When it comes to exercising your dog, there are a few things that you can do so that your best friend gets the most from his work out.

Besides physical exercise, you should also try and stimulate his mind with activities that force him to sniff and think.

Participating in physical activities with your dog are  also excellent ways for you to bond with your furry friend.

Your Dog’s Internal Schedule

Dawn and dusk are the most actives times for dogs since they are crepuscular animals and sleep a large portion of the day.

This is why if you walk your dog(s) earlier in am, it works with his natural schedule to exhaust his energy. It also helps to get his exercising in before the hottest part of the day during the summer months.

Mix Up The Walk

When it comes to exercising my dogs by walking; I like to mix it up for them.  I get bored if I walk the same route everyday and I think my dogs do as well.  I try and alternate the route a couple of times weekly.

Every once in awhile they like to add their own spice to the walk too, such as taking off when they see a squirrel (with me on the other end of the leash). It’s a good idea to stay alert while walking so that you’re not caught completely off guard should your dog suddenly see prey.

Alternate The Exercise

Include a little variety when providing a work out for your dog.  Outside of a few changes, I’ve pretty much used the same practices with all of my fur babies over the last thirty years.

However, although we do the same things daily, I try and make it fun for them. I take them for at least a nice twenty-30 minute walk in the morning and my husband takes them for a shorter walk in the evening.

After our walk in the morning, I throw the tennis ball for my lab in a fetch.  Although Maggie’s great at the fetch part, she rarely gives it up without a struggle.  🙂

We also include a game of search and rescue during the day which I believe helps to stimulate their brain and makes them think. They each have a smaller ball that I hide for them and they have to find it before getting a treat. I tell them to “do a search and rescue” and they take off looking for it.

So, keep your dog active and make it fun. Chances are that if you’re bored with the routine, then your dog is too.

Walking, swimming, running, hiking, search and rescue games and fetch are a few fun ways of adding variety while exercising your dog. For mental stimulation, you can try interactive toys as a way of challenging the brain.

Exercising your dog is not only good for your dog, but good for you as well.  Remember that old saying “if your dog is fat, then you’re not walking enough”.

Try not to think of it as a chore, but rather quality time spent with your beloved friend that one day you’ll look back and be glad that you took the time to do!

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  • Eve a k a Dillons Mom

    One of the best ways I get my Doberman’ enough exercise is taken from Sheila Booth’s “Schutzhund Obedience, Training in Drive”…she describes a “two hose” game..two of the same toys…..teach dog to retrieve if they don’t already do so……then throw a toy to one side of you..when dog brings back, immediately throw remaining toy to the other side……fifteen minutes of this is an awesome conditioner. Plus we’re lucky enough to live near the bogs…Dillon gets to run his butt off once a week usually.

    Our mile walk almost every night isn’t for exercise, it’s pretty much to get my dog out of the house…..he’s been home all day! Dillon loves to read “mailboxes” scents the other dogs have left, lift his leg higher then the last dog l o l……..and if it’s daylight…visit with neighborhood kids who adore him…and or friends we’ve made on our walks. Then, we go home…do a few short obedience moves….and he gets his real exercise retrieving his tugs.

    We’ve also started something new…..I’ve gotten a “Training Protection Skills w/o a Decoy” video narrated by Michael Ellis, a noted trainer who also teaches schutzhund, ringsport, mondioring…etc……….what we’re using this for is the directed searches………..another good obedience training tool….Dillon gets to go find someone (right at this point…me) he runs up…..not supposed to touch…….and bark to alert. There’s also some other directed searching training that I can’t wait to try…….we’re having alot of fun with it. Michael Ellis is a pretty positive trainer, which is how I train my dogs…..

    • admin

      Dillon is one very lucky boy Eve! Does he have any idea what a great mommy he has? I bet he does. I love when you share your stories, experience and games with us! Great ideas…. :o)

      Sounds like Dillon’s doing pretty good on the directed searches Eve.

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  • […] are not the time to get your dog to run heavily and put in extra hours outside. Long periods of exercise can result in heat stroke for dogs, especially those flat-faced breeds that pant less effectively […]

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