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Hi all,

So I posted in the new member's forum about considering a dog with two small children, 1 and 3.

Several members brought up several good points, and I think the point that has the most impact on whether or not we can provide a good dog life is "how much exercise is a good amount?"

http://www.poodleforum.com/showthread.php?t=5616

I've spent the past 2 years talking to various breeders, rescue people, and individual owners of Standards to get a feel for how much exercise a single dog needs. The general feeling I get is that Standards are calm indoors, but require more than just a walk around the block to have their needs met. One owner said a couple miles ideally 2x per day, others have said nowhere near that much, or maybe that much once a week or so to "get the crazies out" and then do with much shorter walks a couple times a day the rest of the week.

There are a variety of dogs to see in this neighborhood, and examples of both exercised and un-exercised dogs. I've used labs as my best comparison, because we have one that gets out a lot and is just a wonderful dog, and another who's a little short on training and exercise, and is not the most fun to be around.

How much exercise do you think your dogs need to stay relatively happy? Can you break it down into something really concrete like "a mile or two walk a day plus some chasing the ball with a chuck-it" or something like that?

Also, how much does playing with other dogs factor into your dog's exercise needs? (I suspect that multiple dogs means that the dogs play with each other, and meet some of their needs via this outlet).

Thanks!
 

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OH gosh 2 miles 2x a day is a lot. There is no way a mom with small children could keep up with that amount of exercise and consider the rainy days or if there is snow. Good grief you'd never get anything done. Harry needs more exercise than what we provide but he's still good in the house. He loves to go run in the open field. He loves to play chuck it for a good half an hour out there. He's not a big fan of the walk. He gets good exercise running back and forth in the yard but lately our yard has been off limits because it's a mud pit.

I'm a firm believer in genetics (some lines are more energetic and driven than others) and individual temperament differs as well. When I got Harry I filled out an application that said what our lifestyle was like and she chose him out of the litter for us. He's been a good fit because we aren't very active people and he is just fine with us.
 

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My mini gets about two miles once a day. He needs to play in the yard too, and will get the vroomies (running crazily in circles for about 5-10 minutes). I have a 4 and 2 year old. I can usually do 2 miles in half an hour with my double jogger. But, I walk a lot.
 

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Matrix is content with two 0.5 mile (thats an estimation), and 2 other little walks daily, but would not pass up an opportunity for longer walks.

Mitchell NEEDS one 1 mile walk daily + 3 other 0.5 mile walks daily, and a 1 1/2 hour run around 3x a week.

If you get the dog as a pup, they will adapt to what you can provide it for the most part.
 

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If my dog needed 2 miles 2x every day, he'd be walking by himself!

It's been really hard lately to make sure Teddy gets enough exercise because of the weather, and I can tell when he's got pent up energy because he hasn't had a chance to run it all out. He frantically digs on the rug or the duvet and chews on pillows. The digging drives me crazy, but he will stop if I tell him to. I just feel bad because I know why he's doing it, and it's not because he's just being naughty.

Having a smaller poodle makes it easier because the small enclosure on the side of the house is plenty big for him to get his zoom on, but I doubt it would be sufficient for a standard.

Sometimes I wish I were able to run or jog, because that's clearly the best way to exercise an energetic dog like a poodle.
 

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We try and get them out for .5 to one mile per day (depending on the weather), I will not walk them if the sidewalks are icy. My spoo is very content with that (she also runs many times daily in a fenced backyard).
 

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Desmond is fine with a 1 mile walk, but we love taking really long walks on nice days. I'm gonna have to fess up- I'm not very good about getting in that walk every single day. :( We walk every 2 days or so, b/c I have work an hour after school, so I am usually rushing around the house trying to get stuff done and we don't always have time for our 30 minute walk. We play fetch and wrestle a lot at home, though, and he's never seemed overly-hyper or anything like he wasn't getting enough exercise; he usually passes out at like 8:30 for the night. I've seen him with the pent up energy and anxiousness to get out, but that's pretty rare for him. He's REALLY laid back, and seems pretty satisfied with our schedule. He gets extra long walks on Sat/Sun too, we also usually go to a pet store or something to get some training in.

Once spring rolls around, I'm going to try to get in a lot more exercise time. As of right now, the weather's too ucky to go out- it's been that way for the past two months... gross. I freeze to death/get sick and he gets mud all over him, no fun. Spring = every Monday we get to go to the dog park after school for hours and hours hahah. I don't have work Mondays so I can take him for as long as we need. :) And hopefully, at some point I'll start taking him to work with me and he can play with the dogs there (doggy day care), which will be good for him.
 

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I think it really depends on the dog. Some need more exercise than others. My two spoos run the fields too but not since winter set in good the past few weeks. They are getting a bit of cabin fever now so I went out in the snowstorm with them today and walked about a half mile with them. They were fine with that. They came in the house and have been quiet the rest of the day. But, then, they are not excitable poodles either. One is a 1-year old and the other is 16-months.
 

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Jasper (4 months) is calm and not high energy. He is a little more nippy/mouthy if he doesn't get enough exercise. Today I let him play on the beach for an hour and a half with one of his dog friends. We took a .5 - 1 mile stroll through town too. All totaled Jas usually gets 1-3 hours of outings/exercise a day. Indoors he would be calm if not for aggravating the cat and Toy Poodle!
 

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My poodles are active, especially Romeo (my cream male). I own three dogs, so walks on leash are not an option with all three, as none of us enjoy them. I take them to off leash dog parks usually twice a day and they really do run a lot!!! I can't imagine a mile walk would ever do the trick. I guess my dogs are as active as I am and all of us need the exercise. lol I know that I could never have had such active dogs when my kids were young.
 

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Well i exercise Mister when i can. He goes to work with me everyday and i think that stimulates his mind because i do notice when he stays home all day, he gets a little weird.
I do try to throw the ball with the chuck it at least a few times a week....and a good long walk at least once a week. I also bike with him for a few miles at least once a week.
He really adapts to whatever exercise i give him. He's 2 years old and i dont seem to notice a difference when he gets exercise, its weird.
 

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I also believe it depends on the individual dog. Cricket is very low-maintenance in the exercise department for a standard. She zooms around the yard a few times per day, and in nicer weather, I would say she gets about 0.5 mi walk total. She is very calm in the house. Clover on the other hand is going to need ALOT more exercise. She is a puppy, so of course she has more energy, but I can just tell she is overall more active, and NEEDS to exert herself. We are going stir-crazy here, because we are getting ANOTHER foot of snow dumped on us right now. We have been clobbered with snow this winter, and have not been able to get out for walks. Clover has been insane in the house! LOL! Once the weather gets nicer I plan to get Clover out for at least a 1 mile walk per day, and a 1/2 hour of backyard play. 2 miles 2x per day is a little over the top, and not necessary IMO.
 

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I agree, it depends on the dog.

I’m currently reading a book on poodles I got from the library… the woman who wrote the book (and I can’t remember her name right now, but will be happy to look up the name of the book & author) said that a standard poodle, if the only exercise they get is walking, should be walked at least 2 and a half hours a day.

Now, I owned Dobermans… and I can tell you they have probably the same amount of energy or maybe less than that of a standard poodle – and a 2 ½ hour walk didn’t do jack! Afterwards we had to take them to the soccer field near our house so they could run off whatever energy was left after the 2 ½ hour walk.

I also don’t see playing with other dogs as “exercise”… there is no mental stimulation or attention required from them when they play with other dogs. Kinda the same than socializing with your friends... it doesn't burn as much calories as the gym.
 

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Well i exercise Mister when i can. He goes to work with me everyday and i think that stimulates his mind because i do notice when he stays home all day, he gets a little weird.
Same here. I often think Teddy enjoys going to work more than I do. He's even happy on Monday mornings! LOL

Going to work with me is also good because there are two perfect length walks associated with it, so I don't have to worry about taking him out for one when we get home and I'm too tired.
 

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I think a half mile to a mile a day at minimum would be best. Walking is very good for dogs in their health, training, control and attention not to mention socialization. Weather does throw a wrench in walking so I am bad and get behind, but I hate myself for it:eek:hwell:

A yard and dog parks are good but they are meant for some activity - not what walking provides IMO. Most serious trainers recommend walking for physical and mental stimulation.
 

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Who has time for a 2 1/2 hour walk daily? That's crazy. I agree walking is important but 2 1/2 hours...too much and what about a dog that is a service dog? The owner of a service dog often times cannot walk the dog at all.
 

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Poodles are dogs of great stamina. They will take as much exercise as you throw at them. However, a Poodle of correct temperament should never be the type of dog that you have to "take the edge off" with exercise (think Lab, Golden or Doodle). My dogs are just as happy walking around the park as they are climbing a mountain or going out with the horses for 2 hours.

I think Standards are best suited not with walks but with play and work. My girls get a much bigger work-out when I put them through their obedience paces for 10 minutes than they do walking for 30 minutes. I get wayyyy more exercise bang for my buck when I throw the frisbee for 10 minutes than I do walking for an hour. This takes background training, however. You have to put the work in at the beginning to get the benefit on the backside.

If you do get a Standard (and I'm still pushing for an adult!) you could do things like teach it carting. Put that dog to work and make it pull the kids in a wagon! Teach it the "find the toy" game where you hide a toy in a room and the Poodle has to find it (I think that when Sabrina dies and goes to heaven, she will get to spend eternity working tall grass looking for a ball!!!)
 

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My dogs get a lot of exercise because we train for hunt tests and hunting. This involves 200 yds retrieves, 100 yds swims etc. The minimum is about 30 minutes a day. That includes mental work of obedience drills and fun ball retrieves at the end. Please note that behavior issues that develop from lack of exercise can manifest itself in excessive energy barking, chewing, digging, and nervousness, depression, shyness, aloof behavior. My more mellow boy starts acting weird; more aloof and depressed when we can't get out a lot because of the snow. While his daughter gets more active and clingy in the house under the same conditions.

I once read a book about exercising dogs, I don't remember the author, He said "nobody living in the suburbs needs anything bigger than a cocker spaniel."

And when I youtube cockers/springers hunting and see these amazing little dogs running around hunting in the UK at top speed picking up pheasants all day long, I think he's right. Unfortunately breed books in the US never really address the issue and many people end up with too much dog for their lifestyle. Cheers :)
 
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