Reading this blog (or the Rescued Insanity blog, or the Champion of My Heart blog, or any number of sites that are out there chronicling the lives of active breeds) might strike a bit of fear into the heart of the potential dog adopter. There’s a dog out there for everyone, even the couch potato who likes a leisurely walk once or twice a day. The dog for me would go all out and then crash while I worked, and that’s what I got.
So what, exactly, is all out? For Danny, it’s about two hours of exercise a day, give or take. If we do a lot on Monday, we back it off on Tuesday. Weather is not usually an excuse — there’s always indoor games or day care to burn off some energy if it’s crazy cold or rainy.
That said, here’s a typical exercise schedule for Danny the fit, 50-pound Kelpie mix, in case you’re looking to compare:
- Morning: Danny’s better at walking calmly in the morning, so we’re out for 45-90 minutes in the morning, depending on weather and our energy level. During the summer, we hike in a nearby forest for at least an hour three times a week or so.
- Noon: We usually play a game at lunchtime, like tug or fetch. If it’s rainy, I’ll give him a little kibble in a toy like the Bob-a-Lot or Buster Cube to keep his mind busy. Car rides tire him out, too (so much to look at!), so he’ll run errands with me sometimes.
- Afternoon: Either a quick walk or quicker run, depending on how much exercise he’s gotten that day. A hike in the morning means a quick walk, for poop’s sake. A morning walk cut short by rain means a 2- or 3-mile run in the afternoon, no matter the weather.
- Friday! Friday morning is my volunteer dog-walking shift, so when I get home, I’m not real keen on walking yet another dog, even if I do love him dearly. So I load up Danny in the back of the Subaru with a few cheap, reconstituted tennis balls that I buy by the half-dozen at the humane society gift shop on my way out the door and we head for the dog park, where he can run himself stupid. All I have to do is be reasonably proficient with the Chuck-It, which I can usually manage.