But He Has 100 Acres to Run…
I hear this excuse, add or decrease acreage, all of the time.
I am always thrilled when I hear that dogs have acreage to run!
After all I am a country girl and not a city girl (currently stuck in the city, sadly).
But the truth is 90% of dogs don’t “use” it.
If They Do
And, if they do use it they don’t use it appropriately!
Ironically, today, amidst two of these excuses, I also had an owner who was complaining that their 1 year old dog was running off the property and visiting the neighbors and neighborhood dogs anytime she was given the opportunity.
Now that she has been doing this for over a year, they are wanting to know how to stop her.
I am thankful that she is still alive. Running in neighborhoods where there are cars and other dogs that don’t necessarily like dogs is severely hazardous to a dog’s health and can end it.
The problem now is that not only is this a habit this is a FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN habit!
I can barely think of a way to be “more fun” than doing whatever you want, playing with whomever you want, and meeting new people when you are a social dog.
If you have ideas please let me know and I will pass them on to the owners of this dog.
The problem is they have already lost the war.
And, they never bothered to show up for the battles.
A dog that runs and entertains him or herself, usually isn’t a good thing!
Because dogs don’t just run laps…
They don’t come up with some kind of strenuous exercise program and then set their alarm each morning.
I mean, I think they would if they could.
If any of us are athletes; dogs are!
But they aren’t capable of that kind of cognitive thought!
You Have a Whole Continent
I mean, after all, you have a whole continent (depending on where you live) to run on; but do you?
I am sure some of you are runners.
But, I am also sure most of you are not.
And, if you are the chances are high that you take your dog with you if he is young and able bodied. And, chances are higher that these dogs that go for long runs are also less destructive because their needs are being met.
You don’t have to live in the city to run.
You don’t have to live in the county to run.
You just step out of your front door and let the magic happen.
Heck we even have magical things called “treadmills” so that we could run no matter how cold, hot, rainy, slick or snowy it is!
I used to run and it is addicting if you stick with it long enough.
But it is not easy!
I Know it Sounds Condescending
I don’t mean it that way.
But I do need people to know that just because the dog has a 1,000 acres or a huge yard; doesn’t mean he is out providing himself with the exercise he needs.
Just like you aren’t out running the continent or island you have available to you!
You Have to Work Together
You have to work together to provide your dog with exercise.
That doesn’t mean you need to take up marathon running; unless you want to!
You can simply throw a ball in your yard for 20 minutes or more while you make him perform obedience commands (therefore stimulating his mind and body!).
My high drive dogs are exhausted after 30 minutes of ball and obedience.
I also occasionally hook them to my trike to exercise them so that we both get some exercise.
Read this This is What I Mean by Exercise.
It is not difficult.
You can sit in a chair and do the bulk of the work; or you could choose to get involved for your own health.
But know that your dog NEEDS both physical and mental stimulation and he isn’t providing himself with either in a positive way!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.