Because of their generally rather placid disposition, Swissys require a moderate level of exercise. However, there are some basic guidelines regarding this subject:
Puppies: Exercise requirements for puppies differ from those of adults! Most young puppies get plenty of exercise from normal daily activities such as playing and interacting with family members or other dogs and regular potty outings. As the puppy grows, short walks can be included. Remember, a puppy is a baby and will need plenty of rest!
There are some important points to observe regarding exercise for Swissy puppies. Because Swissys are a large fast growing breed, their bones and joints are particularly prone to injuries. A dog carries most of its weight in its forequarters, and jumping down, slipping and sliding and rough play can all contribute to muscle, tendon and joint injuries. Hence,
Do not let a puppy run or jump down stairs, into or out of vehicles or other elevated objects such as furniture etc. When going down stairs, either carry the pup or keep it on a leash and make it walk slowly
Do not let a puppy routinely play or run on slippery surfaces such as bare floors
Do not let a puppy roughhouse and play with much larger and stronger dogs
Most puppies will clearly indicate when they have had enough action and want to rest. Hence, letting a pup exercise at its own pace is the best approach for any Swissy youngster.
Older pups, teenager and adults: Starting between 8 and 10 months, Swissys will need regular daily exercise i.e. they will need more structured exercise than during puppy hood. Routine access to a large yard does not necessarily guarantee that a Swissy gets enough exercise! Because Swissys are so people oriented, their primary objective is to be with their owners at all times. Hence, even with a big yard a Swissy owner must see to it that the dog actually uses it for more than just the usual bathroom trips.
Another dog in the household usually helps to increase the activity level for both, provided size and age do not interfere with regular active interaction such as playing and running.
One of the best, cheapest and most readily available exercises is of course walking. A brisk daily walk of 20-45 minutes will keep most Swissys in good shape. Off-leash walks will increase the amount of exercise but are often not feasible especially in suburban settings.
For people who do not have the time or do not like walking in inclement weather, an ordinary treadmill may be the solution. Most dogs will learn quickly how to walk on a treadmill. A wooden frame made of plywood enclosing the front and the sides will keep the dog from stepping or jumping off. 15-30 minutes of brisk treadmill work a day usually are quite adequate.