Exercise is often seen as a health issue, but it also has a huge effect on your dog’s behavior. All dogs, especially puppies and young dogs have a lot of energy, which if they’re not allowed to burn off, can be manifested as bad behavior.
Most dogs that develop problems such as separation anxiety, aggression, nervousness and many other behavior disorders have not been given enough exercise. Dogs are animals that need to be challenged and enjoy working. Taking your dog out for a daily walk is an excellent way to provide mental stimulation. Remember a big back yard, which is just a kennel to your dog, is not an adequate substitute for exercise.
There are many different types of exercises you can do with your dog. When you decide on which exercise or combination of exercises you want to do with your dog, you’ll want to consider your dog’s energy level, breed, age and health. Just because you may have a small dog doesn’t mean he/she needs less exercise. Some dogs are perfectly happy with a 20-30 minute daily walk, whereas other dogs might consider it barely a warm-up, although the walk would certainly help stimulate their mind.
Listed below are some types of exercise you may want to do with your dog. You can choose different activities based on the energy level of your particular dog.
Walk your dog – Walking your dog is a great way to promote training and exercise your dog at the same time. If your dog possesses a higher level of energy you may want to add a dog backpack to your walk. This will give your dog a job to do and make your dog work harder while on your walk.
Take your dog for a bike ride – I like to take my dogs out for the occasional bike ride as a way to mix up their exercise routine. I prefer to ride in a place where my dogs can run off leash. This is safer for both my dogs and me. When I do have the dogs on their leash, I only take out one dog at a time, and I like to use a bike attachment to help keep my dog from pulling me down.
Go rollerblading with your dog – This is a great way to let high-energy dogs burn off a lot of energy in a short period of time. I really enjoy rollerblading, because it gives me a chance to get some aerobic exercise at the same time my dogs get their own exercise needs met.
Swimming – This is great for almost every dog. It provides low-impact exercise for your dog that can’t be beat. Swimming is especially beneficial for older dog’s suffering from arthritis because it won’t cause undue stress on their joints and muscles. I also like taking my dogs out to swim during the summer months because it offers a great way to let them cool off.
Doggie Day Care – If your dog gets along well with others a doggie day care can provide a good way to exercise both his/her mind and body. Dogs often come home after a day at the day care worn out and happy.
How do you exercise your dog?