Sporting Around: Exercise Your Golden

If you want to ensure that your Golden Retriever sticks around for as long as possible, exercise is not a luxury but a critical necessity. Just as people need exercise, golden retrievers can benefit from a daily physical routine. Lucky for you, golden retrievers typically have a good deal of energy and are always down for a good time so it is not hard to get one moving.

Depending on the age of the Golden, the type of exercise will vary. If your Golden is still a puppy, try not to overwork them, as their bones are still fragile and growing. Too much exercise can lead to constant pain as a result of injury, lameness, or deformed bones. (Just think about what it was like when you went through growing pains as a teenager.)

Puppy retrievers
If you are bringing a puppy home, it’s important for you to be well prepared so that you can know what to expect. Puppy golden retrievers can benefit from moderate exercise that lasts between one and two hours. They should attain physical activity mainly through play and should never be forced to be active. Playtime is important for creating a bond as well as stimulating your puppy’s mind.

You can also improve your pup’s socialization by introducing him or her to different smells, sounds, and experiences so that he or she can get used to your world. As the dog continues to develop nearing 1 year old, you can gradually increase the amount of exercise.

Adolescent and adult retrievers
For an older retriever, fitness should be varied and not limited to high-intensity play or activity. Retrievers can get adequate exercise by running and playing with other dogs or they can do so by playing with you. Games such as fetch, running alongside you while jogging or riding a bike, or even on a workout on a treadmill can benefit your Golden considerably.

If your retriever suffers from a disability such as hip dysplasia, swimming can be a perfect alternative to exercise that fragile body. An adult retriever will require at least 1 hour of exercise at least twice per day daily.

Elderly Goldens
Joint pains are common as your dog ages. Some ailments and conditions can be worsened by exercise so it is important to talk to your vet first to maintain your dog’s safety. Every retriever is different; some start to slow down as early as age 8 while others still maintain their bubbly and active personalities as old as 12 years and beyond. Be mindful that you are not pressuring your elderly Golden too much as he or she will probably do anything to oblige you.