that your Poodle doesn’t need walks. Maybe your Poodle behaves just fine (no pent-up energy) and is more than happy to hang around the house… so why bother? Exercise is important for ‘now’ and for ‘later’. From keeping bones strong… to fending off diabetes and keeping the heart strong… making sure that your Poodle exercises is an investment in his/her lifespan. Every session works toward building a stronger, healthier dog.
Assess and adjust. Throughout your Poodle’s life, his exercise requirements will change. As he builds endurance, you may need to pick up the pace. If the weather is hotter than you expected, you may need to cut the walk short and schedule it for later in the day. As a senior, he may need 3 shorter walks as opposed to two longer ones. Always be mindful of how your dog is handling the activity and make adjustments as needed.
Q&A Regarding Poodle Exercise
I really wanted to start teaching my Poodle puppy how to navigate obstacles and weave poles, but I’ve heard that puppies shouldn’t be exercised too much. Would this be harmful?
- It is true that too much exercise is not good for puppies; however this has gotten really exaggerated by some sources. Puppies are naturally very active and this is a good thing! Being sedentary is not advantageous for any dog, of any age.
- The only type of over-exercise that interferes with growth plates is severe exertion that would cause the puppy to pant and really struggle to keep up….Exercise that taxes the body and puts strain on the dog. And this would have to occur on a regular basis to cause a problem.
- Normally playing and running about the house is expected and helps a puppy grow up healthy. Just do not push the pup to do more than he shows enthusiasm for, taking breaks or calling ‘time’ after 20 minutes or so. By the way, teaching weave pole obstacles is a great idea and can be super fun for both of you.
- As long as you bring your Poodle for regular walks and are making sure that he meets the exercise requirements for this breed, there is nothing wrong at all with having your dog in a stroller.
- In fact, if you have a super busy day of running around, but are worried that your Poodle can’t keep up, using a stroller or a quality canine sling (these are so great, have a look at some by looking to ‘Carriers & Slings’ in the Poodle Specialty Shoppe) is better than leaving him home alone for the day if you have that option.
- Just like a car seat or a bicycle basket, strollers or slings are another form of safety and in this case, you are the mode of transportation.
Here in the Midwest, our winters are terrible and I worry that my Poodle is not active enough from November to about March. What do you think about canine treadmills for exercise?
- These are, mostly, used for physical therapy and some large breed dogs may do well with treadmills, especially if they are overweight and need some vet-directed additional exercise. However, these can be very expensive and are not a good substitute for one-on-one play with your Poodle. Do remember that even toy Poodles can do well for 15 to 20 minute sessions outside in the winter if you put warm clothing on your Poodle and protect the paws & nose. And if you must stay indoors on many days, playing fetch or other games that offers your dog interaction with you will be much better for his mood than walking on the machine.
- As a final note, if this were to be used, we’d suggest extreme close supervision as injury would be a top concern.
What, exactly, should my reaction and my action be when my Poodle barks like a madman at other dogs when we’re out for a walk?