Has your dog been getting unusually rotund? And has the dog been getting quite rough with other dogs? Exercise could help to solve these problems.
Has your dog been getting unusually rotund? Is it starting to resemble a little barrel on legs? And has the dog been getting quite rough with other dogs? Exercise could help to solve these problems.
Unless a dog is seriously ill, a walk is a serious highlight of the day. Dogs recognise your walking clothes, the words you use before you embark on this adventure (do you find you cannot even use the word “walk” in other conversations without its ears pricking up?) and your picking up of a particular leash.
Dogs need exercise. It’s good for their health, their weight control and it also gets them socialised. It’s good for dogs to have to share a public space with other dogs. Exercise is important, as a lack of it can easily lead to frustration and aggression. This easily happens to dogs that are kept in confined yards, and to dogs that are neglected by their owners.
Such dogs have a higher tendency of being unruly. This can include tearing through the house, chasing their tails, yapping at anyone who walks by, and being aggressive in general.
Dog owners should be constantly aware of the fact that dogs need stimulation and attention. They are pack animals and need interaction – and above all, exercise.
- A good walk on a regular basis after the main meal of the day helps the dog not to put on weight. If a walk is too exhausting, it can cause digestive problems in dogs, so take it slowly in the beginning until the dog has become a bit more fit.
- Take a leash with you on the walking trip, so that you can leash the dog if it becomes necessary. Most dogs react instinctively to the knowledge that the park is public space and will happily tolerate other dogs in it. This is something they will not do if the same dog were to come into their yard at home.
- Dog obedience training classes can only benefit dogs and their owners.
- If a walk is too exhausting, it can cause digestive problems in dogs.
- Dogs also have varying fitness levels. If a dog is not used to more than a ten-minute walk a day, it will be unable to run five kilometers with you. It also needs to train gradually to get fit.
- If a dog lies down while you are out exercising it, it might just be tired, or a bit old and unfit. But if you haven’t been exercising for more than a few minutes, the dog might be ill and needs to be taken to the vet.
- Avoid exercising the dog in boiling heat. Dogs sweat through their tongues and it is difficult for them to keep cool in very high temperatures. Their blood pressure can also increase during exercise.
- Dogs have hunting instincts and lengthy games of “Fetch” generally go down with all of them. Balls, sticks, frizbees – anything that can easily be thrown and picked up by the dog will be a winner. With dog breeds that need lots of exercise, such as border collies, it is an idea to hit a tennis ball with a racquet for the dog. It will go further and give the dog the exercise it needs.
- A daily walk is recommended for all dogs. It helps relieve frustration, boredom and aggression.
- Make up games for the dog, such as concealing the ball inside a towel in a box, and encouraging it to get the treasure. You can also turn a bowl upside down, and hide in it its favourite toy. It will encourage your dog to use some thinking skills to get out what is hidden.
- Dogs like to pull on ropes, seaweed, and old cloth, a stick – whatever is at hand. Both working dogs and hunting dogs enjoy this. It helps to stimulate their brainpower, and it strengthens all their muscles.