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Poodle Exercise Needs Explained: (7 exercises Poodles Love)

Knowing how much exercise your poodle needs can be hard to gauge at first. Whether you have a standard, miniature, toy poodle, or even a puppy poodle, this article has the answer you’re looking for.

How Much Exercise Does a Poodle Puppy Need

Poodle puppies need less exercise than an adult. The safest amount of exercise for a puppy is 5 minutes twice per day, per month of age they have. So at 4 months old, they will be at two 20 minute sessions per day (40 mins total)

This is the 5-minute method and is a well-known routine to safely exercise a puppy throughout their fragile stages.

During the first 4-10 months a puppy will be growing rapidly, and while exercise is still important, over-exercise can be incredibly detrimental to their bones, joints, muscles, and overall growth.

How Much Exercise Does a Standard Poodle Need?

Standard poodles are a strong and highly active breed that thrives off 60-90 minutes of exercise per day. Ideally, their exercise is split up into two sessions, once in the morning and again in the evening.

If your standard poodle is still a puppy then it’s important to follow the 5-minute method outlined above up until around 12 months old. After 12 months you can start exercising them more like you would an adult.

If your standard poodle is a senior or has underlying health issues, it’s advised to speak to your veterinarian for a tailored exercise plan and extra guidance. Depending upon what issue your poodle has, will affect the recommended exercise.

How Much Exercise Does a Miniature Poodle Need?

Miniature poodles are highly energetic and need around 60 minutes of moderate-high intensity exercise per day. This is sufficient to keep them healthy, stimulated, and content. If you can split their exercise up into two different sessions, this will be even better for your poodle.

If you have a puppy miniature poodle, it’s still recommended to follow the 5-minute method as a safe way to exercise them without causing injury.

If your miniature poodle has any underlying health issues or is a senior, it’s best to get a tailored exercise plan from your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will give you specific exercises to carry out that are safe and least impactful on the body.

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How Much Exercise Does a Toy Poodle Need?

As toy poodles are considerably smaller than miniature and standard poodles, they require slightly less exercise per day. 30-45 minutes of dedicated exercise per day is sufficient for a toy poodle.

This doesn’t mean to say that toy poodles don’t have a lot of energy or stamina though! These little curly companions are very energetic and love to zoom around.

Toy poodle puppies typically reach full physical maturity around 7 months of age, which is substantially younger than standard poodles. This means they can be exercised as an adult would from 7-8 months onwards. (a toy adult).

7 Exercises Ideas & Activities For Poodles

Below are some of the best exercise ideas that poodles love. The list below can help you add variety to your walks and keep things interesting.

1. Swimming

Poodles make excellent swimmers. Even toy poodles, despite their size love to swim. And the best thing about swimming is that it’s tough, yet non-impactful so your poodle’s joints are not at risk.

Poodles were once used as water retrievers so swimming comes naturally to most, although swimming lessons and a doggy lifejacket are necessary for the beginning. Supervision is always a must.

2. Agility training

Agility training is the perfect blend of physical exercise and mental stimulation. It takes a little while for your poodle to learn how to maneuver through the course, but with your help and patience, she can become extremely proficient at it.

Your poodle will need to weave, duck, crawl, and jump, making conscious decisions while she exercises. This provides great physical exercise and mental stimulation at the same time.

You can pick up a high quality canine agility training set like this one online.

3. Frisbee

Frisbee is a great alternative to fetch although it’s slightly more challenging as it involves jumping and greater coordination. But with a little training, any poodle can become quite good at it.

Alternating between fetch and frisbee will keep the walks interesting for your poodle. Just be sure to monitor how often she is jumping and consider her joints.

You can pick up a dog-friendly frisbee like this one from Amazon.

4. Hiking

If you are lucky enough to live somewhere with dog-friendly hiking trails or woodlands, this can be an awesome way to spice up the walks.

Hiking offers many unique smells, different terrains and interesting things to check out. All of which will be thoroughly enjoyed by your poodle.

Just ensure that the trail is dog-friendly and be aware of any potential hazards before taking your poodle there.

5. Joining you on runs

If youre a keen runner you could start bringing your poodle along with you. This is more suitable for standard poodles rather than minaiture or toy poodles, due to their strength and stamina.

Running can even be a way to bond with your poodle, as it’s an activity that both of you are involved in.

It’s important to use a hands-free leash, ensure the running surface is suitable, the route is safe and you’ll need to start off running short distances with frequent breaks.

P.S. This is only suitable for 3-5km runs, if you’re training for a marathon, your poodle will be better off indoors!

6. Flirt poles

Flirt poles are ideal for a quick impromptu exercise session in the yard. Although they wont replace your poodle’s regular exercise plan, a short 10 minute session in the yard will seriously wear out your poodle.

I highly recommend picking up a flirt pole and creating a play session out of it on a daily basis. You can get an affordable one like this from Amazon.

7. Doggy playgroups

In most areas nowadays there are organized doggy playgroups, either from local dog centers or from Facebook groups or forums.

These sessions are purely for the purpose of socializing but also act as a great form of exercise due to the dogs playing and running around with each other.

Nothing will tire your poodle out more than playing with another dog. And the mental aspect of this activity is unbelievably beneficial.

If you don’t have any local groups doing this, you can always ask friends or family members that have dogs if they want to meet up once or twice a week. It’s definitely worth asking!

Recommended Read:
What causes some poodles to become clingy and needy?

Additional Exercise Tips For All Poodles

Let’s run through some of the best exercise tips that will make each walk safe and enjoyable for you and your poodle.

1. Consider the walking surface

Although a little concrete and pavement here and there will do no harm, the best walking and running surface for your poodle will of course be grass and mud.

Grass and mud are much more forgiving than concrete, especially in hot weather.

If you live in a city and don’t have much access to grassy or muddy areas, you might need to cut the walker shorter and be a lot more cautious with how her pads are coping.

2. Bring water and a bowl

If you’re going for longer than 30 minutes it’s advised to bring water and a bowl for your poodle.

It’s important to have regular water breaks, especially throughout the summertime.

There are awesome bottle/bowl combinations like this one, on Amazon. These are affordable and work so much better than trying to get your pooch to drink straight from a bottle.

3. Encourage socialization!

One of the most important areas of any dogs life is their socialization habits.

Poodles that frequently engage with other dogs, and even people, are going to be happier, calmer, well-behaved, friendly, more obedient, and less stressed. The benefits of socialization are huge.

Therefore, make a point of visiting the dog park, and don’t be afraid to let your poodle have fun with the other dogs there.

Of course, it’s always important to exercise caution and if another owner pulls their dog away, this could be because they know their dog isn’t friendly, or for any other reason. In these moments, be sure to get your poodle swiftly and move on.

For when it’s obvious that the other dog is friendly and wants to play, allow your poodle to have as much fun as she likes. Not only is it great exercise, but it’s great mental stimulation too.

4. Give variety to your walks

It helps to change up the walking routine on a weekly or fortnightly basis to keep things interesting and exciting for your poodle.

This could mean walking your poodle in a slightly different part of the feild, or a different area altogether (just be aware of the hazards first).

Aside from changing the location, you could engage in different activities. If you usually take a ball to throw, try playing fetch with a frisbee for a week or two.

By providing variety to the walks, your poodle will remain engaged, mentally stimulated, and will actually be more worn out than if you go on the same old walk all the time.

5. Make sure your poodle has an ID tag

This is a simple tip, yet often overlooked. Never leave your house with your poodle without her having an ID tag on her collar or harness.

You never know what could happen on a walk. And i’ve found myself countless amounts of times over the years trying to help owners retrieve a dog that’s bounded off into the distance.

Windy conditions make it easy for a dog to lose their way, especially if you’re walking in terrain that doesn’t allow you to see very far.

An ID tag can help someone contact you immediately if the worst was ever to happen.

Products Recommended

Below are all the products recommended throughout the article (and a few more).

Dog water bottle/bowl combo
Doggy lifejacket
Dog agility training set
Dog frisbee
Dog flirt pole
Dog ID tag
Most recommended harness
Most recommended leash

Thank you for reading!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.