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Dog Exercise Routine

DOG GONE IT… ITS EXERCISE TIME! 

Whether you have a young puppy or a senior dog,  exercise is an important addition to their daily routine. While some of us 2 legged species view exercise as a dreaded activity, most animals love it and wait with anticipation to get out to the dog park . When considering the addition of a dog to of household, make certain that you must set aside a reasonable period of time to exercise your pet.

Just like exercise is essential for human, it also serves as a means to keep your dog active and healthy. If your pet is starting to gain weight, or looks sluggish, make sure that they get their daily fix of movement. Besides staying healthy and lean, they are less likely to suffer from diabetes or joint issues if they have a daily workout. 

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Being outdoors and walking has another surprise benefit. It provides the dog with new environments to see and helps to socialize them when meeting other dogs and people walking by. Dogs need the stimulation that the outdoors and the exercise will decrease their pent up feelings from being couped up in an apartment.

Without regular exercise, you may find that your pet will start having destructive behavior as an outlet for having too much residual energy. I recall a dog owner that left his Great Dane in a small apartment alone all day with no outlet for activity. It was no surprise to me to hear that his dog destroyed the couch, ate through the drywall and barked until the neighbours called the Bylaw officers. By walking or running with your dog, they learn to burn off their energy in a positive manner, and be less likely to chew on your shoes or dig holes in the lawn.

It is easy, with a busy schedule, to put your dog in the backyard and let him run around on his own. However,it is typically more motivating for the pets to be accompanied by his owner . People often exercise more frequently and enthusiastically in a group at the gym instead of doing exercises alone in front of the tv.  Dogs prefer to have the company of their human, as its more interesting to be with the pack and experience the fun together. Walking or playing a game of fetch helps to connect with your pet and maintain optimal mental and physical well-being.

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When choosing a dog, it is important to match their breed and nature to your lifestyle.  If you are a very active person and love to run and spend time outdoors, choose a breed that will keep up with your energy and lifestyle such as the following:

Dog Breeds that have a high need to exercise:

Tibetan Terrier – herder, retriever, likes to climb

Bernese Mountain dog– climb, hikes and carries a pack for you

Lagotto Romagnolo – Bred to hunt and swim

German Short haired pointers – hunting and retrieving

Pembroke Welsh Corgi– herder, active but small

Portuguese Water Dog– herds, swims

Shetland Sheepdogs- herds and chases

Australian Cattle Dog – herding

Vizsla – athletic runners and jumpers

Dalmation – long distance joggers

Doberman Pinscher – jogs and hikes

Rhodesian Ridgeback – athletic, bred to chase lions

Jack Russell Terrier – energetic long distance runner

Rat Terrier – runner and agility

Weimaraner – jogging companion

Australian Shepherd – herding. And hiking

Border Collie – agile runners and herders

Siberian Husky – an active dog to take on hikes

Labrador Retriever – energetic hunter

Afghan Hound

Dogs Breeds that need less exercise:

  • Cavalier King Charles
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Basset Hound.
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Chow Chow.
  • Shih Tzu.
  • Bull Mastiff.
  • English Bulldog.
  • Boston Terrier.

 People get tired of doing the same workout so consider that the more variety added into the dogs exercise experience, the better. Dogs enjoy activities that involve mental as well as physical stimulation. Give them activities that they can spend running, and investigating. This interaction will seem like a fun game rather than simple exercise. This will keep your your dog occupied, exercised and in an overall healthy condition.

SET UP YOUR DOGS EXERCISE TO SUIT YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

 There are lots of ways to change the dogs exercise routine to keep them enthusiastic. Going for jogs around the neighborhood with your dog or playing tug-of-war using a rope toy are always winners. , But the following suggestions are some great ways to switch things up,:


PLAYING FETCH OR FRISBEE

Have you ever been to a park and watched a dog catching a Frisbee? . This is a great exercise for your dog as it balances physical and mental elements. It relies on many of the dogs senses:. While the dog is running, they have to track the frisbee, time the leap and return the frisbee back to you to toss again. This is a great way to bond with Rover and will create a a thorough cardiovascular workout for you both.

SWIMMING

Swimming is a great exercise for dogs. It is not something they can regularly do at most homes and. It allows them the freedom to move  all their limbs while being suspended in the water. Join him in the water for also a great cardiovascular activity . Find a water hole where there is not a fast moving current and toss a floating ball for them to fetch.

 

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REWARD EXERCISE WITH TREATS

I often  combine some treats with a dogs exercise routine to motivate him to keep moving. Toss a few apple or carrot pieces in the air for a game of catch. Another snack that provides excellent dietary fibre are the stems of broccoli make good “catch” material. Don’t overdo it with the treats or they will start gaining weight while increasing their exercise regime!.

WARM UP PERIOD

Just like people, dogs need to warm up at the beginning of an exercise period and cool down at the end. Start slowly walking .and then increase the pace. If they are on leash, and heeling, it will also be an obedience exercise. Sustain a tempo for fifteen minutes, three times per week. or more.

 

 

IF YOUR POOCH LOOKS TIRED:

if your dog is breathing hard, seems very hot , is panting heavily, limping or cant  keep up with you ,Sstop immediately and give them a rest break. Look for signs of distress. Pooch may need some water , or sometimes has a sore foot. My dog has a knee cap that pops out, so I carefully watch his pace to ensure that he is not hobbling.

SLOWLY INCREASE THE PACE

Once you and your pet become comfortable with the routine, you can increase the pace or the duration. You’ll end up in better physical shape while working up to a longer workout time.

EXERCISE COMBINED WITH OBEDIENCE

I have always been interested in teaching my dog tricks and  obedience. A clever way to encourage this is during your daily walk with your pet.  Combine training and agility with fun and games. Have your pet  run alongside your bicycle while on a long dog leash. At the top of the stairs, toss a lightweight toy and have your dog bring it upstairs Make sure you vary your games to keep variety and interest. . In my living room, I have tunnels and agility course traffic cones set up. Every night, I run my dog through a series of activities, which he finds very stimulating.

When Im at a park, I have my pet weave around fence poles, like he does in agility class.  I go to an empty tennis court and toss balls across the court for the dogs I walk to chase around. They love this game as it is very competitive. They want to catch the ball instead of the other dogs in the pack so they end up working out harder.

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