Is your dog getting enough exercise? Dog Behaviorists have shown that exercise can cure unwanted dog behavior problems in many ways.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) head of pet health and welfare Nicola Martin said: “We are undoubtedly a nation of animal lovers, with four out of five pet owners stating they feel physically or mentally healthier because of their pet. However, our latest findings reveal that anti-social behaviour in dogs continues to rise due to a worrying lack of training, socialization, and exercise.”
Have you noticed that when a homeless person has a dog, the dog always stays with them? It’s probably not because they’ve taken really good dog obedience classes. Rather it’s because they’ve created a super bond, typically traveling and covering lengthy distances throughout the day. They get the exercise a dog was meant to get. At the same time, their dogs earn their keep as guard dogs, therapy dogs, and traveling companions. Because the dog is getting plenty of exercise with mental and physical stimulation, they have no desire to run off.
Most dogs were bred for a particular purpose. They were intended to have a job. Today, many dogs’ only job is to eat, drink, and take up couch space while you are at work. This lack of purpose leaves your dog no outlet for their naturally active tendencies, both physical and mental, and contributes to the development of your dog’s behavior problems. Like kids, if you don’t give them something constructive to do, they’ll come up with their own idea of fun.
The PDSA says that lack of exercise is contributing to a ‘shocking’ rise in destructive and aggressive behavior – with people and other pets on the receiving end of bored, anxious and badly-trained dogs. Dogs that stay cooped up inside all day get bored and look for ways to entertain themselves. This could result in chewed shoes, scattered garbage, or ripped up couches. Sounds like a dog being a dog, doesn’t it? They scavenge, they chew, and they dig. Only they aren’t quite as fastidious when it comes to picking your objects!
A common myth is that putting your dog alone in the backyard is enough exercise for any dog. Unfortunately, playing alone or even with another household pet in the same backyard day after day is often not enough variety for good mental and physical stimulation. Imagine if you never left your house for an entire week, a month, or even a year. You’d get awfully bored and probably come up with some creative entertainment ideas yourself!
If your dog must stay alone in the house while you are at work, consider getting a neighbor or dog walker to take your baby out for a potty break and long walk during the day. This will allow your dog to have company, get outside, and stretch their little legs before you get home.
There are tons of ways to exercise your dog, both physically and mentally. Playing a game of Frisbee or fetch allows you to remain relatively still while your dog gets a good cardio workout. Taking your dog to an obedience or recreational class gets them to a new stimulating location, working their mental muscles and psychological well-being which will create a more balanced pet.
There are also exercises you can do with your dog that will benefit you while giving them the mental and physical stimulation they require. Walking, running, and bike riding are great ways to get your dog outside while increasing your own physical well-being. Swimming is also an excellent exercise for both you and your best buddy. The use of pool steps for dogs allows your dog the freedom to enter and exit the pool safely while you enjoy your own exercise plan.
The best exercise for puppies is the activities they would naturally do. Run, jump, and play with your puppy. Don’t forget to sprinkle in some obedience in short sessions so you are working their brain as well. Teaching your dog a new trick can also challenge their brain. One of the best dog training tips is to exercise your dog before starting any training sessions. This allows them to release any pent up energy so they can focus on the training at hand.
The first step when wondering how to exercise your dog is to get up and get started. Find an exercise plan that works for you and take that first step; with your dog! Then, when you come home tired, ready only to lounge on the couch while watching a little Scandal, you will have a happy, mentally-fit pooch run up their dog stairs to cuddle with you.