How much exercise should I do with my puppy?
It’s a common mistake to think that puppies need a lot of exercise or constant attention and entertainment.
As a matter of fact puppies not only don’t need a lot of exercise, but they need a lot of sleep: 15 – 20 hours a day on average.
When you exercise or play too long with a puppy, they tend to get more cranky, aggressive and frustrated. Why? Because they are puppies. Their attention spin is very low and they get overtired very fast.
Keep your play time and training sessions short and sweet. Start teaching patience and self control by adding structure and little rules to every game. Puppies get more tired when you make them wait for things than when you rile them up and play endlessly.
If you want to play crazy with your puppy because it’s fun, that’s fine, just make sure that when you are done with the play you know how to take the time to slow your puppy down and to finish the craze/game with calmness. Warning: most people have no idea how to do this. They just stop playing “Cold turkey” and they expect their puppy to do the same. This is usually the case when I get the 911 calls. There are two very important reasons to do this:
- For you to develop a way to communicate to your puppy to calm down
- For your puppy to start learning self control and self soothing.
Generally speaking is better to do more short paly/training sessions throughout the day than fewer and longer.
Does my puppy need constant attention and supervision?
You should teach your puppy to be left alone and also to be around you without seeking for constant attention.
Every puppy should have a specific area where they spend time alone, This could be a crate, an ex-pen or a confined area that is puppy proofed. If your puppy is not in a confined area you should be supervising all the time unless he/she is sleeping.
You should also teach your puppy to be with you without having your constant attention. Being present does not mean to cater to their needs or cravings all the time.
3 Mistakes you must NOT do with your puppy that will get you into a lot of trouble:
1. Don’t give eye contact or engage when your puppy is in the crate or ex-pen.
2. Don’t let your puppy invade your space without invitation. You’ll regret it later.
3. Don’t do long periods of exercise, play or long walks.