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March 4, 2009

Exercise- The Missing Link

Filed under: Health Care, Uncategorized — myminizoo @ 4:59 am

One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to provide it with enough exercise.  Exercise combats obesity, and keeps your dog is tip top shape. Unfortunately, obesity is one of the most common health problems in both dogs and cats. Obese pets live shorter lives and suffer many of the same problems obese people do, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. This is an important thing to consider as the average dog lives just 12 years and health problems catch up to them quite fast. It’s up to you to make sure your dog stays fit. After all I have yet to see a dog take itself for a walk!

 An added benefit is that exercise drastically reduces behaviour problems.  Almost every “problem” dog behaviour is just a natual dog behavior that has gotten out of control due to pent up energy and frustration. Take chewing for instance, dogs do it. Period. The problem comes in when dogs start to chew excessively. This problem directly stems from boredom, and of course lack of supervision. Many other behaviors such as barking, digging, hyperactivity, and food stealing can all be linked to lack of exercise.

 

Most people get dogs and don’t fully realize the level of energy the dog will have.  They expect the dog to be content to run around the backyard and go on a 20 minute walk. This just doesn’t cut it! If you think of what your dog was bred to do it starts to make sense. The retrievers were ment to run all day in the field, either pointing, flushing or retrieving game, the terriers were ratters, ment to race around chasing vermin, the hounds were bred to hunt prey by sight or scent, the herding were ment to heard animals all day,and the working group performed a variety of jobs from guarding to carting. You can see that there are no couch potatoes amoung these dogs! They can go all day, and need frequent regular exercise. There are of course some exceptions, some breeds require less exercise such as the Mastiff, Great Dane, Newfondland, and some of the toy breeds, but even these can benefit from a good daily walk.

  

 

 

Now that we have established that exercise is important I need to clarify what kind of exercise I’m talking about. I believe every dog should have mental and physical exercise everyday. Its important to exercise the mind and the body as it this will result in a fully tired out dog. If you only exercise the body you will only end up with a really really fit totally out of control dog!

Miranda’s Daily Doggy Exercise Schedule

1) Walking– Walking is great as it exercises you at the same time! It also give the dog an oportunity to smell out the neighborhood and have a change of scenery. Walking is also important as the act of having your dog walk with you reinforces your leadership. Walk with your dog beside you and have him stop and sit beside you at cross walks. This will teach the dog to be more in sync with you and will improve your relationship. If you prefer biking, running, or roller blading these are all GREAT alternatives to walking!

2) Free Play– Free dog playtime is essential as it allows the dog time to just be a dog and interact with others of his kind. This helps him work on his social skills. VIP: Do not think that because you took your dog to the dog park you do not need to walk him! Walking is just as important in order to achieve a well balanced dog!

3) Obedience or Trick Training– This is the part that will work your dogs brain. Teach him a new trick such as sit up, roll over, play dead… get creative! Or simply work on your obedience training together.

4)Play with toys– Playing fetch or tug of war is an excellent energy burner provided you are always in control of the game. You have to teach your dog a “drop” as well as a “take” command so that the game progresses at your pace not his.

Increasing exercise not only helps keep your dog in shape and prevents behavioural problems but it also really builds a strong bond with your dog. Some days I don’t feel like going out in the cold with the dogs, but when I do it always makes me feel better. There’s something about watching dogs run at top speed with blissful abandon that’s good for the soul.

Thats all for now… What are you waiting for?

Go Walk Your Dog!

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5 Comments »

  1. Please go to: http://www.meetup.com/MONTREAL-ACTIVE-DOGS to see what we have to offer.
    This is group for socializing & exersize for all dogs.
    Please let me know what you think.
    Thanks – Allan

    Comment by Allan — March 6, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  2. Hi,
    I’m Poppy and Echo’s human, I see you at various parks around NDG.
    beautiful blog!

    Comment by Esther — March 6, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

    • Hey! Welcome and thanks for reading! Say “hi” to Poppy and Echo for me!

      Comment by myminizoo — March 6, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

  3. I LOVE this article about exercise for dogs. Living in a country where winter lasts so long I come realize that I am one of the few who venture out in colder weather.
    could you please send me an email and let me know if I could use these photos on my local(Alberta) coming soon website–they are perfect and would help a lot in what I wish to convey.

    Comment by Kaytie — March 28, 2009 @ 4:20 am

  4. sorry I realize that my email address doesn’t show up. Perhaps you could just reply on here? I am in th process of following my dream and creating a K9 Awareness Centre…

    Comment by Kaytie — March 28, 2009 @ 4:21 am


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