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How Much Exercise Does a Cocker Spaniel Need?

If you have a cocker spaniel as your pet, you must have noticed how energetic your dog can be. Cocker spaniels cruise around like a fluffy ball of energy and you cannot help but get carried away by their enthusiasm. However, that energy can quickly turn into a nuisance if you don’t exercise your cocker spaniel. This begs the question, how much exercise does a cocker spaniel need?

In this post, we tell you how much exercise your dog needs and what exercises you can engage them in.

How Much Exercise Is Ideal for a Cocker Spaniel?

On average, your cocker spaniel puppy needs 5 minutes of exercise per every month of age, twice a day. So, for example, this means that if your dog is six months old, you should give them at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, twice a day.

Spread out the 30 minutes of exercise across the day. For instance, you can take the dog for a 15-minute walk in the morning and another 15-minute walk in the evening.

Ensure that you exercise your dog a minimum of at least 3-5 times a week. If you can, make it a daily routine. 

If your cocker spaniel is 6 to 12 months (plus), give them 2 walks a day, with a minimum of thirty minutes per walk if you can. This is also fun for you because you also get to exercise and bond with your dog.

You can learn more about walking cocker spaniels in my guide, How long should you walk cocker spaniel puppies?

What Types of Exercises Work for My Cocker Spaniel?

Your dog needs both physical exercises and mental stimulation. If you don’t exercise your dog, they will look for other ways to release their pent up energy.

You’ll see behaviours such as:

  • Restlessness
  • Being destructive
  • Nuisance barking
  • Digging around

You may also be interested in why your cocker spaniel might be more hyper in this guide here

Here are some of the exercises you can use for your cocker spaniel.

Staircase Exercises

cocker spaniel coming up and down stairs for exercise

If your house has a staircase, engage your cocker spaniel in stair exercises. Make your dog sit at the bottom of the stairs and throw a ball at the top of the stairs. Command your cocker spaniel puppy to spring up the stairs and fetch the ball.

Command your dog to come down the stairs gently to avoid injury.

Staircase exercises will help to strengthen your dog’s legs.

Walk your Cocker Spaniel

Walking cocker spaniel dog every day, twice a day is good exercise for dogs

Walking is one of the easiest yet helpful exercises for your cocker spaniel. Take your dog for walks to help them stretch their muscles.

An average cocker spaniel should get at least a one hour walk every day. If yours is still a puppy, take them for shorter and more frequent walks every day.

Play Fetch

Cocker spaniel playing fetch is a great way to exercise them

When you take your cocker spaniel for a walk in the park, play a game of fetch. Throw a stick or your dog’s favourite chew toy and let your dog sprint to fetch it. Sprinting will strengthen your dog’s legs and respiratory system.

While fetch is always a fun game to play with your cocker spaniel puppy, throwing the ball hundreds of times for an energetic cocker spaniel who doesn’t want the play to end can be draining. Sometimes you just want to sit in the park or in the back garden and watch your puppy play. In such instances, an automatic ball launcher for dogs will be handy.

You can check out my review of some recommended automatic ball launchers here.

Encourage Your Dog to Play with Other Dogs

Cocker spaniels can be quite a handful, especially when they are playful, so why not use their energy to play with other dogs and exercise whilst they are at it?

Take your cocker spaniel to the nearest dog park and allow it to play with other dogs.

At the park, they dig around, run over each other and help each other to exercise.


Cocker spaniels swimming which is a great way for them to exercise

Did you know that cocker spaniels are top on the list of the best dog swimmers? A cocker spaniel enjoys swimming so much that it is sometimes hard getting them out of the water.

Train your cocker spaniel on how to swim and let them have their fun in the swimming pool.

Swimming strengthens their limbs and helps to clean them up too!


Your cocker spaniel can become your running partner and will encourage you to stay fit as you both take a run together.

If you like to jog, why not take your dog along and help it to exercise?

cocker spaniel running with owner on daily run

Besides having an energetic personality, a cocker spaniel is fast and agile. The Welsh Springer, American Water, and English cocker spaniels can run up to 12 miles a day(19km).

A puppy can cover at least 3 miles (5kms), which is a great way to help you both exercise. Don’t over-exercise your puppy. Too much exercise can make them tired or damage their developing joints.

Train your dog to walk on a lead and tag them long the next time you go jogging.

Dry Scenting Kit

Cocker spaniels are excellent hunters. While you train your dog to hunt, engage them in dry scenting activities to help them exercise.

You can buy a dry scenting kit from your local pet toy store and encourage your dog to follow his sense of smell.

Chew Toys

Most dogs hold stress in their jaw. Getting a chew toy for your cocker spaniel can help to stimulate the brain and exercise the jaw. Cocker spaniels have strong jaws so purchase your dog a tough enough chew toy.

Cocker spaniel playing with toys

If your cocker spaniel puppy is going through their teething phase, chew toys provide them with something safe to chew on other than your favourite pair of shoes or furniture.

Puzzle Toys

Get your cocker spaniel age-appropriate puzzle toys to get their brains at work.

You want your dog to be sharp and puzzle toys are a great way to stimulate their minds. You can find some good engaging puzzle toys on the market.

If your cocker spaniel is hyper, learn how about when they will calm down in this guide – spoiler alert, they are a hyper dog in general.

In conclusion,

One way of showering your cocker spaniel with love is exercising it. A well-exercised dog is fun to be around and healthy. Your cocker spaniel needs to exercise from a young age to help in its brain and muscle development and also avert any behavioural issues associated with inactivity.

Walking is one of the best and simplest ways to exercise your cocker spaniel puppy. In addition to walking, cocker spaniels are also great swimmers and runners. Dog toys like puzzle toys, chew toys and a dry scenting kit will also be handy for a cocker spaniels mental stimulation.

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