There is a type of exercise to suit everyone/every dog… sprints, slow walks, athletes, oldies, swim, wade in a pool, doga… we just have to find the right fit for our buddy.
Not enough exercise
A few years ago a client complained that her rottweiler was not losing weight. She told me “he has 2 short walks with us before and after work, and goes to the dog park with his professional dog walker and several canine buddies 4 times a week”. I asked the dog walker what the rottie did in the park, and she said that he mostly sits under a tree. So this boy obviously enjoyed his outings but needed to walk a little more.
Too much exercise
Conversely, another client brought her 10 year old border collie in for lameness, no obvious cause or accident but we eventually discovered it was due to her neighbour walking her daily around the bay run (7 kilometres and 90 mins). Kushla had been doing this since puppy hood and her walker did not want to admit that Kushla, at 10 years of age could not do the same amount of exercise she was able to do at 5. Kushla was in great shape. She just didn’t need to do that amount of exercise everyday, so the hardest part of her treatment was convincing her neighbour to do shorter daily walks and when we did, no lameness, no problem.
Just get up and move around
Another very elderly, arthritic client (15 years old canine with lots of surgeries) was initially reluctant to go outside for short walks. We encouraged her to get up and follow her owner through the house, room to room, to gradually build up some strength, balance and coordination. Exercises included sit to stand (squats!), stepping over obstacles on the floor (agility!) and looking for hidden treats (scent training, brain-body coordination!). Eventually after these exercises she was happy to venture out for short walks.