Are you walking your cocker spaniel too much? What about exercise in general? There are many important questions regarding cockers and exercise. After speaking to countless owners on this topic, we’ve put together this FAQ guide answering everything.
Adult Cocker spaniels need around 60-90 minutes of exercise per day. Puppies and seniors will need less than this to preserve joint health. Cocker spaniels enjoy long walks as well as fast pace games of fetch.
All of this and much more will be elaborated on below.
How Much Exercise Do Cocker Spaniels Need?
Healthy adult cocker spaniels should receive around 60-90 minutes of exercise split up throughout the day. 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening is the ideal exercise split for a spaniel.
Like most working breeds from hunting backgrounds, cocker spaniels are highly energetic and have a huge desire for activity. Receiving their daily exercise is crucial, to say the least.
Splitting up the exercise is a very good idea to keep them sufficiently stimulated and calm throughout the entire day. Although many owners leave exercise to one part of the day, it could contribute to boredom, frustration, and other unwanted behaviors.
Exercise For Puppies & Senior Cocker Spaniels
When it comes to puppies and seniors the advice on exercise changes. Puppies are still developing and their joints and bones can easily be damaged (short and long term) if they are overexercised. For seniors, it’s all about joint preservation, so again, their exercise needs to be reduced.
Puppies (under 1):
Cocker spaniel puppies should exercise for 5 minutes per day, per month of age they have. This is known as the 5-minute method. This was created by dog training experts and veterinarians to ensure a progressive approach to exercise. At 3 months, it will be 15 minutes per day, 4 months will be 20 minutes per day, and so on. This lasts until they reach their adult requirement.
Seniors (over 9):
Senior cocker spaniels should continue exercising but at a slower pace and duration than younger adults. 30 minutes to 60 minutes per day is more appropriate for seniors depending on their individual health status. We have to preserve their joints and ensure their bodies remain healthy, so adjusting their exercise routine is a must.
How Far Can Cocker Spaniels Walk?
Cocker spaniels do love a good walk, but how far can they go?
Adult cocker spaniels can walk for about 3 miles (4.8km) at a moderate pace. 3 miles is the equivalent of a 45-minute walk at a normal pace.
For those that are well-exercised and have built up stamina and endurance, they may be able to go a little further. But to preserve joint health and remain on the safe side, stick to 3-mile walks and under.
How far a puppy spaniel can walk depends on their age and should coincide with the 5-minute method. For example, a 4-month-old puppy should walk for no longer than 20 minutes per day. At 5 months, it will be 25 minutes and so on.
How Many Walks Do Cocker Spaniels Need?
Two walks per day are enough to satisfy the exercise needs of an adult cocker spaniel. If one walk is slow and long, make the other short and fast. This will avoid too much repetitive motion and keep the exercise interesting.
If you take your cocker spaniel out for a 3-mile walk in the morning, another 3 miles in the evening could prove to be too much. In this case, make the walk in the evening a simple run around for 15 or 20 minutes and that will be plenty of exercise for one day.
Can You Walk a Cocker Spaniel Too Much?
Too much of a good thing can certainly be a bad thing, so yes, you can certainly overwalk a cocker spaniel. Overexercising, in general, could result in short or long-term injury so it’s important to avoid it.
Stick to no more than two walks per day, one in the morning and evening, and avoid walking more than 3 miles in one session.
As explained above, if you take her out for a slow long walk (3 miles) in the morning, try making the evening walk shorter, and something different, like a quick game of fetch.
Do Cocker Spaniels Need Two Walks Per Day?
Although it’s not necessary to take your cocker spaniel for two walks per day, it certainly does help. While one intensive walk per day may meet the exercise requirements of a spaniel, it could leave them overly bored and frustrated for the rest of the day.
By splitting up exercise and reducing the length of each session, your cocker spaniel will get more out of each walk. Plus, two walks per day will leave your spaniel feeling much calmer and stimulated at all other times.
- Recommended: Are cocker spaniels better off in pairs?
5 Exercise Ideas That Cocker Spaniels Love
Which kinds of exercises do cocker spaniels like the most? Let’s run through some of the best ideas below.
Cocker spaniels definitely like a simple walk, but this can depend on where you are walking. If your walk includes interesting things to see and smell, then a cocker spaniel will definitely be happier than if it doesn’t. A wide-open field with nothing but grass may get a little boring for most cocker spaniels though.
To rev up that prey drive bring a ball and a thrower along with you. Spaniels typically love playing fetch and this will give them a chance to sprint at full speed, which in small doses is highly beneficial for them. As this is quite an intensive exercise, be sure to keep the sessions short and allow your spaniel to recover.
If you have good hiking trails this can turn the average walk into something far more interesting. From varying terrain, sights, smells, and scenery, this will stimulate your spaniel like nothing else. Be sure the hiking path is safe and if it’s in a national park ensure you are allowed to walk with dogs.
4. Agility training
Spaniels are nimble, agile, and athletic, making them great at obstacle courses and agility training. You can buy great sets like this online to set up in your yard. Although this may take additional training and time before your spaniel really gets it, it can be extremely rewarding and stimulating once they do.
Meeting up with friends with dogs or taking your spaniel to doggy socialization groups can be an amazing way to exercise them without really doing much! Interacting with other dogs, sniffing butts, chasing each other, and play-fighting tire dogs out like nothing else. Not only will they receive great physical exercise from these interactions, but their mental stimulation needs will be completely satisfied.
How much exercise do cocker spaniels need?
Healthy adult cocker spaniels need around 60-90 minutes per day. Puppies should stick to the 5 minutes a day per month of age they have. Seniors, depending on their current health and age should stick to 30-60 minutes of exercise per day.
Can cocker spaniels walk far?
Cocker spaniels like walking but should stick to walks 3 miles (4.8km) and under. This equates to about 45 minutes of walking. Walking further than this puts their joints at risk.
Do cocker spaniels prefer walking or fetch?
Cocker spaniels like a variety of exercises. Everything from walking, fetch, hiking, agility training, and more, it’s best to keep every walk a little different to keep your spaniel stimulated
How many walks per day do cocker spaniels need?
Two walks per day is the best frequency for a cocker spaniel. One walk in the morning and another in the evening will keep them happy, healthy, and calm throughout the day.
Can cocker spaniels go hiking?
Yes, hiking is a great form of exercise, but also provides valuable mental stimulation too. Hiking offers different terrain, sights, smells, and scenery, all of which will be appreciated by a spaniel.
Am I overexercising my cocker spaniel?
If you are walking your cocker spaniel twice a day, then keep each session no longer than 45 minutes. If one of those is a long 3 mile walk, make the other session a short game of fetch. Never walk for several miles with a spaniel as this could injure their joints.
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