Dog playing basketball

Puppies are full of energy, love, and curiosity. As such, playtime is an essential part of your puppy’s life. Playtime provides an outlet for releasing puppy energy and strengthens the bond between you and your new furry child. Remember – a tired puppy means a less mischievous puppy.

So how much exercise does your puppy actually need?

There should be at least two 30-45 minute exercise sessions a day.

Walking, playing fetch, and dog parks are a great way to burn energy (make sure your pup is up-to-date on its vaccinations before playing in the dog park).

Helpful tips:

  • Be sure you are the one who decides when playtime starts and ends. If you puppy drops a ball in your lap or tries to start tug-o-war, don’t start right away. Wait a moment and then start playtime when it is convenient for you!
  • Do not rough house with your puppy or encourage “mouthy” behavior (nipping, growling, etc). Likewise, do not encourage jumping. These behaviors might be cute when they are little, but it reinforces bad behavior that will follow them into adulthood.
  • Do not play chase with your puppy. Playing chase suggests that running away from you is more fun then coming when they are called – and therefore will be less likely to do so.

Having a puppy is a lot of responsibility. Make sure you understand the commitment before getting your furry friend, and don’t be afraid to correct bad behavior when it appears.  

-Written by Colleen Demling, Dogtopia’s Canine Behaviorist. With over 30,000 hours and 15 years of HANDS ON dog training experience, Colleen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behaviorist. She is a frequent contributor to local and national media including Yahoo, The Huffington Post, Woman’s Day and many more. Colleen was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by Women in the Pet Industry Network. She was also named a 2015 Woman of Influence and one of the Top 40 Under 40 by Pet Age Magazine. Learn more: