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Adult Dog Exercise Programs


8 Jun 2018

By: Sarah McFarlane CCRA, CMT

Category: Cross Fit Programs

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Dog Exercise

Adult dogs can now walk, run, jump, compete, swim, perform endurance training, chase, tug higher, twist, and turn.  Be mindful that the dog’s soft tissues are still maturing up until 3 years of age.

Dogs need to be able to release the energy built up during the day, especially if they spend much of their time locked up, indoors or at home alone. Exercise is a vital means to release this energy while stimulating your dog’s mental capacities and keeping him from getting bored. Different types of work, exercise and play are also important to give your dog the opportunity to express instinctive behaviours.Adult Dogs

An adult dog should have a balanced exercise program that includes strength (anaerobic) training that targets the forelimbs, pelvic limbs and/or core body muscles, endurance (aerobic) training, proprioception and balance, flexibility and skills training.  The program should balance duration, frequency, and intensity of training while avoiding overtraining (M.C. Zink 2013).
Before you begin an exercise program with your dog, be sure to visit your veterinarian for a health check.

How Much Exercise is Too Much for Adult Dogs

Overtraining and overrunning dogs can be an issue, just like in humans.  Canine Balance sees 2-3-year-old dogs overworked, overran and overtrained frequently, as owners see their dog is an adult now and believe they can do anything.

Many times, we have seen young adult dogs that run until they are overheated, repetitively training drills until they get it right, overusing muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which will eventually lead to injury.  Thus causing irreversible health issues, such as chronic soreness, general lethargy, reduced resistance to infection or illness, or even acute trauma, such as avulsion fractures (MacKinnon, 2000).

Appropriate Adult Dog Exercises

Appropriate exercise needs are based on a dog’s age, breed, size and overall health.  Your adult dogs should spend between 30 minutes to two hours on an activity every day. Breeds in the hunting, working, or herding groups (e.g., Labrador retrievers, hounds, collies, kelpies, and shepherds) will need the most exercise. If your dog is in one of these groups and is in good health, they should be getting at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise along with their 1-2 hours of daily activity.

Requirements aren’t as easily established for every other dog, as their needs will be different depending on the breed.  Dogs that are less active or older may have conditions that are slowing them down.  Some have too much weight, an injury, achy joints and muscles, or they just like to mellow out most of the time.  It is vital that they still need some activity to keep the body working as it should.

Start exercising slowly, observing your dogs’ response, gradually adding more activities or more distance as they get stronger. Your dog should be happily tired, not exhausted when you are done at the end of the day.


Not sure if your Adult dogs are getting a balanced exercise program?  Canine Balance offers Cross Fit training programs to ensure your dog is getting the essential blend of exercise to work, compete or live a long active life.

Contact us before the 31st July for our Winter Special – $80 OFF our Cross Fit Training programs normally $180.  The program covers Balance, Strength, Endurance and Flexibility, nutrition and supplements, with training calendars included.  For more info: http://caninebalance.com.au/services/cross-fit-training/

Appropriate Exercise for Senior Dogs

Appropriate Exercise for Puppies