How Much Exercise do Labrador Retrievers Need?
Animal file: Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular pets around, and we know this because of the large number of dogs that have been registered. Not only is it a kind and loving dog, but it is also highly intelligent and an extraordinary working dog. In fact, Labrador Retrievers are often included in operating police forces.
There are few breeds as balanced and suitable for living with a human family. When properly socialized, Labrador Retrievers are friendly and playful; in fact, they're so friendly they are never used as guard dogs, as when they notice a stranger they're more likely to bark and go say hello.
Because of their physical and behavioral traits, Labrador Retrievers require daily physical and mental exercise. Therefore, this AnimalWised article will tell you how much exercise do Labrador Retrievers need, together with some exercise ideas to keep them active.
How much exercise do Labrador Retrievers need?
A Labrador Retriever will mature into its adult temperament at around three years old. Up until that point, the young Labrador will exhibit a great energy that needs to be channeled in order to avoid physical and behavioral issues. The best way to channel all that excess energy is through physical exercise.
When a young Labrador Retriever doesn't get the exercise it needs, its energy may spill over in other ways. It may become disobedient, destroy objects and even run away from home in an attempt to tackle its frustration and boredom.
Once the vaccination schedule for puppies and dogs has started and the young Labrador has been immunized with the second vaccine, it's important to start training with a lead and going for walks outside.
How much food do Labrador Retrievers need?
Labrador Retrievers, just like any other dog, need a diet that is adapted to their caloric requirements and their stage of life. You need to choose a good quality balanced food and provide your dog with the necessary amount for its size and lifestyle. The vet will advise you about portion sizes, taking into account your dog's individual characteristics.
Do you live with a Labrador Retriever? Then you'll know that this breed rarely conforms to the corresponding amount of food for its body size. In fact, one of the most notable traits of the Labrador Retriever is its ravenous appetite. This means that Labradors have a very high obesity rate, and you'll need to monitor its diet closely.
Labrador Retrievers are extremely persuasive and persistent dogs when it comes to asking for food, and on many occasions owners give in to their puppy eyes. This is a mistake, and it can't have a very negative effect on the dog's health. Controlling its diet and making sure it gets enough physical exercise is the only way to maintain a healthy weight and a good state of health.
How often do you need to walk a Labrador Retriever?
Labrador Retrievers were originally bred to assist hunters; they would run by their side and help them catch fallen wildfowl. Consequently, they were bred to be resilient, agile and muscular, which also means they naturally require lots of exercise. Here you can learn all about how are dogs classified into types according to their function.
A Labrador Retriever needs at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, although doing more will be even better to their health and happiness. Their physical structure is quite robust, so they don't get tired easily.
The best way to exercise a Labrador is to take it for 3 walks a day, with each walk lasting around 15 minutes. In order to sharpen their curiosity and explorer instinct, we recommend changing the environment and route of the walk whenever you can.
Can Labrador Retrievers swim?
Like other breeds of retriever dogs, Labradors generally love water. Make the most of this characteristic by letting your dog swim and exercise, splashing and enjoying the outdoors.
The double-layered coat and the shape of their paws and tail make Labrador Retrievers seem specifically designed to spend time in the water. Labrador Retrievers are very good swimmers, which shouldn't come as a surprise as they used to help fishermen and waterfowl hunters collect their aquatic prey.
If you have a house with an outdoor space and a swimming pool you should regularly invite your Labrador to go for a swim. If this isn't the case, a good option is to take it for a walk in a natural environment where there is a river, lake or beach while always avoiding strong currents.
Do Labrador Retrievers enjoy playing?
If you have a Labrador Retriever, it's important that it starts adopting good habits from the beginning that prevent it getting obese. This breed is very playful and affectionate, and they love playing with their families. Luckily, this is also very good for their health.
With a ball suitable for dogs, there's nothing better than the classic game of fetch. Simply throw the ball and teach the Labrador to bring it back to you; because of their original purposes, Labradors are clever and eager to learn this kind of game.
What games do you play with your Labrador Retriever? How much physical exercise does your Labrador need? Tell us in the comments section!
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