Exercise Tips

When you and your dog head out for a walk, please take a plastic bag with you so you can clean up after your dog. Your neighbors will appreciate it. Dogs are no longer welcome in many public recreation areas because dog owners failed to clean up after their dogs. Set a good example of others and be part of the solution.

For Puppies

Puppies need several short walks every day.  Start with leash walks in your yard or other quiet places. Be careful not to over-exercise your new puppy.  Little puppies need frequent walks of 10 to 15 minutes each.  Allow time for a nap between walks.   A 5 or 6 month old puppy can go for walks of 30 to 40 minutes duration.

Before you walk your puppy in public places, it's important to teach your puppy to come when called in a safe place. If something happens during a walk, you want you puppy to come to you immediately. During the recall lessons, use lots of praise and small food rewards. Keep in mind that puppies between 9 and 12 months of age may disregard the recall command.  If your puppy is likely to take off, take extra precautions  during the adolescent stage.

For Adult Dogs

Labradors are large, muscular dogs that will need exercise throughout their life.  Plan on long walks several times a week plus some form of daily exercise.  Labs love to retrieve and chasing tennis balls is a good form of exercise for your dog.  Swimming, hiking and jogging are also good exercise for your dog. Most Labradors love to swim and retrieve sticks and toys that float.

  • Avoid waterways with strong currents.  
  • Female Labradors over a year and a half and males over 2 enjoy hiking.  Start with short hikes.  For long hikes, provide your dog with fresh drinking water. There may not be adequate amounts of safe drinking water on the trail.
  • Jogging is very stressful on developing joints.  To prevent joint injuries, wait  until your female Labrador is at least eighteen months old and your male is 24 months old before you take your dog jogging.  Brief runs at a slow pace for about 15 minutes can start when your puppy is at  about 18 months old.  Moderation is important.  If you are running a long distance, bring your dog home after about a mile. If you are jogging on pavement, consider putting boots to protect the pads of your dog's paws. Use extra precautions in the winter.
  • To avoid the risk of heat exhaustion in hot weather, leave  your dog at home on hot summer days while you hike or jog or shop. 
  • Senior dogs require some exercise, but shorter casual walks are best.