Guide to Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Exercise Requirements

Studio portrait of a grey Labradoodle with a humorous and suspicious look on his face.
Source: Getty Images

Difference between Goldendoodle and Labradoodle

The Goldendoodle, also known as a Retrodoodle, is a crossbreed mix between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.

The Labradoodle is a crossbreed mix between a Labrador and a Poodle.

Although these two breeds are very similar there are some small differences in personality as there is between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador. Both these breeds originated from the United States. When it comes to exercise they have very similar needs.

Both doodles are very friendly and playful. They are energetic but not as high energy as their ancestors the Golden Retriever, Labrador, and Poodle. They love to run and are extremely playful.

Although every dog is an individual they both have also inherited a love of water and swimming.

To further complicate things there is also the Australian Labradoodle. They were bred to be the world’s first hypoallergenic guide dogs, for visually impaired families who were allergic to dogs by the Australian Guide Dog Services. This mix is more than a Labrador crossed with a poodle as they have several ancestors. These include the American and English Cocker Spaniels along with Irish Water Spaniels and Wheaten Terriers.

How much exercise does a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle need

All these mixes (Goldendoodle, Labradoodle, and Australian Labradoodle) are moderately energetic dogs that require daily exercise and are also intelligent. Failure to provide sufficient exercise, both physical and mental, can lead to boredom resulting in behavior problems.

The main differences in exercise needs aren’t so much between the different breeds, but more the different sizes of each. The smaller versions of each

Goldendoodle comes in two sizes – Mini and Standard

Labradoodle comes in three sizes – Mini, Medium, and Standard

Australian Labradoodle also comes in three sizes – Mini, Medium, and Standard

The amount of exercise your doodle needs will depend on size, age, and the individual dog. Puppies’ bodies are still growing and too much exercise can do more harm than good. See the bottom of this post for more on exercising a puppy.

With an older dog exercise is still important. The quantity of exercise is more of a balancing act. They need sufficient to keep them mobile and manage weight, but overdoing it can leave them sore or in pain. See the bottom of this post for more on exercising a senior dog.

As a guideline, a healthy adult Goldendoodle, Labradoodle or Australian Labradoodle needs between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. This should include a walk either on or off leash and some free play. Mental stimulation is also crucial to prevent boredom. Adjust the quantity of exercise to suit your individual dog taking into account which size doodle they are, their age, and energy levels.

It is better to do some exercise every day than very little during the week with a big session at the weekend. It is important for all dog owners to be aware of over-exercising their dogs. Too much exercise can be worst than not enough. See here for overexercised dog symptoms.

Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Walking

The daily walk is essential for a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle not only to release some pent-up energy. The walk allows your dog to stimulate the mind with the sights, sounds, and smells they come across.

Ideally, the minimum should be 20 to 30 minutes daily. This can be just once a day, or two walks a day would be better if your schedule allows. The pace of the walk should be comfortable pace.

Dogs also like routine, so try to schedule the walk for around the same time each day. Daily walks are much better than nothing all week and a big walk at the weekend.

If your dog has good recall and comes on command, walks at the park off the leash are ideal. Alternatively, you can use a retractable leash to allow them more freedom while maintaining control. In general, Goldendoodle and Labradoodles are obedient and usually have good recall if trained.

Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Exercise Ideas

In addition to the daily walk, it is essential to also provide some free play and games to further tire them. By keeping the muscles strong they will support the joints and tendons preventing injury.

These are some of the recommended activities and exercise ideas to play with your Doodle.

Swimming

Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Poodles were bred to swim. Swimming is also one of the best exercises for any dog. The benefits of swimming for your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle include

  • a strenuous activity that burns energy fast.
  • helps strengthen and tone muscles from the resistance provided by the water.
  • is a low-impact activity that doesn’t put a strain on joints and tendons.
  • is an ideal therapy for a dog recovering from injury or surgery – see what is Canine Hydrotherapy to learn more.
  • Most Goldendoodles and Labradoodles love to swim and will want to do it

If you don’t have access to a pool, river, lake or ocean for your dog to use most cities have canine hydrotherapy centers especially for dogs to swim.

For more on swimming exercise for dogs see here.

Fetch

Playing Fetch with your dog is another fantastic way to burn pent-up energy. Obviously, retrieving games like this are exactly what Golden Retrievers and Labradors were bred to do.

Dogs can play this for hundreds of throws. A great alternative is to use an Automatic Ball Launcher so your dog can play Fetch by themselves. For more information check out “Automatic Ball Launchers for Dogs

Dog toys that move

There is a wide selection of dog toys that shake, rattle, roll, and make sounds. Similar toys move around on their own. These types of toys are highly stimulating to dogs as there is more interaction than passive dog toys.

For more information on dog toys that move on their own see here.

Play with other dogs

Provide the opportunity for your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle to play with other dogs. This is not only great to burn energy and stimulate their mind, but teaches them important social skills.

Goldendoodles and Labradoodles love the company of people and other dogs and in general, are very social and friendly.

Goldendoodle exercise

Mental Stimulation for Goldendoodles and Labradoodles

All dogs need an outlet for their minds. If they are not provided the opportunity to challenge their minds they will come up with their own ways to achieve this. This usually manifests itself in bad behavior such as excessive barking, digging, escaping, and other destructive behaviors. Read “Mental stimulation and mind enrichment for dogs” to learn about the 6 types or categories of mind stimulation a mental enrichment and some great ideas to provide this.

Some ways to provide mental stimulation and enrichment include;

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are ideal for dogs to challenge their minds and test their problem-solving skills. Due to their high intelligence, try to find puzzle toys that are a bit more challenging as they tend to work these out quite quickly. Check out “Top 7 puzzle toys for dogs” for my top picks.

In addition to puzzle toys, Kongs for dogs are another great way to get your dog to solve a problem and challenge the mind. Read “How to use a Kong for dogs“.

Scenting and nose games

Golden Retrievers and Labradors have a keen nose which enables them to find the prey they are retrieving. Much of this instinct has passed over into the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle. Playing scenting and nose games helps to provide mental stimulation. Read “12 Scenting and nose games for dogs” for some ideas.

Chew Toys

Provide your dog with good strong chew toys. Chewing is a great way to occupy them. In addition, chewing releases endorphins and helps to relax a dog. Many dogs hold stress in the jaw.

For more on the benefits of chewing and the best chew toys click here.

Learning

Teaching new commands and tricks is also excellent to provide mental enrichment. A popular game that involves learning is to teach them the names of their toys. Dogs can learn hundreds of words and names.

Food enrichment

Turn mealtimes into an opportunity for your dog to get a mental challenge and enrichment. Instead of feeding them from a bowl, give them activities that require them to work for their food. To learn more about feeding enrichment for dogs see here.

Enrich their environment

Environmental enrichment is the process of making a dog’s living space more engaging and interesting. To learn more about environmental enrichment for dogs see here.

For more activities, you can do with your Goldendoodle or Labradoodle, check out 50 Boredom Busters and games for dogs

How much exercise does a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle puppy need

The exercise suggestions above relate to a healthy adult Goldendoodle or Labradoodle. The exercise needs of a puppy are quite different. With puppies, their bones, muscle, and joints are still growing and developing.

Overly strenuous walks are not necessary and in fact, could possibly cause harm. An activity that is a high impact on the joints should also be avoided.

The best exercise for a young puppy is free play with age-appropriate toys.

Socializing with other puppies or friendly adult dogs is a great way to burn some of that puppy energy along with teaching them the social skills they need.

As your puppy gets older you can take them for short informal walks allowing them to sniff and explore and get used to being on a leash. Puppies under three months probably haven’t had all their vaccinations so shouldn’t be walked in public. Check with your vet when it is alright to venture out to the park or street.

The general rule of thumb for walking a puppy is around 5 minutes for every month of age. So, for example for a 4-month-old puppy, a walk of 15 minutes to 20 minutes is enough. Monitor your puppy on the walk for signs such as lagging behind, lying down, or panting. End the walk if they seem too tired.

Mental stimulation is important for puppies and can tire them just as much as physical activity. For more on mental stimulation for puppies see here.

For more on exercise for your puppy read “How to exercise your puppy

How much exercise does a Senior Goldendoodle or Labradoodle need

As a dog gets older they become less active and have lower energy levels. However, it is still important that they remain reasonably active to keep their joints and muscles mobile and to manage their weight. Read ” Dog exercise for a senior dog” to learn more.

Many dogs develop arthritis as they age. Exercise for them becomes a balancing act. It is important to keep their joints mobile and manage weight, but too much can make them sore. Read “How to exercise an arthritic dog” to learn more.

Summary – Goldendoodle and Labradoodle exercise needs

As a guideline, a healthy adult Goldendoodle, Labradoodle or Australian Labradoodle needs between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. This should include a walk either on or off leash and some free play. Mental stimulation is also crucial to prevent boredom. Adjust the quantity of exercise to suit your individual dog taking into account which size doodle they are, their age and energy levels.

One thought on “Guide to Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Exercise Requirements

  1. I liked that you said that giving your Goldendoodle puzzle toys will help them to become problem solvers. I have been thinking about getting a dog but I have been worried that he wouldn’t be intelligent. I would be sure to strengthen his intelligence by using puzzle toys with him.

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