Like humans, every dog needs exercise but deciding what ‘a lot’ is is like asking you, our readers, who has the cutest cockapoo? There’s no correct answer. All dogs should have 20 minutes of exercise a day, at the very least. But what if your dog needs more, or maybe even less?
While there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach to knowing your dog’s exercise needs there are a few things that can help you make an informed decision of your cockapoo exercise needs. So let’s take a closer look at how much exercise does a cockapoo need?
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Your Dog’s Age and Weight
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A good place to start is his age, weight and any physical ailments or disabilities. A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes, like we mentioned earlier but if you have an older cockapoo or one that’s battling with weight, then those 20 minutes should be a slow walk around the neighbourhood. If he doesn’t suffer from any heart conditions try and make sure he works up a little sweat, or pant, whichever comes first. Walking, a slow jog or even playtime with another dog is a great way to get him exercising. Swimming is an excellent option if there are any joint problems.
When he’s tired, stop. It’s not boot camp, so there’s no need to overdo it.
Whether it’s excess energy, behavioural issues or because the two of you like hanging out, you can add other forms of cockapoo exercise to keep you and your furbaby fit. Throw a flying disc or ball until you’re both a little worn out or sign up for agility training. It’s a great way for the two of you to bond, and it’ll challenge him physically and mentally. You’ll know if your cockapoo needs more exercise.
Spending time at a nearby park means your cockapoo can play with other dogs. Just make sure his vaccinations are up to date, that the park is nice and clean, and that you practice good hygiene too, like cleaning up after him, not sharing water bowls (the dogs, not you). Also, make sure you have a water source for him. There are great portable dog water bottle-bowl combos to keep him hydrated.
Walking, Running and Jogging
Perhaps the simplest way of getting some cockapoo exercise is to slip on his harness and head out to stretch your legs. This can be a stroll around the block, a jog to the park or even a run along a suitable path or trail.
If you are feeling particularly active then this even involves a long, enjoyable hiking trip at the weekend. This will bring big health benefits for both of you.
The minimum you should look to give him is a decent walk every day. Cockapoos can easily walk for long periods without getting too tired to try to take the time to do this well. If you get tired before he does then look for a place where you safely let him off the lead to run around on his own for a bit.
A Game of Fetch
The classic game of fetch is something that never loses it simple, timeless appeal for dogs. This is possibly the easiest approach to exercise for the human involved, as you only have to stand there or sit down while you throw the object that you want him to bring back to you.
Having said that, there are a few points to take into account before you go ahead with this game. For a start, it needs to be done in a place that is safe and secure, so that he isn’t in danger when he runs off from you.
You will also want to choose a suitable object that isn’t too heavy or too sharp for him to carry. A nice ball is always a good bet, while if he has a favourite toy then this could work perfectly as well.
Most Cockapoos are good, natural swimmers who enjoy being in the water. In fact, he is almost certainly going to love getting the chance to get out into the water. Of course, you still need to take some precautions to keep him safe from harm while he does this. If you are worried, get them a life jacket for the first few times they enter the water.
For example, you don’t want him to swim in the sea where there are big waves or in a river with a strong current. By just taking into account a few basic safety precautions you will help him to enjoy the water without any hassles.
This is a fantastic way for him to cool off on a hot day but you need to be careful that he doesn’t get too tired, as swimming is pretty exhausting for a Cockapoo. You should start off in shallow water, perhaps using a canine floatation device, before slowly letting him move into deeper areas as his confidence builds.
A Tug of War Game
Another great way of playing with your Cockapoo is to challenge him to a tug of war competition. This is especially good if he is the kind of dog who loves a bit of rough and tumble play.
It is a good idea to get a special rope toy that he can hold between his teeth without hurting him. These toys are also designed without the use of strong chemicals and won’t fall apart in his mouth.
While playing this game it is important to note that some dogs can become overly aggressive. This isn’t usually a problem with cockapoos but if you notice him getting too excited and trying to take control then it is probably best to switch to another type of game.
Find the Treat
A more relaxed type of cockapoo exercise is to hide his treats around the house or garden for him to find. Some pooches can happily pass hours playing like this if you let them.
If you don’t want to give him too many treats then you could hide his favourite toy or even hide and get him to look for you. Some dogs will get the hang of this game very quickly, while others made take some time to understand what it is all about.
Either way, it is a great way of teaching him something new in a fun way that also gives him a little bit of cockapoo exercise.
Agility Training Course
Cockapoos are naturally agile, nimble dogs, so he will probably love going round an agility training course. This is a terrific way of giving him a good workout that also helps to train him to follow your orders. There are some great home agility kits available that are not that expensive.
If you are lucky there might a dog agility training centre near you. Otherwise, you could try setting up a homemade obstacle course in the garden for him to work his way around.
This is a popular event in dog shows, so if he turns out to be gifted at it then you might decide to take him along to a show to impress the world with his skills.
If your Cockapoo is a big fan of swimming and of playing fetch then dock diving or dock jumping could be the perfect activity for him. This is a popular sport these days, with our four-legged friends competing to see who can dive the highest or the furthest.
It is an incredibly good fun event but clearly, you don’t want your Cockapoo to just dive head-first off the first pier that you see. Instead, you need to start him off with an easy dive that he can easily take on without any fear.
This activity isn’t right for every dog but if he shows enthusiasm for it then it could really brighten up his life.
Alternative Cockapoo Exercise Methods
Whatever your excuse is for not being active with your dog, there’s a way to get around it. No place to walk in your area? You work night shifts? You work day shifts? Not enough time? Teach him to walk on a treadmill. It’s effective, it’s healthy, it’s exercise and who knows, you could turn him into a YouTube sensation overnight.
Cockapoo Exercise Needs
The type of cockapoo you have will also determine how much exercise he or she needs. Teacup or Toy Cockapoos only need a tiny bit to stay healthy and a daily walk around the block is more than enough. Remember though, even on the shortest walk, a teacup ‘poo might need to be carried part of the way.
Miniature cockapoos need a lot more physical activity to burn off their excess energy. 2 x 30 minute walks a day or a game of fetch (we recommend Chuck It balls) should do. This will keep them healthy and stimulated and prevent destructive behaviour that comes from boredom. Maxi cockapoos need the most exercise of all. Take them for a jog or play a game of fetch at the park. Playing with other dogs will also wear him out.
At the end of the day, a well-exercised dog makes for a much better companion. A dog that’s bored and stuck indoors all day will find ways to stay busy, and that could very well include ripping sofas to shreds (There’s a spray to stop that). If 20 minutes of exercise a day seems like too much for you to commit to, then you might need to relook whether a pet is the best option for you.