How to exercise your labrador


This article is part of the Diet and Exercise section of the labrador site.

People often associate exercising the dog with going for walks.

And whilst taking the dog for a walk can be a great way of keeping the two of you fit,  it isn’t always the best way to exercise every Labrador.

In fact,  some dogs benefit from not being walked.

At least not in the traditional sense of the word.  Lets have a closer look.

Labrador puppies do not need heaps of exercise

Exercising Labrador puppies is a subject unto itself but the key lies in moderation.

Because puppies’ bones are still growing,  most experts recommend that puppies are not taken on long walks until they are approaching their first birthday.

An often quoted rule of thumb is five minutes of exercise per day for every month of the puppy’s age.

This would mean no more than 35 minutes of walking a day for a seven month old dog.

It is only fair to point out that this is just a guideline,  and that it is quite an arbitrary one.


It’s not based on any kind of specific research or evidence,  and was devised to help guide owners of small puppies rather than people with strapping ten month old dogs.

So a modicum of common sense needs to be applied.

One of the main concerns is the effect of intensive exercise on the labrador’s hips,  and this is especially important when the status of the hips of the puppy’s parents is poor or unknown.

There is plenty of information on hips on this site,  check out our article Hip dysplasia: improving the odds ,  for more advice.

But puppies are not the only dogs that may not benefit from long walks

Labradors with recall problems

Dogs with severe recall problems  really do benefit from a new approach to exercise.   Their owner’s previous walking habits together with the dog’s instincts may be at the root of their difficulties.

The main problem is that walks tend to be unstructured and to involve a fairly low level of supervision over the dog.

With many dogs this is not a problem,  but with others, it can get the owners into deep water.   Check out Losing control of your Labrador  for more information.

Older dogs

Elderly dogs and dogs with arthritis or other health probems may also need a more relaxed approach to exercise than the traditional hour’s walk.   Whilst exercise in moderation is good for some joint problems it may exacerbate symptoms and cause pain if taken too far.

Always check with your vet for advice in these circumstances.   There is no need to assume that limping and stiffness is an inevitable part of growing older.

Other forms of exercise

Obviously,  just like us,  dogs need to exercise in order to keep their heart and lungs fit and their muscles and skeleton in good condition.   But there are lots of ways to exercise a dog without taking him for a long walk.

Puppies need no more than an opportunity to trot around in a safe enclosure, or ideally an enclosed area such as your garden,  where they can run about until they are tired.    They will enjoy playing with children but supervision is essential so that the game stops before they are exhausted.

Puppies are not very good judges of when enough is enough.

Recall games and retrieving

A boisterous young  dog can be called backwards and forwards between two people,  gradually building up distance as his fitness increases.  Chasing balls or frisbees is great exercise and retrieving games are one of the best ways to give a dog free running exercise under controlled conditions.

This kind of managed exercise is especially valuable and important if your dog has been taking a keen interest in chasing the local wildlife whilst you are out hiking together.

Each Labrador is unique and his exercise needs will change as he matures and ages.  In old age or poor health some dogs may need a few minutes gentle lead walking a few times a day rather than the whole lot in one lump.

If you are not sure what your dog’s exercise needs are,  do have a chat with your local vet.

How about you?  Have you found a great way to exercise your Labrador?  Let us know in the comments box below

More information

Check out our Labrador Training section for more help and advice on exercising your Labrador.

If you’d like all this information together in one place, don’t miss my new book, due to be released in October 2015

The Labrador Handbook looks at all aspects of your Labradors life, through daily care and training at each stage of their life.

Click hereto pre-order now from Amazon UK, with Amazon’s pre-order price guarantee


Previous articleResource page: Labrador Fears and Phobias
Next articleNew labrador health pages
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. She is the founder of the Labrador Site and a regular contributor. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs.


  1. I have a 5month old lab x springer who, as you can imagine, is full of energy. I regularly take him on long walks but he is not running or fetching during the walk, just plodding along sniffing the ground. Is this OK for him or could it be detrimental to his health? He never looks tired during the walk and rests during most of the day whilst he is at work with me before exercise. We then come home in the evening, wait an hour or so before having his dinner then he goes to bed a few hours later. I’m now worried I could have seriously damaged him but he doesn’t appear to be lame or sore, during or after the walks and seems to throughly enjoy them.

    • Hi Melanie,
      The guidelines in the article are fairly standard nowadays for young pups and I would not recommend long walks for a five month old. Hopefully no harm has been done, but you would not necessarily expect to see lameness at this point even if you were doing some damage. And it is very difficult to tell when a pup this age is tired. He is unlikely to show signs of tiredness when you are walking especially as his muscles are now probably quite fit.
      The presumed ‘risk’ is to his skeleton and I would make the walks a bit shorter for a while to be on the safe side. :)

  2. Also, just out of interest, what are peolple’s views on giving a glucosamine supplement to Lab puppies to assit joints whilst growing?

    • I gave my old Lab gloucosamine, the Vet thought that was a good idea and it helped his joints. I think you should get advise from a Vet before giving this to a pup

  3. We take our two swimming for a change – they adore it, and as well as being good for them physically seems to give mental stimulation too – and gets the dust out of their coats. And I am used to the wet lab smell !!! Plus they always seem to sleep like logs afterwards !

  4. I have a fourteen week Lab puppy. He goes for a walk in the morning about 10 minutes each way and then has a play in the park, another lead walk about 15 minutes each way before his meal. He becomes very active in the evening, we drive to a park and he walk freely and plays with another puppy for about 45 minutes. Is he being over exercised? He sleeps a lot during the day.

  5. Hi Eileen, the problem is we simply do not know for sure.

    Not enough research has been done. That is why most vets and breeders recommend you err on the side of caution.

    The five minute rule I mentioned above would suggest that your puppy at three months, should not have more than 15 minutes actual walking each day. Whereas your puppy is getting 50 minutes. I would cut down to 15 minutes if it were my puppy, but there is no hard and fast evidence to back up my recommendation.

    Playing (especially on a level surface) is a different matter because the pup can stop and start, and is not under pressure to keep going. Sorry I cannot be more specific. It is a subject that is still open to debate.


  6. Hi there. As the new owner of two beautiful female black labrador puppies (just 12 weeks old), I’m anxious to get things right, both for us and ‘the girls’. We have started puppy training classes at a reputable local training centre and have been advised (during the first lesson) to use ‘half check’ collars to control pulling. I have always been wary of the ‘choke chain’ device for controlling dogs and would love some advice, please. Do you consider these to be a good idea or is there something else which would be kinder? Many thanks.

    • Hi Rob, I wouldn’t personally use a half-check collar on a puppy. There isn’t really any need.
      What would concern me particularly is, if the trainer is using half check collars at 12 weeks, what other methods are they using? It doesn’t sound terribly positive. :(
      If you look on the APDT website, you should be able to find a local trainer that uses methods more appropriate for such young pups.
      You probably already know that you will need to train the puppies separately to begin with. Good luck with your training

  7. Hi, i have a 4 month old lab puppy and absolutely love her. My vet recommended no real excercise until 6 months. She runs around the garden enjoying play time with her brothers and sisters. She couldnt be more happy , growing well, house trained and a pleasure to have. Also very important their diet at this age ! Lots of calcium for normal bone growth. All the best enjoy your pups !

  8. Hi, I am thinking of having a puppy. I’m used to labs after losing our family 17yr 1/2 old lab a couple of months ago. I work 3 days a week, my husband is home by 12 noon each day and has two days of a week as he works weekends. My sister will look after the pup whilst I’m at work whilst he is very young with her pup. At what age do you suggest they can be left for 4 hours? or would you suggest a smaller dog with our work situation or no dog at all ( I’m thinking ahead). We have a teenage daughter who will love it like our beloved old georgous boy and it will simulated with play when she is home from school. I Look forward to your comments.

    • Hi Donna
      Sorry to hear you have lost an old friend. 17 is a quite an age for a labrador!
      How long to leave a puppy is always a tricky question, and it depends to a certain extent on the dog. Some six month old dogs with good bladder control and a placid temperament will be OK to be left for four hours, but others will not. Especially if they are being ‘re-crated’ after being crated all night.
      If the dog has the run of the kitchen, he may be fine, but your kitchen may not. Labradors can be very destructive throughout the first two years if left alone for a long time. Your skirting boards may suffer, and a young dog may revert to messing in the house.
      I don’t think the size of the dog is very relevant. Perhaps a compromise would be to pay a dog walker or dog sitter to pop in on him when your sister can no longer help out? At least until he is fully mature and doesn’t need to be crated whilst you are out.

  9. Hello Pippa
    We have a 5 year old black lab (Reg) who has had regular walks / swims of an hour or so a day, all his adult life.
    We’ve recently employed a dog walker (as my husband will be working away in the future and it is hard for me to give Reg the exercise he is used to with two young children in tow).
    Whilst my husband is home he still likes to walk with Reg, but we’re wondering whether increasing Reg’s walks to two, hour long ones a day will be too much for him? (Reg will never say ‘no’ to a walk!)
    Your comments will be much appreciated.

    • Hi Jo,
      Lucky Reg! Many working labradors are exercised for hours at a time. Sometimes several days in a row. An adult labrador is capable of being exercised for hours at a time with certain sensible provisos.

      As with people, a sudden increase can cause muscle soreness and even damage. So it is a good idea to build up gradually to any strenuous exercise. Rest days after a long day’s hiking or gundog work can help muscles to rest and repair.

      Going from one to two hours (divided into two walks) is most unlikely to harm a healthy adult labrador, but if you have any concerns about your boy’s fitness do drop into your vet for a check up.

      Hope that helps

  10. Hi there! I have an 12 month old working bred Lab, and recently i have been using an iphone app to see just how far we are walking her, and it seems to average 5-6 miles a day, approx 1-2 hours split over 2 walks on weekdays and 1 big walk at weekends. All walks include on lead and off lead, sometimes swimming, sometimes playing fetch, sometimes playing with other dogs. Is this too much? We tried to keep to the 5mins rule when she was very young, but the last 2 months we have been doing this new routine. She has very good breeding, Sire having 0 hip score. and we do not want to ruin this – and scared that we have??

    • Hi Rachel
      The fact is we just do not know for certain whether excessive exercise can cause problems, the assumption is that dogs will benefit from avoiding hard exercise until their bone growth plates have hardened at between 1 and 2 years of age. This seems a sensible assumption, but it is just an assumption. There is little evidence as yet, apart from a study which showed puppies that did a lot of climbing before three months of age, had a higher risk of hip dysplasia.

      How we define ‘hard exercise’ is another subjective question. There are no hard and fast rules, but it might be a good idea to err on the side of caution and avoid very long hikes on your weekends, for a few more months. There is no point in worrying about what is in the past and it may well be that your dog has inherited excellent hips that can cope with everything you throw at him.

      There is simply a lot we do not yet know about this subject, but if in doubt, it is probably better to under-exercise rather than over-exercise.
      Sorry I cannot be more specific. Do have a chat with your vet for his advice if you are at all concerned.

  11. My four month lab puppy went out with a friend’s dog, her dog licked dogs’excreta and now my puppy has started doing the same, what can I do to stop this behavour?

  12. My 3 month Lab pup is very aggressive. He comes in to bite our ankles or will suddenly jump up and bite our arm and at times will draw alittle blood. Can you advise me on how I should handle this issue??? We live in an apartment and he has complete access to the house.

    He is exercised once a day for not more than 15 minutes but when we bring him back home, he will poo and pee once again…

  13. Hi Pippa, I have a 2 and half year old chocolate labrador who is to say the list a very excitable one! He now has his very lazy long moments in front of the fire or on the sofa but as soon as someone comes in or wants to play he is off!!He is an entire male simply because we never felt right to castrate him and this we have been told add to his level of energy and excitability but we wouldn’t change him for anyone else!We got him at 8 weeks, didn’t see his parents but had good feed back from other people around us.We used the feed from the owner but after advice change it for a proper large breed one. Weary about weight problems and exercise needs we took him from start to the woods, he loved it and was never scared of older dogs and never seemed tired. The trainer one day told me he was too skinny, took him to the vet and he told me off for the long walks he had so immediately we cut back. At 8 months he started limping, after many trials and error with the vet he was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia and operated at 10 months with excellent results and we had no issues since then. We were told by the surgeon we were unlucky as he seems one you would take as an example of a perfect lab in sizes, body structure etc.He felt the longer walks at the beginning did not help him but that probably he would have had it within himself…and he would have come up with it anyway. A dog as strong and as well built like him even having endured longer walks would have not developed dysplasia unless he would have had it in his DNA. I guess the only way would be to test him and see if he has a faulty DNA or if his dysplasia was the results of too much training and a bad diet in the first 2 to 4 months of his life so more of an injury than a gene problem. Hope this could be of some help for everyone and would like your opinion for my latter doubt. Many thanks for this amazing site!

    • Hi Concetta, and welcome.
      As your vet has said, the dog needs to have the potential for dysplasia for it to develop. Having said that, it is believed that strenuous exercise in puppies may increases the risk of dysplasia developing, given that the genetic potential is there. In other words, it is a combination of genes and environment. Don’t blame yourself for his problems, you did what seemed right at the time, even though you might do differently next time. And your dog probably could not have developed dysplasia without the genetic predisposition to do so.
      It is great that his operation was so successful. I hope he continues to stay fit and well.
      Best wishes

  14. Hi again, thank you so much for this. And yes with another we would be much more careful…The surgeon said that in a way the fact he was so young(apparently quite a rare case) was a benefit as they seem to recover well and if the convalescence is done properly(like we did) they can be pretty well for the rest of their lives and maybe never have issues again…so we keep our fingers crossed!

  15. Hi, I have a 10 week old lab who is perfect in almost every way but, she has just taken up digging and pulling my clothes off the line. She does these things while I am outside with her so I cant be boredom surely..? Do you have any suggestions on how to stop her before this becomes a real problem? Thanks C

    • Hi Courtney, at this age your best bet is to buy or construct a small puppy playpen that you can put her in when you take her out into the garden. Put it in a place where it doesn’t matter if she digs, and leave her some toys in there to play with that she doesn’t have access to indoors.

  16. Hi, I have a 2 year old lab who is great and so loving but im just wondering at this age how much should we be walking him ?, also im not sure how to explain this but since a young age he goes into these moments where he starts spinning around running up and down the kitchen non stop, he could be fine moment playing and been stroked but then snap he goes into doing this, after about 2-3 mins he’s back to his normal self, not really sure why he does this ?

    • Hi Nicola, a two year old lab in good health can be exercised just as much as you want, provided you build up to it, and avoid hard exercise in very hot weather. The crazy moments where the dog races around, even bumping into things, are normal bursts of exuberance, and are more likely to occur if he hasn’t had much exercise that day. Try and give him a good hour’s walk at one end of the day, and at least half an hour at the other. He’ll cope with much more than this if you are up to it :)

      • Thank you so much for you advice, when i asked others about this i was getting advised alot of different things and telling me to pay people to come out and stuff, so thank you this was a great help and will be taking him on longer walks :)

  17. Hi.
    Today we “adopted” a 7-8 year old Black Lab. He is EXTREMELY overweight, around 60kgs. He has been dreadfully neglected. We have always had dogs and have always maintained a healthy weight so it is heart breaking to see the state our newest family member is in. It seems hes only ever been given cheap dry food. Tonight i gave him some chcken wings and he wouldn’t eat them. I also tried him on a little fresh beef but once again, no luck. Should i persist? We are going to start morning walks tomorrow and “game based” excercise in the afternoons. Do you think this is a good start? We will see our vet during the week. We also have a 7kg Cavalier who he is determined to dominate and squash. Unfortunately she is blind and I’m concerned how he will treat her when we’re not here. He’s not showing aggression as he’s constantly wagging his tail, he seems more playful but the cavalier is very unsure. Do you think they will find their place with each other or do you think I should be concerned? Any tips to helping change his lifestyle would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    • Hi, it is the quantity, not quality of food that makes most dogs fat. And he will be stressed enough having moved home without changing his diet. It might be better to feed him what he is used to for the next week or so, but in MUCH smaller quantities. :) Then once he is settled, change him over to the method of feeding that you prefer. If you decide to make him go ‘cold turkey’ it won’t do an eight year old dog any harm to go a day or two without food. He will eat when he is hungry.

      Food quantity is by far the larger influence on weight. Exercise is great and will help to make him fit, but don’t overdue it until he has lost some weight as it may put a strain on his joints. Very small quantities of food is the key. Your vet will be able to advise you in more detail.

      You should probably not leave the two dogs alone unsupervised until the lab has settled in and you are confident that he will not bully the Cavalier. Just crate one or the other when you go out, or put them in separate rooms. In the long run they will probably get on fine.

      Good luck

  18. Hi. I have an 11 month old lab who walks for an hour or so every day (split into two walks), has an hour at the beach in and out of the sea once a week and a longer walk of around 4 1/2 miles once a week. We’re going on a long coastal walk next week and was wondering if it’s ok to take here with us? It’s just over 10 miles. We can stop for breaks and she can have a dip in the sea along the way to cool down. Do you think this is too far for her?
    Many thanks.

    • Hi Kim, a lot of people ask me to tell them it is ‘ok’ to take their young lab on a hike, but unfortunately no-one can say for sure whether a ten mile hike will be too much for your 11 month dog. Until more evidence comes to light, I can’t really add anything to the article I’m afraid. There are so many factors involved, including your dog’s current state of fitness, the structure of her hips, and so on.
      Best wishes

  19. I have almost a 1 year old Labrador/Retriever mix. The last week or so he has been a little strange about his food. He doesn’t like eating out of his bowl lately. He is currently on a puppy chow and I am wondering if he needs to be switched to another choice of food. The weather has been pretty hot and humid in our area so I thought maybe that is why he doesn’t seem interested in his food. He was always eager to eat his food and was pretty much on schedule. The last couple of days his food will sit in bowl for a few hours before he goes to eat. Any ideas!

    • Hi Karen, dogs may eat a little less in hot weather, but if he is really off his food, a check up with the vet might be a good idea. Most dogs will eat better if you remove any uneaten food after ten minutes. After a few days of this, he will eat when the food is placed down, and you will be in a better position to recognise if he is unwell, rather than just leaving his food for later. Pippa

  20. Hi, I have a 7 yr old yellow lab and a 3 year old lab cross retriever. They get 2 hours of walking a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Off lead, in local woods. My 7 year old lab has recently been showing signs of problems with his rear legs/hips. He is happy to go on the walks, but getting up and sitting down – he seems slightly uncomfortable. I’ve started to leave him at home for the second walk, and only take him on the morning one. Can you recommend a supplement? My 3 year old looks really uncomfortable leaving the house without his buddy!

  21. I have a 9 year old chocolate labrador who used to love his walks each morning&night and sometimes extra walks inbetween times. Recently he has been willing to go out his walks but once we r out he starts pulling on his lead to go back and refusing to walk&sitting/lying down. Can you advise me if this is because of his age. Hes generally became very lazy but still loves his cuddles as hes a big pet.


    • Hi Lynsey, Old dogs in good health still enjoy their walks. There may be due to an underlying medical condition (that is linked to his age), and perhaps causing him pain on walking, so a trip to the vet is in order.


  22. Hi Pippa

    I have an 8 month old lab and I have religiously stuck to the 5 minute per month that is advised. I currently don’t work so I am able to be with her during the day. However, in a couple of months time my circumstances will be changing and I will be a student. My course is going to be quite demanding (Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm). I don’t really want to leave her on her own for the day with someone coming in for an hour at lunch time to walk her as I don’t feel that’s fair to her. Even though she is crate trained and I know she and the house will be safe, it won’t be much fun for her to be on her own. I have looked into a dog creche for her and she would be there 8am – 6pm. I am slightly worried about her hips as knowing my dog she will be on the go all day every day whilst she is there! Could this increase the risk of hip dysplasia for her? Or would I be better off leaving her at home with a walk at lunch time until she reaches 12 months and then she can go to the creche? Many thanks for your help

    • Hi Liz, I might be more worried about leaving the dog alone all day for four months, than her hips. Talk to the creche about how they manage exercise sessions, and check with your vet. I cannot tell you that her hips will be OK, but I have seen no evidence to suggest that an 8 month old dog will come to any harm through informal supervised play with other dogs.

  23. Hi pippa,,,im planning to get a fawn lab soon,,,so ples it wud be great if u cud tell me wt are the diseases a lab puppy has to be kept far from?thank u

  24. Hi,

    I recently took my Aunts 2 Labradors as she has moved overseas for at least 12 months. One is 9 the other is 3. Meg (the 9 year old) has the start of arthritis in her back hip. Our vet advised us she could loose a few kilos, but for her age she is not over weight. She also advised to try and get Meg to keep moving, at least 20mins of exercise a day so her joints don’t seize up. Millie (the 3 year old) is a very anxious girl, my aunt suspects she was born in a puppy farm and this has led to a few behaviour issues and has always been extremely anxious. She has a hatred of anything plastic. She destroys it in seconds! We also have our own dog, a 3 year old Terrier Cross, he thinks it wonderful he has 2 playmates! And they all get along very well. I have found the best way to keep them all happy is to load them into our car and take them to the river. We are lucky to live near a man made beach/sandbar and its a very safe, controlled environment. Meg loves walking in the water, it eases her hip pain I think. And Millie and our little guy love playing in the sand, swimming, leaping and bounding. I try and include them in my own workout while I am there with short sprints and running up and down the stairs. Meg usually goes off and lies on the grass when she has had enough. Which is ok, she joins in when she can. Millie isn’t a fan of stair sets, but she still gives it a go! Its worth noting these 3 are on their own in our yard (which isn’t huge) from 8am-5.15pm Mon to Fri. By taking them to the river for a couple of hours a night has pretty much eliminated all the barking, and most of the destructive, bad behaviour. This style of exercise works for us, and suits our lifestyle. The freedom they have to sniff, dig and roll in the dirt at the river along with the exercise, means they sleep exceptionally well and we are starting to notice Millie is starting to relax and is not as anxious as she has been.

  25. Hi, I’ve been walking my 5 month old lab for 2kilometers a day. It’s not a straight walk and most times it takes us about 45mins to an hour outside because neighbors often stop and chat with us or cuddle her. She sits beside me and waits patiently. When she was very hyper, I walk her 2-3x a day, and 1 walk is about 2km. Again that 2km usually takes us 45 mins to an hour. The shortest time I walked her was 30 mins. I’ve cut back on walking her because she loves to run and play in our house. Is her exercise too much?

  26. hi there i have a 13week old female black lab and just wondering if its ok for her to have a long walk in the mornings proberbly around 3 times a week and its around a two hour allround walk and still take her for a play in the afternoons.
    any help and advice would be much appreciated

  27. Hi Pippa

    I’ve got an 11 month female called Milly, she is the joy of our 6 beautiful children.I take her to the back fields of our house , where i exercise during 30 minutes with a ball. Is it normal that she runs with stopping although i can feel she is breathless? When that happens i decide to take her back home but she wants to carry on.Is it also important a soft pavement for her runs? I just feel she is so happy when running that i don’t wont to spoil it.
    Kind regards Julio.

      • Thanks Pippa,and also im feeding her twice a day at lunch and dinner time 2 medium size full bowls . She only eats mixed dry and can food, don’t you think its too much.

        Regards Julio.

  28. Hello,

    Currently my dog is 9 months old and health is good, he is so aggressive and some time cool… Regarding exercise – walking not more than 20 / 30 minutes in the whole day. I give him (Veg. pedigree) food 1 times and in the evening another food.
    Last some day’s he is facing problem with hair loss and i need suggestion how i control.

    Waiting for your important suggestion.

    Thanks in Advance

  29. Hi
    I have a 12 week old chocolate labrador. He is very excite able. We have been taking him out twice a day for an hour each time. Probably only about twenty minutes of actual walking as we are training him. A lot of sitting and laying down etc. having read through the wealth of information I am concerned this could be too much?

  30. Hi, I am Smruti I have a four months of lab puppy. He is very naughty he use to scatter everything in the house due to this I am now days using chain to stop him doing all this. In evening when I come from office I use to make him walk for 10 mins in whole day ones or twice my kids use to free him and he plays a lot with them he runs very fast in our garage around the car in rooms. This is his exercise he use to do. But one thing he always demand for food whenever anyone of family member eats he use to ask for food n my papa use to give him small portion is this OK or I shud stop that. He also during his walk use to eat all rubbish mud from the road he use to sniff the ground how shud I stop this. What diet shud I follow for a good health and glowing skin of my puppy.
    Thank You
    Smruti Behera.

  31. Hi pippa, please can you advise me weather a 1 hour walk a day for an eleven month old lab at about 10 o’clock every morming is enough excersice for the day. I also think he is a little over weight too, have you any tips.
    thanks, dan.

  32. We have a handsome 4 year old coccy lab called chip, he weighs 27kg and instead of walks he runs next to our bikes a distance of between 4 and 6 miles most days on a mixture of Tarmac and off road, with a stop for a swim some days too. We live in a very rural location so I have him off lead in a hi-vis dog vest running next to my bicycle about 10mph on average, he will run to a lefthand side heal on the road sections and where ever he wants when we are off road. We adopted him at 2 years old and the first year just walked him, but now he absolutely loves to run with his pack! I do worry about his joints in the future because of the running and I slow/increase the pace according to him, but generally he just loves it. He has lots of play time in the garden with my 2 boys too. Only issue is food, I feed him in the evenings but he eats his poop sometimes so I worry he has extra food needs?

  33. Hi i have a 4 1/2 month old lab. He has a lot of energy so recently my husband started taking him on runs with him in the morning. We noticed that one of his paws bleeds during the run. Is he too young to be running? We haven’t taken him on walks, only other exercise he had has been outside playing fetch or we take him to the park and let him run freely. They run mostly on the sidewalk. They take about 15 mins and they run approximately 2 miles. My husband did mention that our dog tried stopping him and dragged his feet for a bit maybe that caused the bleeding? We just don’t want to over-exercise him if he’s not ready. Thanks

  34. Hi I have been reading your comments above and I try to stick to the 5 min rule as often as is I can, only maybe staying out a bit longer on weekends when my lab currently 8 months tends to sit / lie down when she wants to. We have a family holiday planned in August (she will be 11 month and October (13 months) in the Lake District and I was wondering if walking for longer over a short period of time (1 week) will cause any problems, I am trying to look for walks that are relatively flat and not too long, as we usually walk approx 6 miles + a day when we have gone in the past. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we don’t want to leaver her at home.

  35. Hi All:

    My friend probably won’t listen to me since I have never owned a dog because my work does not allow me to meet a dog’s needs for exercise and attention (I have cats) so I am consulting with you about this concern:

    My friend is a 68-year old woman with asymptomatic muscular sclerosis. She lost her dog with a lab face a few months ago. A week ago, she finally decided to adopt a 1-year old black lab to join her 13-yr old collie. My friend does not like to go for walks and does not have a fenced-in area for her dogs. She lets them out on a leash for a brief bathroom break and then in again. The collie has gnawed at his legs for years now, is arthritic, but still handsome. I offered to go with my friend to walk the lab, but she said she was afraid the dog’s high energy would cause her to break free and she would be difficult to catch—also that she does not have time in the next few days because she is taking a course and has her private students. My friend told me the dog pulls hard on the leash. “Sounds like a recipe for a broken hip—yours.” I replied.

    I realize she misses the dog that died and very much wants this companionship. I worry that my friend will continue her usual cycle of a poor-to-no exercise routine and they’ll both have a poor quality of life for as long as she has the dog. My friend has made up her mind to save this dog she got from a pound (but there are no-kill pounds in our area (Wheeling, WV). But aren’t there other kinds of dogs that would be happy with the routine my friend tends to engage in? What do you think? Thank you for your help.