two dogs chasing each other

Poodle Physical and Mental Exercise

Mental and physical exercise are some of the most important things to consider for your Poodle’s health. That’s why you must focus on giving your Poodle enough daily exercise to extend their lifespan and keep him happy.

But how much exercise is enough? Is the recommended amount of exercise per day the same across Standard Poodles, Miniature Poodles, and Toy Poodles? Read on for our guide to the Poodle’s regular exercise requirements! 

The Importance of Daily Exercise

When your Poodle receives both physical and mental exercise per day, you’ll reap the many benefits it offers, including:

Physical Health

Poodles remain physically healthy when you give them an excellent exercise routine.

  • It increases blood circulation, decreasing the risk of heart diseases.
  • It helps maintain muscle tone, reducing the risk of injuries.
  • Exercise helps with digestion and prevents constipation.
  • It can help avoid the risk of some cancers, stroke, and canine diabetes.
  • Increase bone strength.
  • It decreases the risk of urinary tract infections.
  • It may aid in slowing down arthritis development. 
  • It can help increase lifespan.

Behavioral Health

It’s not only about physical activity; you must also give your dog enough mental stimulation. Both physical and mental exercise will reduce the following behaviors:

  • Aggression and irritability
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Excessive barking
  • Attention seeking behavior

A game of fetch or daily walks can also help improve:

  • Your Poodle’s overall mood improves because he doesn’t have any pent-up frustration and tension.
  • The Poodle’s sleep pattern improves, as he isn’t moody or has energy saved up from lack of exercise. 

Social Health

Many pet owners overlook the social benefits proper exercise can give your dog. 

The right type of exercise can do:

  • Teach your dog socialization as you expose it to other humans and animals while outdoors
  • Increase the bonding time between you and your dog, strengthening your relationship

How Much Exercise Does a Poodle Need?

Poodles have different exercise requirements, depending on their age and size.

Poodle Puppies

Owners should be careful about the exercise times for Toy Poodles and Miniature Poodles under one-year-old and Standard Poodles under 18 months old. Too much exercise might end up detrimentally affecting their growth. 

How come? During the first 12-18 months, your Poodle’s bones are still growing and forming. Too much exercise can lead to injury and interfere with bone growth. 

That’s why you must balance your young Poodle’s exercise needs, letting him release enough energy and socialize with others without overexertion. 

Consider this wise rule of thumb: Exercise your puppy for five minutes a day for every month old he is. 

For example, your Poodle puppy is three months old, which means he needs 15 minutes of exercise per day. For 4-month-old puppies, they need 20 minutes of exercise per day.

For Standard Poodles over 12 months old, continue exercising your Poodle 55 minutes a day until he reaches two years old. Miniature and Toy Poodles can move forward to 60 minutes of exercise per day once they hit one-year-old.

You can divide the exercise time into 2-3 sessions to avoid putting too much stress on your puppy’s bones. Go for a moderate pace that isn’t too overwhelming. 

Adult Poodles

Adult Poodles ranging from 1 to 7 years old should have at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. Regardless of how active your dog is at home, it would be best not to decrease the exercise time. 

Splitting up the 60 minutes of exercise into two 30-minute or three 20-minute sessions could be beneficial. Exercise your dog during the morning before leaving for work, early evening after work, and even two hours after dinner. These are also great times to exercise your dog so he can relieve himself. 

Given their size, miniature Poodles and Toy Poodles may require less exercise a day. You can opt for 45-60 minutes of exercise a day, split into multiple sessions.

Senior Poodles

Yes, senior Poodles still need exercise unless they have health conditions that prohibit them from doing so. 

That said, senior dogs prefer staying at home, which is acceptable. Take your dog out for some fresh air and to let him stretch his legs. 

Regular light exercise can help relieve joint discomfort, especially if your dog has osteoarthritis. Talk with the vet about the exercise your older Poodle can do and for how many minutes per day.

Pregnant Poodles

Healthy and pregnant Poodles should still go out for walks and routine exercise until the last week of her pregnancy. Go for easy and consistent exercise to keep your Poodle’s body well-toned, helping in labor and delivery.

You can resume regular exercise with your Poodle 2-3 weeks after she gave birth. 

Any Health Issues?

Certain health conditions may affect the way your Poodle exercises are . Sometimes, you’ll have to stop or lessen the exercise time, or you’ll need to conduct different workouts as part of a treatment program. 

For example, your dog suffers from patellar luxation (slipped kneecap). Strict bed rest is a must during the recovery period, combined with medication to reduce the pain and swelling. After recovery, the vet will probably suggest strengthening exercises like walking uphill to build muscles around the knees. 

The Best Types of Exercise for Poodles

While the Poodle has a high energy level, you shouldn’t give it a strenuous exercise that tires him out. There are so many daily activities you can do with your Poodle that keep him well-exercised, but one of the best is walking.

We say that walking is the best type of exercise for Poodles and even other dog breeds because:

Walking is not a vigorous exercise. It’s low-impact and will not put too much stress or pressure on the body. Repeated strenuous movements can lead to injuries from overused muscles and joints.

You can adjust walking as needed. Your cardiovascular health, strength, and stamina improve as you create a walking routine with your poodle. Because of that, you can accumulate your speed or distance, going for a brisk pace or long-distance walk.

Walking leads to a healthy dog AND a healthy adult! It’s also effortless to do since all you need is a harness, leash, and water. 

That said, there are other things you can do with your Poodle as exercise. Another excellent form of exercise includes swimming, another low-impact workout that doesn’t put too much stress on your dog’s muscles and joints. Plus, the Poodle is a natural water retriever, so you can expect him to love the cold water. 

Besides low impact exercises, you can also opt for fun games and obedience training classes, which work your Poodle’s mind and body.

What If I Can’t Exercise My Poodle?

There are specific reasons you can’t exercise your poodle outdoors for that day. 

It’s too hot!

If the summer heat is too overbearing for you and your pet, you can set up a kiddie pool under a shaded area of the yard. Or, you can set up a sprinkler your poodle can chase. 

  • You can still exercise your poodle outdoors when summer comes, as long as you prepare.
  • Protect your dog’s paws from your sidewalk’s hot pavement using paw wax or pet booties. 
  • Apply a pet-friendly nose balm on your dog’s nose to protect it from sunburn.
  • Do NOT go out during the hottest times, which is midday. Opt to go out early morning and before sunset.
  • Make sure you bring water to keep your dog hydrated throughout the exercise. Also, take breaks when needed, preferably halfway through the workout. Take breaks under the shade and in a cool area where your dog can drink water. 
  • Check the weather for the day. If it’s too hot all day long, then it’s best to skip it and play indoors. 

We can’t go outdoors.

Don’t let you and your Poodle become couch potatoes! You can still live an active lifestyle if you can’t go outdoors.

If your area experiences extreme weather or living in a small apartment without a yard or proper neighborhood, you can always exercise indoors. There are indoor games you can play to work your dog’s mind and body, such as fetch, hide-and-seek, or mentally stimulating toys. 

Indoor games and exercise shouldn’t wholly replace outdoor walks, swims, or runs. But indoor exercise, when conditions prohibit you from going outdoors, is better than no exercise at all. 

My Poodle has behavioral issues.

The solution isn’t to keep your dog at home. You must train your dog correctly to behave well when outdoors. 

Plus, you aren’t alone when dealing with a crazy, overexcited dog who loves walks. Don’t be afraid to take your Poodle out for exercise and begin training him to act appropriately.

When your dog barks, ignore it and keep walking at a set pace. Ensure the harness and leash are kept short and act firm as you go your way. When your dog behaves appropriately for a few seconds or minutes, give verbal praise and a treat. 

Over time, your Poodle will soon be on his best behavior during exercise. 

It’s too cold!

Just like the overbearing heat, the cold winter can be too dangerous for your Poodle. Fortunately, you can still exercise outdoors with proper preparation:

  • Protect your dog’s paws using paw wax and non-slip pet booties. 
  • Dress for the weather. Your Poodle should wear a thick-lined vest, coat, sweater, or hoodie to maintain proper body temperature.
  • Protect your dog from a chapped nose with pet-friendly nose butter.
  • If the weather says it will be too cold, don’t risk it and stay indoors for the day. 

My Toy Poodle is tiny.

Just because you have a small dog doesn’t mean it needs exercise. Take your Toy Poodle outdoors and go out for a walk or swim at exercise time.

Make sure that you supervise your dog, though, to prevent any accidents or injuries. 

Efficient Exercise Tips

What else is there to learn about adequately exercising your dog? Here are some tips to follow:

  • Create a schedule and keep it consistent. Block off times of the day to take your Poodle out no matter what (unless poor weather prohibits you)
  • Your Poodle will always need a walk. Don’t assume that there’s no need for exercise just because your poodle behaves well. Exercise is good for his health, and every walk will count towards a healthier and stronger pet.
  • Let every exercise session be a lesson for you and your poodle. As you walk, you can also teach your dog the “Heel,” “Sit,” or “Stay” commands. It will help with your dog’s behavior and obedience in the long run.
  • Assess and adjust your Poodle’s exercise requirements every few months. As your Poodle builds endurance, maybe you’ll need to walk faster, or if it’s too hot, then you’ll need to cut the walk short, going out again later. Or, if your Poodle heads towards the senior years, you’ll need to cut back on exercise.
  • We strongly suggest using a harness instead of a leash when walking your dog. Leashes would place stress on your dog’s neck, causing injury. Harnesses distribute the weight across your dog’s back, chest, and shoulders, making it safer and easier to control. 
  • Before and after your walks, make sure your Poodle gets to go to the bathroom in his designated spot. Don’t let your poodle poo or pee along the way. But if accidents happen, then make sure you bring a scooper and doggy bag out of respect for your neighbors.