With their fluffy coats, sweet temperament, and huge size, Newfoundland (or Newfies) are gentle giants. These dogs originate from Canada and make powerful working dogs that have a surprisingly affectionate nature despite their incredibly large size. If you are looking to get a Newfoundland dog or already own one, you are probably wondering how you can exercise such a big dog.
Running around in a small garden isn’t going to be enough exercise for most Newfoundland dogs, so finding a way to exercise them properly is going to be important. As working dogs, Newfoundland dogs are going to require a moderate amount of exercise to keep them active and entertained.
This article will discuss how much exercise this dog breed needs and the best ways to exercise them.
Exercising Newfoundland Dogs
Exercise is essential for Newfoundland dogs who can get bored or overweight without proper exercise. The Newfoundland was bred as a working dog to help fishermen or for cart-pulling. Their large size of 100–150 pounds made them a good option for cart-pulling where they could handle heavier loads than other dog breeds. Newfoundlands are built for strength and stability with their sturdy build, but they aren’t very fast or energetic dogs.
Most Newfoundland dogs are going to be lazier and more laid-back, and they aren’t fond of running long distances. Since Newfoundland dogs are prone to becoming overweight, not only do they need a healthy and balanced diet, but a good exercise routine too. Even though they are big dogs, they don’t have very high exercise requirements. These dogs require between 30 to 60 minutes a day of moderate exercise, such as free play and daily walks in the early mornings or evenings.
The exact amount and intensity of a Newfoundland dog’s exercise requirements can be influenced by their age, weight, and overall health.
1. Puppies (0–6 months)
A Newfoundland puppy is going to be much more energetic than an adult, but their exercise shouldn’t be strenuous. You should ideally break up your Newfoundland puppy’s exercise routine into two 15 to 20-minute intervals per day. This means exercising a Newfoundland puppy in the morning and afternoon, rather than continuous intense exercise that might be better suited for a healthy adult. Puppies can tire easily, and their growing body needs a healthy balance between rest and exercise. To protect their fast growing joints exercise should ideally be on grass rather than pavement and listen to their cues. When they look tired, stop playing! Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise and training can begin at an early age.
2. Adolescent (6 months–3 years)
An adolescent Newfoundland dog will still have some of the energy from their “puppy phase”, and they can handle more exercise than when they were a puppy. You will find that an adolescent Newfoundland dog is quite active and willing to exercise, whether it’s to accompany you on a swim in the lake or your daily walk. You can increase the amount of exercise to 30-minute intervals twice a day, as this is the life stage where they can handle more exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation from toys and training.
3. Adult (3–6 years)
While an adult dog isn’t going to have the same vigor as it did as a puppy or adolescent, they still need to be exercised. This will help them maintain a healthy weight and keep them physically stimulated. Adult Newfoundland dogs will benefit from 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, including mentally stimulating forms of exercise like interactive toys.
4. Senior (6–10 years)
As your Newfoundland enters their senior years, the energy levels and playfulness they once had will gradually fade. However, this doesn’t mean you should stop exercising them. Around 20 to 30 minutes of gentle exercise will be good for your senior Newfoundland, such as short daily walks, interactive games, hydrotherapy, and other low-intensity activities.
Some senior Newfoundland dogs may find it difficult to exercise if they have developed a health condition like arthritis. So, speak to your dog’s veterinarian about gentle exercises and pain medications to try to help make exercise more comfortable for them.
How Often Do Newfoundland’s Need Exercise?
Newfoundland dogs can become bored if they are not exercised daily or at least several times a week. Exercise shouldn’t be something your dog only receives on the weekend or whenever you have free time during the month. Dogs can become bored if they receive no source of exercise during the day and lounging around isn’t going to be very good for your Newfoundland dog long-term. If you do decide to own a Newfoundland dog, making time during your day to exercise them is important. Exercise doesn’t all have to be physical, going on a sniffari (letting your dog lead the walk with their nose) and training are important too.
Exercise Ideas for Newfoundland Dogs
There are various types of exercise you can use to keep your Newfoundland dog active. These dogs are great swimmers, so incorporating a water-based exercise will be a great idea. With constant supervision, Newfoundland dogs can swim with you in a pool or secured body of water. It isn’t a good idea to let your dog swim in the ocean or flowing lakes in case they get swept away.
Other exercise ideas that are perfect for Newfoundland dogs are daily walks or short runs, a game of fetch, or interactive toys. You can also include two or more types of exercise into your Newfoundland’s daily exercise routine, such as a walk, a game of fetch, and even a swim in the pool on those hot days. Mental exercises will also be great for this dog breed, and it helps to keep them busy. Provide them with interactive toys that they can play with like chewing and dispensing toys.
The Newfoundland dog is a type of working dog breed that benefits from 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day. It is best to break up this time into intervals rather than continuous and intense exercise. How often and how much exercise your Newfoundland dog requires will depend on their age, weight, and health, so speak with their veterinarian about the right amount of exercise for them.
Featured Image Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock