Exercise for the growing dog

The factors affecting the exercise among the puppy/dog:



-Commands knowledge

-Body condition/weight


-Quality of food used

-Hydration level

-Environmental temperature

-Stress level

-Humidex factor

-Surface where the dog work



-Weather (ex: snowballs between toes)

-The level of exercise of the dog 

-Equipment use

-The driver


Puppy up to the age of 6 months

Any types of games that they want to play well with the exception of games where the puppies plays ruff.

Exercises including walks, hiking etc. should be moderate.

Training such as sit, stay, down, agility jumps of a height no higher than ground level that will not cause any impact that are pleasant to the puppy are acceptable.

What is not acceptable for a puppy of this age: Jumps higher than the pastern (wrist), exercises requiring endurance and strength.

Puppies aged between 6 and 14 months

Gradually increase the lenght of the periods of exercise.

Continue the exercises of jump with a height which will be gradually increased until reaching the dog elbow without exceeding that height. Don't forget to always increase gradually intensity, duration and distance. You still have a puppy!!!

The endurance exercises may be started gradually: Ex: sit pretty, searching on the ground etc.

The coordination exercises can be started gradually ex: back up, pivot, crawl.

14 months and up

Daily exercise.

Continue endurance exercises

You can start endurance exercise such as trot for 20 minutes consecutive, three times per weeks, swim continuously for a period of more than 5 minutes.

Gradually increase endurance exercises by percentage that will be appropriate for the level that he will be competing

Do not forget to have the dog warm up and cool down, this is very important even among the puppy/dog. 

Here are a few small rules that some people love to use as regards to walks with the puppy:

It is better to do several walks during the day than a single long one.

IMPORTANT! 5 minutes per month of age of the puppy will give you the lenght of a walk. Ex: if for example the puppy at 6 months old, the time to exercise will be 30 minutes. 6 months times 5 minutes is equal to 30 minutes of walk at a time. Be on the lookout for the smallest signs of fatigue. If he start to be indifferent, he looks elsewhere, he lays down, then it is probably tired. Time to stop!

It is important to note that even once the growth of the growth plate are completed, it is important to work the puppy's muscle too, it is for this reason that it is necessary to do it very gently.

It is necessary to respect the growth of a puppy. Many people are anxious to see what the puppy will look like at his adult age, do not push its growth because you could regret it (especially in regards to the large and giant breeds).

It should not be forgotten that training a puppy should be short and sweet, and that it is important to choose the right time because if he is tired, the training will be a waste of time. A puppy who wants to learn will be alert and interested. IMPORTANT!! A training session for a puppy should be between 5 and 10 minutes at the most.

Important!! For the human and for the dog. The human should be seen by a doctor prior starting an exercise program, ask him if the program will be appropriate for you. Same thing with your dog. You should see the vet about the new exercise program that you will be starting with your dog to know if it will be appropriate.

Christianne Tremblay

The information which will be provided to you by Christianne Tremblay replaces under no circumstances the expertise of your veterinary surgeon. This Internet site and Christianne Tremblay and consultations coming from this site must not be used instead of advice, or diagnostic, or treatments of a veterinary surgeon, but rather as a supplementary service to ameliorate and support health, nutrition, physical conditioning and quality of life of your dog. Please, always consult your veterinary surgeon before undertaking, changing or ending treatments or stop the medication of your dog. Christianne Tremblay is not veterinary.

This article cannot be reproduced or published without the consent of the author

Good reading and references

Agility training, Jane Simmons-Moake
Stretch your dog healthy, Raquel Wynn
Peak Performance, Christine Zink DVM, PhD
Jumping from A to Z, Christine Zink DVM, PhD, Julie Daniels
The agility advantage, Christine Zink DVM, PhD

Here is also a nice link: https://www.puppyculture.com/exercise-chart.html

© Copyrighted Christianne Tremblay 2015