Puppies need the right type and amount of exercise to keep them fit and happy.
A rough guide is 5 minutes per month of age - a four month old puppy can have a 20 minute walk, 5 months old is 25 minutes etc.
The exercise should be a mixture of walking, trotting and free, galloping play ut should never be forced.
There is evidence that uneven, natural surfaces are best for skeletal and muscular development.
There is some evidence that going up and down stairs before three months of age can be damaging to the skeleton. I would err on the side of caution and suggest avoiding the puppy going up and down stairs until up to 9 months or a year depending on maturity and size.
Puppies will also need play times during the day. To begin with these will be relatively short but frequent bursts. As the puppy get's older, the play times will get longer and less frequent. Most adult Estrela's enjoy a playtime in addition to their walks, but will not usually demand it.
Walks should be about you and your puppy. Please do not use everybody elses dog that you meet, as a way to entertain and exercise your puppy. Please see the page on training and socialisation for more information.
Adult Estrela's are less demanding in terms of exercise than some herding or gundog breeds but this does not mean that they do not need exercising daily!
Natural Rearing requires 2 hours of free running exercise a day. Admitedly if I am ill or 'life happens' then this can end up getting reduced but 2 hours a day is always the ideal I aim for with a healthy, adult, non-working Estrela. This doesn't have to be all in one go - think about your daily routine; I plan one 'long' walk and one 'variable' walk into my day so that I know the minimum exercise my dogs will get in a day and then still have some flexibilty incase something crops up.
2 hours is certainly not a maximum for a healthy adult - they can quite happily keep going all day. Luna used to come hacking with me and would easily do a day's beating and out stay the spaniels in terms of endurance.
For mental stimulation, try to vary your walks / routes.
Estrela's love new smells so going for a walk around the block for a change is actualy just as much fun and interesting for them as running in a feild.
Puppies can get 'over tired' like children! If your puppy seems over excited even though you have given him play and exercise - try putting him to bed.
Your Estrela does NOT need to go and play with every other dog, to have a good walk.
If your idea of walking a dog is to stand in the park and chat to other dog owners whilst the dogs play - don't buy an Estrela, it will get bored.
By LAW, when off, of your property, your dog MUST wear a tag with YOUR name and address. I include my mobile number as well.
Microchip your dog - AND keep the details up to date!