The Importance of Exercise
Exercise is a basic
daily need, like eating and drinking and if it isn't
adequately provided, serious consequences may ensue.
Your dog may begin to act extremely "hyper" and
put more energy into destructive activities. For
young dogs, exercising twice daily isn't just a
nice thing to do, it's an absolute necessity!
Remember a walk around
the block is NOT exercise for most dogs. As a general
rule, most adult dogs need morning and evening walks
as well as 15 minutes of interactive play each day.
In order to ensure
your dog is properly exercised, try the following:
- Teach him to retrieve
a ball or other favorite item. Keep him running
back and forth until he tires noticeably. Tiring
him out may take time, so be prepared. Introduce
retrieving by using a ball or other toy when he
wants to play with you. Don't play roughhouse
games; instead teach him that play means retrieving.
- Another good running
game you can use for exercise is "hide and seek."
This game requires that you have a reliable recall,
so work on that first. Once you've taught him
to come on cue, have someone distract or hold
him while you go a short distance away and hide.
Call him just once, but keep praising until he
finds you. Gradually make it more difficult for
him, but go slowly and always make sure he "wins."
- You may enjoy jogging
with your dog but remember to gradually increase
the mileage. Never overwork an unconditioned dog.
Dogs, like humans, need to begin an exercise program
- Don't forget
that safety is as important to you companion's
health as exercise, thus
- Keep your dog
on a leash while walking and jogging.
- Watch the weather.
- Avoid exercising
in extremely hot or cold temperatures.
- Never force your
dog to exercise by tying him to a moving vehicle.
- Avoid running, jumping
and exercising your dog on a full stomach. Exercising
your dog on a full stomach can cause bloat/gastric
dilation which can be life threatening. If this
should occur, your companion should be seen by
a veterinarian immediately.
If you would like to
work with a Wisconsin Humane Society behaviorist
one-on-one regarding this behavior topic, please
call 414-431-6173 to schedule a consultation.