Regular play keeps your dog healthy both physically and mentally. To help with proper muscle and joint development, you should allow your dog time to play both on and off leash.
We recommend nylon collars and 4 or 6 foot nylon leashes to maintain optimum control and safety. Please take your collar off before crating your puppy.
Please be consistent with exercise. Puppies should be limited 5 minutes of structured exercise (on leash) at a time for every month of age (ie. 10 minutes at 2 months of age at a time which can then be repeated a few times a day) because of their growing joints. Puppies can be allowed as much off-leash play as they like so that they can strengthen and exercise their growing bodies in a free and natural manner.
Every dog is different with their activity level and need for stimulation. Dogs were often bred with a specific purpose, so get familiar with your breed and the forms of mental and physical stimulation that work best for them. Providing opportunities to exercise a dog's mind and finding appropriate opportunities to let your dog do doggy things brings enrichment to your dog's life. A great resource for canine enrichment can be found here: www.facebook.com/groups/canineenrichment/.
Don't forget to allow your dog to sniff on walks! Sniffing is an enriching and calming activity for a dog.
Exercising your dog is not only good for your pet, but also is a great way to keep your family active and in shape! We love to go on daily walks with our dogs- and they love it too! For families who work during the day, aim to provide your puppy with its longest activity session in the morning and they will be much better able to spend the day quietly in their crate or by your side if you work from home.
We try to maintain ‘calm play’ inside and more rambunctious play outdoors. This is a great rule especially when involving children in puppy training and play.
Take a class! Continuing with obedience classes or enrolling in a fun activity like agility or scent is a great way to provide structured stimulation for your dog. And with Canadian winters it's a lot more comfortable to have an indoor opportunity for your dog to play. Trainer supervised socialization classes or doggy daycare are also great ways to provide stimulation and exercise for a young dog.