Recommended Exercise Schedule

  • Recommended Exercise Schedule

    Posted by Lauren on August 7, 2021 at 12:19 PM

    I have a 13 week old Mal female and am looking for feedback regarding her exercise routine.

    Presently she gets 3 structured exercise sessions a day:

    – 20 to 30 min walk first thing in the morning

    – 10 minutes of lure chasing or ball drive building on the grass in the afternoon

    – 20 to 30 min walk in the evening

    We do a little bit of extra play like tug with me or play wrestle with our 6 y/o Boxer, but nothing too intense else I crate. I also never push her — if she should slow down or lay down on a walk, I will carry her home. I am also careful not to let her climb stairs, jump on on or off surfaces, or run on concrete.

    Despite the caution, am I possibly doing too much for her age?

    Thanks for your time!

    Gene replied 2 years, 6 months ago 5 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Gene

    August 8, 2021 at 12:55 PM

    I don’t think there are any exact rules as it may sometimes depend on the breed. This may be a bit much though. I’m thinking walk around the block then a few minutes of play 3 times a day. AKA rule of thumb for a German Shepherd is 5 min for each month so 15 min. per session. If you have to carry the her home she is telling you too much. Too much exercise can be harmful to the joints.

    • Lauren

      August 8, 2021 at 1:12 PM

      Thank you for your feedback! She hasn’t laid down on the walk since the first day we had her, and the problem is her excessive energy.

      It is a challenge to keep her from running full throttle on walks and she would gladly go for longer if I didn’t cut her off at 30 min.

      I am always concerned about her joint health and well being — and while I am prepared to meet her exercise needs I don’t want to cause any harm to her growing body. It’s a real conundrum to find the right balance.

  • Ed

    August 8, 2021 at 3:24 PM

    When I first got my Pit he was 8 months. I tried to tire him. We walked and played for 4 hours straight. Did not work. The one time I remember he being tired as a young pup was when we hiked going up and down some pretty good hills for 7 hours straight. Lol.

    Eventually we worked out his minimum needs (as an adult dog) were two 1.5 mile structured walks with me a day. That would get his mental state where he could have access to the whole house for the entire day on his own and not get into trouble. However, if we skipped this for 2-3 days something in the house would get chewed. From that I figured that it is not a question of being tired, but maintaining a good mental state. That however, was not sufficient for him to be happy. If we wanted happiness we had to add daily training.

    So it is a long story, but what I gathered is that physically tiring some dogs is not really practical. However, there is a minimum amount of structured physical activity (work) they need in order to maintain a healthy mental state. In addition to work they also need to please you in order to be happy, and the best way to achieve that is training. What the training is about does not really matter.

    Not sure if this is what you were referring to, but I hope it is useful.

    • Lauren

      August 8, 2021 at 3:31 PM

      That is helpful, thank you!

      Mercy and I train 2, sometimes 3, small sessions a day (5 to 10 min). The above schedule (walk twice, train twice, and a ball/lure session) really does a great job of keeping her mellow and content. The only thing I am afraid of is causing joint damage from doing too much too early. I am a bit unsure of what constitutes too much activity for a young puppy.

  • Tommy

    August 8, 2021 at 6:26 PM


    I think exercise from a young age is important, it is a great way to build a good relationship and a confident dog.

    I think you should not worry about putting to much exercise on the puppy by walking, I know I am not able to walk my dogs tired at 3 months of age. Walking for 30 can’t be very hard for a 13 weeks old malinois.

    I take my puppies on smal walks before breakfast every day at that age 30- 60 minutes not focusing on the length of the walk but mor on the content. (For my sleddogs most of the obedience comes through exercise)

    The rest of the exercise is playing with me and the littermates.

    I think what you are doing is fine

    If you really want to get a dog into shape later when the dog is grown up, that’s a very different thing

  • Stella

    August 8, 2021 at 6:34 PM

    I think your schedule sounds just fine. When my pup was about that age I had the same thoughts , I was worried I was doing too much as I had heard about the “5 min rule” but it didnt seem to fit. I was doing about the same amount of walks as you, I asked my breeder and she said working line pups would need a bit more and that 2 30 min walks /day would be fine. Try to limit sidewalk/concrete walking. I agree you don’t want to tire or exhaust them, I think Robert talks about that, you want to put them in their crate with them still in the fun mindset and wanting more.

  • Gene

    August 9, 2021 at 8:06 AM

    Agree with Stella, after exercise, treats, goes into crate, with no interaction after entering crate. They learn that there is down time and it is in the crate.

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