There is a simple truth about dogs – an exercised dog is better behaved. It doesn’t matter if you have a working class dog or a toy dog, keeping your pooch exercised will lead to better obedience, better training, and a better relationship between the two of you. After years of experience I know this with absolute certainty. So what are some of the most effective means of exercising your dog? Stick around and see!
Walking Your Dog
This is the most important form of exercise for a canine, but not just any walk will do. Train your dog not to be the leader, but to follow you on the walk. This creates the learning and experience that you are the pack leader, and places you in the position of leadership. There are numerous references on how to undertake this training by various professional trainers such as Victoria Stilwell or Ceaser Millan – to name a few. No matter what training method you use, get this training underway!
With the walk being done properly, or attempting to do so, your dog will experience wonderful amounts of mental stimulation as well as physical. This is due to the focus your dog will put on paying attention to the surroundings and to you. Before I owned dogs I may have thought this to be silly, but after walking many dogs this just works. In the end you will have a dog that is more content and obedient. The additional benefits for dog owners are that they are getting exercise. Yes, this is one of the reasons why the tale is told that dog owners live healthier and longer lives. Simply, they are exercising more often while walking or having some sort of adventure with their dog.
Fetch For Your Dog
This is one of the most classic dog activities. Sadly, fewer dogs play fetch than most people realize. If someone throws a ball for my boxer, Sophie, she won’t bring it back until she has chased it, tossed it, gnawed on it, and repeated the process half a dozen times. That sure doesn’t sound like the fetch seen in movies, because it isn’t. Typically working dogs are the fetch dogs, and to be more specific it is the working class dogs that are bred for hunting and retrieving (or a mixed breed of such.)
Everything set aside, if your dog is a fetch dog, then you are in luck, because you just have to find an open space and go throw a ball over and over again. The most creative fetch story I have heard was from a friend of mine who was teaching his young son to play baseball. He also had a very energetic dog that loved to play fetch. To kill two birds with one stone he would spend part of their baseball practice time with his son throwing the ball for their dog, then he would have his son practice hitting the ball while his dog continued to fetch the balls that were hit. By the time they got to playing catch with one another the dog would just lie down and watch the concluding events.
This is the exercise solution that allows you to relax and socialize with other dog owners, while your dog plays, wrestles, runs, and mingles with other canines. Please keep in mind that time and effort should be put into training your dog to not be dog aggressive so visiting dog parks can be fun and enjoyable for all involved.
Not all dog parks are created equal. Keeping my boxer exercised has required many visits to various dog parks, and while not all Utah dog parks have been filled with the most incredible amenities we have gotten our feel for a lot of variety and fun. Keep in mind that some dog parks may be large tracks of land that allow for off leash adventures, just like you were out in the wilderness. While others are filled with swimming pools, tunnels, shaded picnic benches and so on. This also leads to the fact that you man have to pay to use some of these parks, as great effort goes into maintaining features and amenities. In the end the dog parks you visit most will come down to personal preference, but researching a dog park before making the trip for a visit is always a must so you are aware of any specific rules, schedules, payment, and so forth.
Conclusively there is a never-ending list of ways to keep a dog exercised, so try every one out that you can. This list holds the essentials to keep any dog owner out and about and enjoying their pet.