Labrador Retrievers are a high-energy breed, but exactly how much exercise does a Labrador puppy need every day?
It is important that you, as fur parents, know how much exercise should a Lab puppy get. Otherwise, you may be putting your canine companion at risk of medical or health issues.
Here is everything you need to know about how much exercise does a Lab need every day.
Why is exercise necessary for Labrador Retriever puppies?
1) Labs have high energy levels.
One of the things that make Labradors a distinctive dog breed is their high energy.
As a breed that has a history of being the companions of hunters and fishermen, Labs have become ideal for doing demanding physical work.
For this reason, they are genetically programmed to have high levels of energy.
2) They gain weight easily.
As a breed that was historically used to physical work, Labradors have developed to become voracious eaters.
Hence, if they lack exercise, they will easily put on some extra pounds.
3) They may resort to hyperactive behavior without exercise.
Another trait you should know about Labs is that they need mental stimulation.
Labradors are highly intelligent creatures that need mental stimulation to keep them going.
How much exercise does a Labrador puppy need every day?
Most puppies should get 5 minutes of exercise for every month of their age. They can get that amount twice a day.
For example, six-month-old Labrador Retriever puppies can exercise for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. So, in total, they would get roughly 1 hour of exercise a day.
Keep in mind as well that you should break up the times.
For instance, the six-month-old puppy can walk for 20-30 minutes then take a break. You can walk them and play with them again when they are ready.
Ideally, most of that time should be spent on walks. Bigger breeds like Labradors may need slightly less time than 5 minutes, but you can estimate that on your Lab’s behavior during the walks and exercise.
If your puppy starts to lie down, pant, or look tired, it is time to go home.
Of course, you may slightly increase or decrease that time as needed.
For instance, your puppy may want 10 minutes more or less exercise per day. It will greatly depend on their personality since each Lab is unique.
If you want to walk your puppy, make sure you do not force them to run, jog, or march. Walks should be long and leisurely.
Plus, you do not want to push a puppy past their limits, so take your time with their walks.
One thing you should also bear in mind is that Lab puppies does not require any form of routine exercise during their first three months.
Puppies need relaxed walks because their cardiovascular system is not strong enough yet, and they have not built up enough endurance.
So, while your pup may have a burst of energy, it is likely that they will flop down just as quickly.
We suggest instead that you take them out for leisurely walks since these let your curious puppy explore their surroundings.
It is normal for the puppy to sniff the floor while you walk, stop to look at a squirrel, or do something else based on what catches their attention.
Just make sure you do not let them stop mid-walk for more than 2 minutes. They need to learn that they cannot focus on a distraction for too long.
Now that we know how much exercise does a Labrador puppy need, we can look at some other factors that help you determine how much your puppy specifically needs.
Signs that your Lab puppy needs more exercise
It is relatively easy to figure out whether your Labrador puppies need more exercise or not based on the following signs:
1) Rough play
As sociable creatures, Labrador Retrievers love to play with other dogs—it is completely normal for them to playfully fight with their siblings.
However, if you notice that your Lab puppy lacks self-control and is playing more roughly than usual, then they may have too much energy.
2) Destructive behavior
If a Lab does not get enough exercise, they will find other ways to burn their extra energy.
Unfortunately, this usually involves destructive behavior. It may happen that when you come home, you will find that your Lab puppy chewed up all your pillows or dug holes in your backyard.
Some other common signs your Labrador wants more exercise are:
- Excessive barking
- Annoying behavior (e.g., constantly asking to play, nipping)
- They are putting on excess weight
Signs your puppy is tired
Take care, though, to be wary about when your Labrador Retriever is too tired to be taken out for exercise.
The following are some signs:
- Nibbling and biting
- Excessive thirst
- Running around aimlessly
- Forgetting commands and house rules
- Licking lips excessively
- Panting excessively
Fun ways for your Lab puppy to exercise
While leisurely walks should be the main form of exercise for a puppy, there are tons of other ways you can get them to be active.
Here are some ideas that you can try:
This is a classic game that almost any Lab puppy loves. Not only does it get them to run, but it helps you teach them how to pick up an item and bring it back to you.
Many puppies will learn that they can bring you their toys if they want to play a game of fetch.
2) Tug of war
This is a fun game that puppies enjoy. Make sure you use a soft toy specifically made for this game.
Additionally, you should not pull too hard to avoid injuries and let them win.
However, puppies that exhibit aggressive behavior should avoid this game.
3) Hide and seek
You can ask another person to hold your puppy as you find a place to hide in your house.
Once you are in your hiding spot, call their name and the other person should let them go.
This is a fun and interactive game that tests your puppy’s senses.
How much exercise does a Labrador puppy need is something that you will need to know as a fur parent to keep them fit and healthy.
Puppies need at least 5 minutes of exercise for every month of their age two times a day.
You can follow any of the ideas above to know if your puppy needs more or less exercise.