Exercise routines

General Brittany Discussion

Moderators: Barb Wright, Lisa

Forum rules
Welcome to general discussion!

Did your Britt make you laugh today? Did he do something so smart, you are blown away? Those puppy teeth causing you to tear up, and you need an outlet? Or do you want to post a picture of his or her latest point? This is the place for it!
Post Reply
enginerd
Junior Hunter
Junior Hunter
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:07 am
Location: Olney, Maryland

Exercise routines

Post by enginerd »

This is more of a curiosity post than anything else as to how they keep their Brits energy directed towards things other than furniture and walls (I'm looking at you Ripley). Since these guys are meant to be in fields and not the suburbs, I thought I'd take a survey and see how the rest of you survive life with your crazy furballs. We've recently changed the dynamic duo's exercise routine (Jeff and I are doing a couch to 5K training program to get in shape ourselves) and have been greeted by much calmer pups in the evening. Chuck was givien a glowing review at the vet the other day (heart rate of 60 bpm, prompting a "wow, he is in GREAT shape". Ripley even fell asleep the other day before the sun went down! Granted, not much of a challenge when the sun doesn't disappear until nearly 9pm.

I am also curious about how your exercise routines corresponds to other stuff (age, diet, etc.). Plus, it seems like we can't feed these guys enough food anymore. Chuck maintains his weight well, but I've been trying to add a couple of pounds to Ripley for the past few months and she just seems to burn it off as fast as I feed her. We are currently in a cycle of the more we exercise them, the more they want/need exercise. In other words we've created machines (they are infamous at daycare for never slowing down and they can't believe they don't pass out as soon as they get home, in fact the first place we took Ripley to when she was 6 months old looked shell shocked when we picked her up and just said, "she is really energetic").

And for the record, I am completely comfortable with my nerdiness in collecting and analyzing data points (I will try to refraing from creating charts/graphs from the responses though) 8) Plus, perhaps someone who is thinking about getting a brittany will run across this post and then freak out and get a basset hound or golden retriever :D

The stats:
Ripley - 2 years, 37 lbs and 21" tall making her lean and leggy. She eats just over 1/2 lb of raw food twice a day. Plus handfulls of training treats and kongs (stuffed with kibble mixed with yogurt and PB). She's our energizer puppy... just never wears out. If not properly exercised the energy comes out in the form of a furry great white shark. All teeth, all the time. Nothing is safe and you should stay out of the water, because she will jump in and then dig until she can't see straight (20 minutes digging in the kiddie pool is the record which is better than digging in the yard)
Chuck - ~3 years, 42 lbs and 20" tall making him a tank of solid muscle. He eats 1/4 lb of raw and a heaping 1/2c TOW kibble twice a day. Plus same treats as the evil one. If not properly exercised he wakes up at 4 am, otherwise he will allow me to "sleep in" until 5:30. No matter what he seems incapable of staying awake past 7:30pm unless outdoors. I have tried to negotiate his sleep patterns, but so far negotiations have stalled at 5:30am with an occassional concession until 6.

The routine:
M,T,Th,F
Up at 6 am for 25-30 min run (well run/walk because we're only half way through the 5K training program). Ripley trots and yawns her way through the run and isn't even panting by the end. Chuck would prefer to sprint until he passes out (or the leash stops him, whichever comes first).
Crated while we work with mid-day walk/yard play (30 min)
Evening walk for 1 hour (usually about 3 miles), plus a 20 minute play session with neighborhood dogs 2-3 times a week
Sporadic yard play/wrestling matches throughout the evening until lapsing into comas in front of the window while looking out for squirrels around 8:30 or 9:00
W
Doggie Daycare
Zooms in back yard so Chuck can collapse on couch for rest of evening
Play fetch with Ripley until she sprawls out on the floor, this usually adds up to 30-40 minutes of "dear god puppy why won't you sleep" time
Maybe a quick 15-20 min walk after dinner to clear the brains so they'll pass out around 8:30 for Ripley, 6:30 or 7 for Chuck
Weekends
Agility classes or a 3-5 mile hike followed by 30-45 minute nap
Sporadic yard play/wrestling matches throughout the day/evening
Evening walk for 1 hour (usually about 3 miles)
Wake Chuck up to eat
Comatose by 7-8 pm

So that's a week in the life with Chipley (plus a full-time job and the other things to keep the house running). So to clarify, we do not have 2-legged kids and prior to the 4-legged ones my weekly exercise routine consisted of an occasional hike every couple of weeks and plans to get more exercise and to generally be more active. So these guys have definitely helped me follow through on all of the previously vague plans to be more active. Plus, we didn't really meet and make friends around the neighborhood until we got the pups. So this has been a great thing for us despite the early mornings that are universally despised by everyone in the house except for Chuck. People stop me and ask me about our dogs on a regular basis (springer and cocker spaniels are the more commonly mistaken identity dogs). They are friendly and great with kids and a lot of folks really seem to like their size. So when people ask me about Brittanys I tell them that ours are 5-mile-a-day dogs and then watch them go pale. I'm just wondering how many more 5-milers there are out there or if we really have created mutants.
Carlyn

Image
Chuck and Ripley... we will not be still

Lisa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4031
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:42 pm
Location: McKinney, TX

Re: Exercise routines

Post by Lisa »

I think I'm incredibly lucky that my dogs are all kinda couch potatos and yet still manage to look great!

The stats:
Buster - 7 years (well, will be on 6/20), 36 lbs, 21 3/8" tall. He eats just under 2 cups of Nature's Logic dog food once a day. Plus, a small amount of treats during the day - usually some form of meat- for training and coming when called and going in his kennel. He typically lounges in the hallway in the winter and laundry room in the summer, during the day. He always wakes me up between 6:30 and 7 am to go potty, but will then go back to bed for another hour. He puts himself to bed every night around 10:30 pm. If he goes outside during the day, he will run around for a bit, then lay in the grass.

Britty - 10 years old, 45 lbs, 20" tall (and a mix). She eats around 1 3/4 cups of Nature's Logic dog food once a day. Plus, a small amount of treats during the day...same as Buster. She sleeps behind my desk in the winter or when scared, and in the hall bathroom during the summer (cool tile). I have to make her go outside and when she does, she will do her business then lay in the grass relaxing. If Buster instigates play with her, she and Buster will wrestle for maybe 5-10 minutes.

Madi - 14+ years old, 30 lbs, 18" tall. She eats just under 1 1/2 cups of Nature's Logic dog food once a day. Same treats as the other two. Madi sleeps. Unless she has to go out to potty. Then she comes back in and sleeps. She prefers the dog bed by my desk, or Britty's crate, or the couch. Sometimes, when she goes outside, she'll trot a few laps around the yard until she remembers that she has to potty. She always wakes me up a 7 am to potty, if Buster hasn't woken up first. Then, she has to go out again at 10 am and then she sleeps 'til around 4 pm, when she wakes up to potty and ask for food.

The Routine:
M,W,F:
Up at 7 am for Buster and Madi to potty. Then, Buster and I drive 4 miles to a friend's house, where we go walking with her and her Golden Retrievers. We typically walk for about an hour - aruond 3.5 miles or so. Buster usually walks twice as far as the rest of us, and goes back to the car with his tongue dragging. We drive home, Buster runs outside to potty, then I shower and he lays on the bathroom floor. I work from home, so once I get ready, we all move in to my home office, where Madi claims her dog bed, Britty claims the floor (or goes in to the hall bath) and Buster lays in the hall or laundry room. At around noon, I go make lunch, and make the dogs go outside. If it's nice out, I eat outside and the dogs play for a while. If it's nasty out then they just do their business and come in. After my work day, I make the dogs go outside for a bit, then feed them, then back outside for a while. I usually do some kind of training with them all in the evening.

T, Th:
Up at 7 am for Buster and Madi to potty. Then, I'm on conference calls most of the day. Same as the rest of the week with making the dogs go out around noon and then at the end of the work day. If I can squeeze in a walk for Britty, we take a 1 mile walk around the neighborhood at some point during the day. If I still have time or need a break from work, I take Madi for a short, half mile walk in the neighborhood (that's about all she can manage). Tuesday nights, Buster has a 1 hour agility class.

Weekends:
If I've got a dog show with Buster, then we're at the agility show all day, and we both get plenty of exercise running around! When I get home, I usually either take the girls for walks or just sit outside with them for a while.
If I don't have a show, then I take Buster out to the training field and he gets to run around like a dork for a while and then we work agility. If I don't feel like driving, we go to the park and work obedience instead. Then, depending on the weather, I either take Britty and Madi for a walk or we go to PetsMart and walk around the store. I try to spend a good amount of time outside, and Buster will usually pester Britty until she will wrestle with him or chase him around the yard. In the summer, we also go over to a friend's house so the dogs can swim.

With all my dogs being older, especially the girls, they just don't need that much exercise any more. I'm sure if I started Buster on a 5-mile-a-day plan, he'd happily adjust and want it all the time, but I'm just not that motivated! I expect the dogs to all chill while I'm working, and I'll play with them when I'm done. Buster used to be really bad about getting in to mischief, but he's matured and will now just chill out until it's time to do something.
Image Image RIP Madi
Charm-future agility champ
Britty- RIP March 27, 2014
Buster-CGC, OA, OF, NAJ, APK, APJ, APG, APR, PD

AuntieMom
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 3657
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 4:39 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: Exercise routines

Post by AuntieMom »

Life with the “Chipley” crew sounds slimming. :P Our dogs do not get that kind of workout but probably would be up for it. Too bad I’m not. We go for a walk every so often but for the most part they get their exercise by playing in the back yard. It is tiered so there are things to do for everyone. A bridge on one level which CharLee likes to walk across. She also likes to run in circles in the grassy center. On the top tier there are some gnarly evergreen bushes which Trapper likes to bark up (as if birds are going to answer him), then there are the blue spruces which are cool to lay under in the summer and that is where Kallie can be found dozing if she is not standing under the magnolia or river birch with squirrels scolding her. Scout likes to survey the domain from a perch where he can see the entire yard and his dark fur turns this reddish color in the summer because he is in the sun so much. We call it his beach bum look. All the dogs just patrol the yard and don't seem to get tired of it.

With the exception of CharLee, my Britts are older and they do not seem as high energy as they once were. They get a cup of dog food in the morning and a cup at night. Kallie and CharLee weigh in the 32-35 pound range and Trapper and Scout weigh in the 45-50 pound range.
Image
Trapper, CharLee & Kallie

dmedric
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:22 pm
Location: Leland, NC

Re: Exercise routines

Post by dmedric »

Cooper (approx. 2yrs old) weighs in at about 35-37lbs and gets about 1 1/2 cups of Wellness CORE Ocean per day (plus assorted treats). He and Belle (Beagle/Brit mix) get two good walks a day -- one in the early am and one just before dinner. They also get lots of play/wrestling/hunting time in the backyard. They are higher energy than our first Brit -- one walk a day and backyard time was all he needed.

As for early rising -- I feel your pain. Cooper is up by 6:15-6:30am every morning -- no matter what time he goes to sleep for the night or whether anyone is up or not. Belle will jump on the bed, curl up, and go back to sleep again. Not Cooper -- he just bugs you until you get up. I guess he is a "morning person" :D .
Last edited by dmedric on Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

janet909
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1179
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:11 pm
Location: Western Colorado

Re: Exercise routines

Post by janet909 »

Wow, I can't believe how much exercise that Ripley and Chuck are getting. I'm lucky, with my 3 brittanys, they are just soooo mellow. (Have you ever heard the work brittany and mellow in the same sentence?) If my husband is here and I leave for work at 5:15, they will sack in and snooze with him until he gets out of bed at 08 or 09. When he's gone for months (like right now) they are up at 430 with me and raring to go. They get a one hour walk a day. I used to trail run but Moby has significant arthritis and can no longer run so I'm walking while Shep and Wesley tear around off leash and Moby walks right next to me. ( Moby is off leash too but never leaves my side except for an occasional sniff of a bush). If my DH is gone and I'm working, they get nothing (3 days a week) which is a bummer. They're pent up and wresting for the first 30 minutes when I get home but then they all lay down and snooze. On days off, after their walk, they intermittently snooze, hunt in the yard and wrestle. They do have a dog door and a 1/2 acre fenced yard so I think they keep busy when no one is home (if the paper boy is late, and I don't get it before I leave for work, they obviously have a big time shredding it into a million pieces all over the yard so I have something to do after standing on my feet for 12 1/2 hours at work. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: )

They are all around 45 lbs and they all get 2 cups of Chicken soup for the dogs soul or whatever it is. With that they get elk, salmon, eggs or boiled ground burger mixed in. Moby has always been anorexic so he always leaves 1/2 of his meal. Moby and Shep are 9 1/2 (though Shep is definitely 3 years old re: activity level) and Wesley is 3 1/2 years old.

I think the fact that I go out to the desert and open the door and let them run wild for an hour makes them mellow. They run themselves to death. They definitely get a lot of exercise in that way....more than I could get them on a leash. It took a lot of time to trust them though......and some close calls in the early days. They have since learned to keep an eye on me.

Cindy
Dual Champion
Dual Champion
Posts: 5785
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Exercise routines

Post by Cindy »

I'm worn out just reading about what you all do!! Kayla is about 36 lbs and Jill is 37 lbs. I don't consider them to be mellow dogs, although they generally are when in the house. They have about 6 acres behind IF on which to run but we take them some place for a swim, walk, or hike about 3-4 times/week. The length varies greatly and generally has to do with how hot it is. I throw the Frisbee for both dogs in the evening but usually not for more than 5-10 minutes. The dogs stay pretty busy in the yard, snooping around the woods and running in the pasture but they never look like they are trying to wear themselves out. Have to save up that energy just in case we go somewhere new! Usually by 7 they are crashed on the sofa and Kayla likes to go to bed early (around 8 pm). Jill generally stays on the sofa until midnight and then joins us in bed. Sounds pretty ideal, yes? Well, Kayla is definitely an early riser and her enthusiasm gets Jill up too. This morning we were ALL up at 5 AM :x and I can't remember the last time they let us sleep past 6:30. Of course, after they are fed and let outside, they come back in the house and crash until we're ready to do something. They both eat Taste of the Wild with Jill getting about 1.5 cups/day and Kayla getting 2 cups.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
Image

enginerd
Junior Hunter
Junior Hunter
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:07 am
Location: Olney, Maryland

Re: Exercise routines

Post by enginerd »

Awesome answers! I figure a lot of our exercise needs are driven by their age as well as the fact that they have to be crated when we're not home and your stories seem to support that. Ripley still isn't trustworthy and one pup in a crate = two holy fits. Two in adjacent crates = nap time. Plus, the exercise has been good for me (although I wouldn't necessarily say slimming... mmm... food) :D The running in the morning seems to be the final puzzle piece to getting them to chill around the house which was my personal goal. I watched an hour of TV the other night without interruption for the first time in 2 years <insert tears of joy>. Perhaps in another 5 years, we'll be able to make it through a movie :)

It looks like most of the pups are eating about the same amounts which makes me feel better. I was getting nervous when I looked at the packaging and realized our guys were eating the recommended food amounts for very active 60 lb dogs.

Sounds like there are quite a few early risers too. Has anyone figured out a way to find their snooze button? Ripley, Jeff and myself would be grateful if you could pass on some tips. Jeff would gladly sleep until noon, Ripley until 9 and I just want to make it until 7. Unfortunately Chuck has figured out that I'm a very light sleeper and generally can't go back to sleep after waking up, so every morning I hear a pitter patter of feet, a quick shake and then I brace myself for the pounce in the middle of my stomach and about a zillion face licks. He tried this with Jeff and he can just roll over and go back to sleep. I'm afraid the running is just reinforcing the OMGmorningsareawesomeandIloveyouandweshouldgooutnowbecuaseSQUIRRELSandRABBITSandthejoyofbeingaliveandwhyareyoulookingatmelikethatgrumpyfeelthejoyandloveofbeingaliveandSQUIRRELS
Carlyn

Image
Chuck and Ripley... we will not be still

Cindy
Dual Champion
Dual Champion
Posts: 5785
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Exercise routines

Post by Cindy »

I'd like to say that the energy level is an "age" thing but our dogs have been this way since we first adopted them at about 1.5 years. I might be able to tell that Kayla is slowing down a bit, but it's only a slight bit. Sorry, no help with the sleeping later but would love to know the secret!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
Image

dmedric
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:22 pm
Location: Leland, NC

Re: Exercise routines

Post by dmedric »

I wish I knew how to change the sleep cycle too, but I don't have a clue. My first Brit, Max, slept as long as I slept, from the first day that we got him (and he was only 2-2 1/2 years old). Cooper doesn't even need to potty when he wakes up, so that's not what's getting him up. I let him out -- he makes his lap around the yard and comes back in -- no pottying. He waits until our walk to do his business :? Guess he is just wired that way.

Sooz
Master Hunter
Master Hunter
Posts: 589
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:08 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Exercise routines

Post by Sooz »

OMGmorningsareawesomeandIloveyouandweshouldgooutnowbecuaseSQUIRRELSandRABBITSandthejoyofbeingaliveandwhyareyoulookingatmelike


That line had me LOLing. That is the perfect definition of a Brittany.
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." – Unknown

michellep
Good Citizen
Good Citizen
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Exercise routines

Post by michellep »

OMGmorningsareawesomeandIloveyouandweshouldgooutnowbecuaseSQUIRRELSandRABBITSandthejoyofbeingaliveandwhyareyoulookingatmelike

PERFECT!

Archie is 40-41 lbs, I have never measured him but he seems a little short. He is a "free feeder" but generally eats about 1-1.5 cups per day of blackwood5000. As a pup he would just let his food sit all day and then eat it all at once at night- he still likes to do this. He gets a lot of treats though and I had to actually shave a few pounds off of him (peanut butter kongs!! vet said he was looking "chubby" he was like 44 lbs then, no more p-nut butter for him-I tried baby carrots, found them ALL over the house, all withered up- I don't think he realized they were edible, he would just take one and run off).

He is going to be 2 at the end of the month :shock: :D and has slowed down a bit! he was a seriously active puppy and is still very active, just not all day. He is napping more. Our exercise depends on the weather. Right now it is super hot in SC, 90s everyday with the heat index in the 100s. it completely wipes him out so right now we do 20 minutes in the yard and then he comes in and naps in the AC for about an hour then we are back out in the yard for 20 mins. and so on. We sometimes do short evening walks, usually about 20-30 mins. He naps in the daytime when I am at work, usually gone for 5-6 hours 4Xweek. In regular weather we do 2 30 minutes walks a day and some times and hour or so at the park (we no longer go everyday but a few ties a week) and then he gets yard time with the tennis ball (if he is in the mood :roll:

He sleeps in his crate now but used to wake me up between 6 and 7 with big puppy kisses and glistening eyes. now he wakes me up at 7 with a slow and low "woof" from his crate, gradually becoming just a little more frequent and a little louder. It actually cracks me up that he is that sensitive!!!!! He has not learned "indoor voice" he just does this on his own, it is very sweet. He does come back to bed with me on the weekends after we go out to potty which he usually does need to do (last potty at night is between 10 and 11)
Image

StFrost
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
Posts: 383
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:06 am
Location: Bellingham, Washington

Re: Exercise routines

Post by StFrost »

Sammie is 14 and lately has been looking underweight, last weigh in she was at 32. M-Th she gets a 45 minute walk at night plus the 2-3 times bathroom and perimeter walk in the back yard between 11 and 3:30 (A.M.)--which means me getting up to turn the light on because she can't see in the dark and the motion detector is at the top of the stairs. F-Sun, she either runs 3 miles a day with us or a five mile training hike with me (1800 feet elevation gain in 50 minutes). She is fed 1 to 1.25 cups of Wellness Ocean a day with pumpkin stirred in at night. If we have fresh chicken, she gets those scraps while they last too.

Post Reply