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The Importance of Exercising Your Dog

The Importance of Exercising Your Dog
Dr. Dennis Fetko, nationally known dog behaviorist and trainer states, "Dogs need exercise like they need air, food and water." Dr. Ian Dunbar, internationally recognized dog behaviorist states, "A tired dog is a good dog. Dogs also need mental exercise... Fido needs to go sniff a new bush once in a while."

Not all methods of exercise are appropriate for all dogs or all owners. Check with your veterinarian and use common sense regarding exercising your dog.

Ways to Give Your Dog Physical/Mental Exercise

  1. Walking
  2. Obedience exercises
  3. Retrieving
  4. Playing with other dogs
  5. Swimming
  6. Round robin recalls (multiple people calling dog)
  7. Hide and seek (with people or toys)
  8. Jogging
  9. Running with a bicycle
  10. Hiking, backpacking
  11. Hunting
  12. Herding
  13. Agility
  14. Flyball
  15. Tug of war (*see note)
  16. Wrestling (*see note)
  17. Get your bone exercise
  18. Go to your place exercise or the Send Out
  19. Creative toys (food cubes, Kong filled with food), review Toy Safety
  20. Breed related work (i.e., hunting, herding, etc.)

Remember, most dogs do not exercise themselves, no matter how much space they have. The average dog sleeps about 18 hours per day unless there is something more interesting to do. To have a calmer, better behaved dog, you must actively structure and supervise ways for the dog to work off excess energy.

*Note: When rough-housing or playing competitive games with your dog, you must end the session with calming behaviors EVERY time. That means you give an "out" command, take the toy from the dog and massage or calmly pet the dog until he is in a relaxed state.