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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, everyone. I have a question that's been bugging me ever since my encounter with this guy.

How do I tell if my dog is getting enough exercise?

Every day, we take our 7 month lab mix puppy for a 30 minute walk in the morning and a 45 minute walk in the evening. During one of those we'll take her to our apartment's dog park and let her run around.

When we come home, about 50% of the time she'll start rocketing around our living room (I'm sure you know what I mean ;)) We put her in her crate for 15-20 minutes, and then we let her out and she'll curl up on the couch and sleep.

To me, this sounds like over-exercise, or possibly 'enough' exercise.

What do you guys think? Any tips on finding that exercise 'sweet spot'?

edit: just wanted to add that I just bought a flirt stick, and I love it! Right now, we have to play without the toy at the end, otherwise she doesn't follow the rules, but she loves chasing the rope around. Any other such toys you recommend?
 

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I'd like to know this too! My 4 month old Aussie had the same exercise schedule as your pup but he's still super restless and cheeky.
 

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Don't underestimate the power of mental stimulation. So training sessions, trick training, scent games, treat dispensing toys etc all drain mental energy and this will be so much more tiring than walks.

Also giving her appropriate chews like nylabones, Himalayan chews, raw bones, kongs etc which are also good for releasing stress and keeping them occupied.
 
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Totally agree with @BusterBCsMum. Your dog is a smarty pants, and needs to work out that brain! I'm a big fan of teaching tricks, and really solidifying obedience cues.

There are lots of cool interactive toys that can tire her brain out. I'm obsessed with Kong products, especially this one: Kong Wobbler

These tips will apply to you as well @Astroquack. Except less walking time, yours is still a young young baby.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't underestimate the power of mental stimulation. So training sessions, trick training, scent games, treat dispensing toys etc all drain mental energy and this will be so much more tiring than walks.

Also giving her appropriate chews like nylabones, Himalayan chews, raw bones, kongs etc which are also good for releasing stress and keeping them occupied.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I train with her every day, for bonding and mental stimulation. Scent games sound interesting - I might try the 'find it' game, which I think would fall under a 'scent' game.
We love Kongs and Nylabones, and I just looked up the Himalayan chews. I'll have to try those with her.

We used to use treat dispensing toys all the time. But we've started cooking our dog food now, and the food she eats regularly is her favorite. Kibble and other dry food just isn't going to cut it for her anymore, lol. So except for stuffable toys, we may be plum out of luck :/
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Totally agree with @BusterBCsMum. Your dog is a smarty pants, and needs to work out that brain! I'm a big fan of teaching tricks, and really solidifying obedience cues.

There are lots of cool interactive toys that can tire her brain out. I'm obsessed with Kong products, especially this one: Kong Wobbler

These tips will apply to you as well @Astroquack. Except less walking time, yours is still a young young baby.
Thanks for your response :) She is, indeed, a smarty-pants. We used to love treat-dispensing toys, but we switched to home-cooked food a month ago, and kibble just doesn't hold the same value for her anymore.
I might try some kind of cut-up jerky, or maybe Zuke's mini naturals in a treat dispensing toy. I've been looking at the wobbler and the tug-a-jug.
 

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I'd like to know this too! My 4 month old Aussie had the same exercise schedule as your pup but he's still super restless and cheeky.
Hey, @Astroquack, I read somewhere today that puppies should only be walked 5 minutes for every month old they are, due to developing joints and over-exercising. So perhaps you and I have been walking too much?
 

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Thanks for the advice guys! We used to take him for a short walk daily but he was still bustling with energy. I do regular training with him and he's got zero interest in chew toys/kongs - any ideas on how I can keep him occupied?
 

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After reading this and a few other threads/comments, I realized I've been over-exercising my little 4 month old pup. I think I was using exercise as a crutch the first few weeks as she got over her anxiety from the shelter and I was also trying to work from home. It was easier just to tire her right out, then try to teach her to settle and get up all the time while she was figuring things out.

Now I do 3x30 min walks and doing so much better. I don't know if I can get behind the 5 min per age in month rule. Especially because it's supposed to apply across breeds and across energy levels.

What I found helpful was giving her bones. I used to feel like giving her a bone was a crutch, but I guess it's good for them! I third the Kong Wobbler. My good friend gave it to me and it is amazing. We also put Kongs (the regular kind) full of apple and peanut butter and cheese in the freezer (pb and cheese are the yummy things, the apple is a healthy filler that takes up space and makes things challenging). My dog isn't a huge fan of toys, but she loves chasing a big empty plastic water bottle (sometimes I put a treat or two in there to make a rattle). Just make sure to supervise your dog with it and to take off the wrapper and plastic ring under the cap (dogs can get them off and swallow them). The big plastic Perrier bottles work wonders.

I also am working on training the "go get it" command with her kibble- eventually this will lead to fetch. But for now, she gets some good exercise going and "getting" kibble thrown 3-5ft in front of her.
 

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It's totally normal for young dogs to get the zoomies in the evening, especially when they are tired. I think your exercise routine sounds fine and if she calms down and sleeps after zoomies then you're fine.
 

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I agree, most puppies will be very active and they need lots of exercise. I think you are doing a good job ! :) Also it is not always about running and getting the energy out, it could be brain exercise and that makes them just as tired.
 
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