Canine pet owners with a dog or even a kennel of dogs need to be well aware of the exercise needs of their companions. Pet owners should attempt to calculate the number of yards that each of their pets runs during the day. Many are surprised to figure out just how little activity their pets actually get in a single day. Apartment dogs and canines in smaller homes often move less than 100 yards a day. Even dogs that go for leashed walks often only clock in approximately a quarter mile of exercise in a day, which is low for most dog breeds. Even pets who have access to kennel runs may only move 100 yards in a day if they are not using the space to run or get exercise. Another dog in the same run could potentially run as much as ten or twelve miles a day, but the dog would need a certain amount of drive in order to travel that distance daily on his own .
Stimulation to encourage this type of exercise can come in a number of forms. Some dogs are motivated by the presence of strangers they see as threats, or stimulants such as bikes or other vehicles. Other dogs are simply motivated by the presence of humans. A recent study that tracked the activity of circling dogs found that some pets would speed up when a person was watching their activity. Even dogs who simply spend their time circling in confined spaces, at the right speed, can put in several miles of exercise during the day.
When it comes to studying the exercise behaviors of dogs, taking a look at gender is also important. Studies have shown that female animals in almost any species, including dogs, normally exhibit more activity on a daily basis than males of the same species. It is also important to note that castrated male animals show even less physical activity than normal males. However, spayed bitches do not differ greatly in their activity levels when compared to un-spayed female dogs. A recent study of spayed Greyhounds found that female spayed dogs were able to run just as fast as their un-spayed litter mates.
With this in mind, active pet owners need to be engaging their pets in order to ensure they are getting sufficient exercise during the day. There are some dogs, that are naturally bread to travel far more than their owners could ever allow. For example, Foxhounds in their desired habitat can run over twenty-four hours in a single chase at a speed of 144 miles a day. However, the average Foxhound does not get this type of exercise.
Unfortunately, much of the issue in insufficient dog exercise comes from the fact that pet owners interchange the idea of exercise with the “opportunity for elimination.” Taking a dog outside to relieve themselves should be entirely separate from taking a dog to exercise, even if the pet has an outside run. Pet owners who are aware of the need for canine exercise and the importance it can have on their overall health and well being should be activity encouraging their pet to get additional exercise daily.