Dogs are not the easiest pets in the world. They require quite a bit of training and when they misbehave, they seem intent on making such a mess that the whole world will know about it! But did you know that exercising your dog properly will allow him or her to behave better and be more receptive to training?
It is a sad truth that most dogs do not receive sufficient exercise. Especially high-energy breeds such as the popular Spaniel types and Collies of any stripe need to be challenged both physically and mentally, and as such they will find it easier to focus on training when they have been able to expend some of their excess energy in directed play and mental exercises.
Training itself in fact provides quite a lot of mental exercise for any dog. Even if your dog listens very well already, adding four or five ten-minute training sessions during the course of the day can only help them to cement their understanding of the commands, to exercise them however slightly, and to strengthen the bond between you and them. Many dog owners find that their dogs thrive on performing the commands required accurately, and this is very true – especially if they are appropriately rewarded during the training sessions. Dogs love to please, so giving them a chance to will help to relieve some tension.
It can be difficult to provide enough physical exercise for your dog. Walking isn’t really much of an exercise for them, however off-leash areas are sparse and many dogs have poor recall which makes it a bad plan to let them off their leashes in a non-contained environment. That is not to say there are no solutions, however. Jogging or running can be great fun for a healthy dog, and you will be able to take your dog out to do this. Additionally, devices such as the Springer allow you to take your dog safely along when you go for a bike ride. With quick-release systems and adjustable leash length, this allows you to run your dog a bit more successfully. Keep in mind that they will need to be able to stop for a drink if you go for an extended ride; you can purchase travel bowls made of water-proof material that will fold up easily, and along with a water bottle this allows you to keep your dog hydrated.
Another excellent way to exercise your dog is through dog activities such as flyball, herding or agility. Look into classes in your area and you may find they are reasonably priced and allow your dog to focus on new achievements.
Finally, mental exercise needn’t be reserved for training. Food-dispensing toys such as the Kong or balls that dispense kibble through precisely sized holes will allow your dog to work for his or her food. If a Kong is too easy for them, you can try stuffing it and then freezing it. Simply take it out of the freezer right before feeding time and you will provide your dog with a much-needed challenge as well as the built-in incentive of food. This can also help to distract a dog who does not enjoy being left alone, and many experienced dog owners feed their dogs almost exclusively from food-dispensing toys. Bones are another excellent choice, but remember never to cook them as this causes them to splinter and cause a health risk.
Exercising your dog should be a priority. With these simple steps and some minor expenditures, you can make sure your dog is being challenged on both a physical and a mental level every day of his or her life.