If you’ve ever been around a golden retriever, you’ll know one thing: They have a lot of energy! This is great when it’s time to play, but not so great when it’s time to relax. The best way to burn off this extra energy is by exercising your golden retriever regularly. However, golden retriever exercise is not always straight-forward. So today, we’ll be answering the question “How much exercise does a golden retriever need?”
The Benefits of Golden Retriever Exercise
While getting rid of your golden retriever’s energy is a perk, it is not the only benefit of regular exercise. For starters, this breed needs exercise to stay healthy. Retrievers were specifically bred for physical activity, so they cannot go without it and remain healthy. According to the AKC, without exercise, golden retrievers are prone to:
- Breakdown of bone and tendons
To protect your dog from these issues, let’s take a look at golden retriever exercise.
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How Much Exercise Does A Golden Retriever Need?
The biggest influence on the amount of exercise needed is the age of your dog. The older your retriever gets, the more exercise they will need. Retrievers will need to exercise for:
8 Weeks to 3 month old puppy: 15 minutes per day
3 – 5 month old puppy: 25 minutes per day
5 – 8 month old puppy: 40 minutes per day
8 month+ old dog: 60+ minutes per day
As you can see, golden retrievers need a good amount of exercise daily. This is the total amount of exercise needed in a day, so this exercise can be broken down into 2-3 play sessions!
The Best Ways to Exercise Your Golden Retriever
Because golden retrievers need so much exercise, you may need to get creative what you and your retriever do. Below, I’ve put together a list of some of the best ways to exercise your golden retriever.
Taking a Walk
This is an obvious one, but I put it on this list for a different reason. When we think of exercise, we often forget about simple walking. When you take your retriever out for a walk, this will count for the total amount of exercise they need. However, a retriever will need more than simple walking. They require intense exercise that includes running, jumping, or even swimming!
Going on a Hike
Retrievers are bred to run through rough terrain, so a hike will be right up their ally. Depending on the trail you choose, hiking can count as intense exercise for your retriever. Even more, the new scenery and sense of adventure will excite your retriever. The two of you can go on an adventure and have a great time doing it!
While swimming isn’t for all dog breeds, it is certainly for golden retrievers. This breed will love to get into rivers and pools alike. Of course, you may not always want your retriever to get wet as it will take quite a while for your dog to dry. However, allowing your retriever to swim once in a while will add some excitement into their daily life.
Once again, this is a game that retrievers were literally made for. No matter how many times you throw their toy, they will not get tired of bringing it back to you. This game requires relatively little effort on your part, so it can be great if you are not a particularly energetic person. Also, every time your retriever brings the toy back, it will get the satisfaction of doing something right.
Why Brain Games Are Vital
When thinking about exercise, we often forget about brain games for our retrievers. They are an incredibly intelligent breed that need mental stimulation to stay healthy. Without it, they will experience many of the same symptoms as they would if they did not have physical exercise, including depression, restlessness, and a lack of energy.
What Are Brain Games?
While you may not know the term, I’m sure you yourself have played brain games at some point. They include things like crosswords, puzzles, or even games like tic-tac-toe. Just like you get a sense of satisfaction after playing brain games, your golden retriever does as well. One great example of brain games for dogs is the shell game, seen below:
By now, I hope you’ve been able to see the importance of golden retriever exercise. As you can see, exercise is both physical and mental, and it is your job as a dog owner to take care of your retrievers health and happiness.
By ensuring that your retriever is mentally and physically satisfied, you can be sure that you will have an amazing dog. Retrievers truly are one of the kindest, most loyal breeds. So, if you properly provide for them, they will return your love ten times over!
I hope this answered your question, “How much exercise does a golden retriever need”. Still have questions? Please don’t hesitate to comment below or contact us directly!