How Long Should You Run Your Dog?

Dear Adam: I have a Shepherd/Malamute “Newt.” She’s great. I have a couple of problems with her but I won’t waste your time with them as I have found them addressed at your site and in your book.

I “run” Newt in the bush, she is either in front of the truck or behind it, running as fast as she can. I stop when she slows down and we take a 5-10 minute break. Each time we stop, I open the door to the truck and let her decide if she’s had enough. Lately it’s been me who has had enough (she wants to run for longer and longer periods of time) and I tell her to get into the truck. My question: Should I limit how far she runs (for her own good) and can it be too cold for a long run?


Dear Sally:

Thanks for the question.

To be honest… I don’t know.

Usually my advice is to let common sense rule. But to be specific, it’s really a health question that you should consult with your veterinarian before beginning any extensive exercise program with your dog.

As a general rule, you need to build up your dog’s endurance. I usually start a dog at a 10 to 15 minute jog, and over the course of several weeks, gradually build up the duration to anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on your dog.

By the way… it’s best to run your dog on dirt, gravel, sand or grass. Running your dog on concrete should be avoided if possible.