Exercise and Your Rottweiler

Exercise is extremely important for all dogs, to keep them happy and healthy, and rottweilers are no exception. If you're thinking of bringing home a rottweiler or you're a new rottweiler owner, you might be wondering how much you need to exercise a member of this breed. Rottweilers are large dogs, so they do need a fair amount of exercise, but they're a long way from being the most energetic of all breeds.

Just How Much Exercise Does My Rottweiler Need?

It's hard to say exactly how much exercise your rottweiler needs, as this varies according to weight, age, size and can even vary according to the individual dog. However, the average healthy adult rotty will need at least an hour's walk each day. Ideally this should be split fairly evenly between two walks, one in the morning and one in the evening, but if you have an enclosed yard where your dog can relieve himself then one hour-long walk should be fine. That said, if you have the time and energy to take your rottweiler on longer walks, you'll get no complaints from him. Dogs with behavioral problems are often simply bored or have too much pent up energy, so plenty of exercise can help to curb these kinds of issues.

Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Exercise?

Rottweilers were originally bred as herding dogs, so theoretically, they should be able to run for hours without any problems. The issue is that they have been overbred and heavier types have been favored, so they do have a tendency toward getting joint problems, such as hip dysplasia. If your rotty is perfectly healthy, then he should be able to handle as much exercise as you can give him. However, if he does have any issues with his joints then excessive exercise could exacerbate this. If you're going to be exercising your pooch for more than a couple of hours each day, it might be best to get him check out by a vet first.

Should I Be Careful Exercising My Rottweiler Puppy?

Too much exercise in young dogs can be detrimental. If your rottweiler puppy is made to partake in excessive exercise before his growth plates have closed, this can cause elbow dysplasia or problems with his cartilage. As such, you need to avoid any forced exercise up until your rotty reaches 15 months old. Forced exercise is classed as anything that goes beyond what your pup might naturally do. For instance, taking your pup on walks and letting him run off the lead at his own pace is fine, but jogging with him or letting him run around too much with adult dogs isn't a good idea. You should also avoid participating in agility training, fence running, or excessive fetch playing. 

How Can I Exercise My Rottweiler Other Than Walking?

While going on walks is vital for your rottweiler, there are other ways you can exercise him in addition to taking hikes. Playing fetch in the yard is a good way of working off some extra energy and is essential if your dog can't run off the lead while on his walks. You might also want to take part in sort kind of activity, such as agility or heel-work to music, which will give your canine companion some exercise, while also teaching him obedience skills.

Although rottweilers are large dogs, their exercise requirements aren't too huge, meaning that most people will have enough time in the day and enough energy to make sure their pup is sufficiently worn out. One thing to consider is that they are strong dogs, so you need to make sure your rotty is well-trained so that you can handle him while out walking. 

Photo credit: Carrie Cizauskas/Flickr