Dogs that Exercise Themselves
There I was just the other day thinking I need to start my “P90X” program or “Insanity” either of which kick my butt and leave me wanting to scoot around the house with my lips instead of using all the muscles that end up raging at me. Even getting down to the toilet and back up is excruciating.
So I got up, rubbed the peaceful sleep from my eyes and headed down to my exercise room (yes I have a whole room I haven’t used in a very long time). Before my last two dogs died I was running 13 miles a day and doing P90X daily. I think you could have bounced a quarter off my abs. But, depression for me leads to inactivity, sadness and weight gain, and I just haven’t had what it took to feel good enough to get back to it.
But, today was the day!! When I got there I saw all 3 of my dogs mid-way through “Insanity” doing burpees, push-ups and sit ups…
Each one had a different reason for working on his/her physique: Fury wants to stay skinny for flirting with the boys and intimidating the other girls, Jovi thinks of himself as an athlete but wants to gain muscle and Sir, well he is a competition junkie and just wants to be buff enough to scare off people and other dogs with his muscles.
They were planning a 5 mile run around the yard later in the afternoon!
I have never seen a dog sit down and come up with a rigorous exercise routine. If they could have the reasoning power to understand that running around the yard 6 times is a mile and would make their body, mind and spirit stronger they would absolutely do it, but they don’t!
One of My Biggest Irritants in Dog Training is Someone Who Says
He doesn’t need exercise he has a big yard or he has 10 (or however many) acres…
My dogs have 16 acres and sometimes they run and play but rarely do they come inside exhausted and heaving from a good workout. Actually NEVER; never have they come in totally exhausted and laying on the air vents in the house to cool down.
But when we go on a 13 mile run, or we play ball in the backyard for 45 minutes or more doing obedience and letting them run it out, or we go hiking for the day up in the mountains; then they come in heaving and seeking cooling vents and water!
Exhausted is what I want. It is good for their bodies, and heart and their mind and it is good for my house because other than the drool stripes from the water bowl they don’t shred things they shouldn’t, they don’t jump and bite on me, they don’t chase the cats, they aren’t sneaking off to have accidents because they are tired.
I have to meet their needs mentally and physically, they can’t meet their exercise needs on their own.
Just the other day I was at the vet hospital for a health certificate to travel to a few obedience trials. And, the vet mentioned what great condition my dog was in and how low her heart rate was (an indication of her health).
But that is because we spend time exercising and training, and exercising and training and as she gets older I will slightly decrease the speed and the difficulty but exercise and mental stimulation will help her age gracefully with less chance of canine dementia for more on how to alleviate that click here.
Don’t Fall Prey to this Ridiculousness
Dogs and puppies are athletes they need structured and strenuous exercise. Be careful not to affect the growth plates of puppies with exercise that is on hard surfaces if in doubt consult your veterinarian.
But do your dog and yourself a favor and give them some actual exercise every day! You will thank them and they will thank you for it!
For a better look at real exercise click here.
What’s That? You don’t have Time to Exercise Your Dog?
Click this link here for more information on that!
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.