I Don’t Have Time to Exercise My Dog
I don’t know how many times I have heard it… People have a problem and come to me and I almost always recommend exercise and they are quick to say WHY they don’t have the time or ability to exercise their dogs.
One lady said she was in a wheelchair, but…
Even if you are in a wheelchair you can have your dog pull, or run alongside you to get the exercise his mind and his body needs! You don’t have to be a marathon runner to exercise your dog!
Remember I worked with Service Dogs for most of my career and taught them to run next to or pull my chair so I don’t take many excuses to heart!
If you work long days, get up a half hour or an hour early to take care of your dog.
One woman tried to convince me a block run/walk was enough exercise for her small dog. But I don’t care if you have a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, unless he is seriously old or dysplastic he needs more exercise than a block or three runs around the yard will give him.
And another said she wanted to exercise her dog in the summer heat and “Don’t even tell me to take him swimming, because the nearest swimming hole is 20 minutes away”… Ummmm I drive 6 hours to and from training some days so 20 minutes for a cool dip and something your dog needs really doesn’t seem like that much of an inconvenience?? I wonder if she would drive that far to take her kids or grand kids to the movie theater or to a game?
Dogs are an investment and they can’t take care of themselves, they have basic needs. You can’t be lazy and own a young, or young minded dog.
If your dog is digging, barking, jumping on you, shredding your things or his toys, stealing things, chasing the cat… it is because he is BORED!!!!
Instead of watching American Idol, Survivor or Dancing with the Stars; DVR it and get outside with your dog to fulfill his/her needs.
Even geriatric or dysplastic dogs have exercise needs!
But I have gone over most of that in my article THIS is What I Mean By Exercise; to read and understand that a block doesn’t cut it, it click here.
I will admit, reluctantly….
Some Days You Can’t Exercise Them
It may be too HOT or COLD or RAINY or (if you live in Wyoming), too WINDY or you or your dog may be under the weather.
But let me be clear, there is no excuse for not consistently meeting your dog’s exercise and other basic, simple needs!
And, let me be clear that physical exercise is not ALL your dog needs.
Your Dog Also Needs Mental Stimulation
He has a brain and he needs to use it!
When you can’t exercise him outside, you can and need to ramp up the training you do with him, perhaps inside.
Exercise is just one fundamental need he has and when you can’t provide him with physical tiredness, his mental stimulation needs to be ramped up to help tire him out.
When I Go to an All Day Seminar
When I take a class and I am required to “learn” all day, I am exhausted.
Learning something new and giving something your undivided attention takes effort and skill.
It can also be exhausting for your dog which is a good thing, and what we want! A tired dog is a good dog, right?
And, when he is tired he is not chewing things he shouldn’t, or chasing the cat, or getting in the trash. Instead, because his needs are being met he is napping and being a good pet.
Imagine…. If You Will
Imagine being locked in a room with four white walls (no TV, no books, no window) and only a sofa.
First you would sit on the sofa and nap a bit, but then you would start to go crazy.
You might pace around the room or try and do some exercise so you could sleep some more; but eventually, my guess, is you would end up shredding that sofa just like your dog does to the “treasures” he finds.
He shreds things and gets in trouble so that he can stimulate himself.
Even if someone came and let you out and took you for a 10 mile run, you’d probably come home to your room and rest for a while; but after a bit you would want something that would entertain your brain. Even if you had to run or walk 26.2 miles (a marathon) you will still want something else to do that day right?
As Humans We are Almost Constantly Over Stimulated
We have televisions, books, computers, smart phones, IPads, Music, Games, cars, exercise, family, friends and basically anything we want whenever we want it. When was the last time you just sat alone with NOTHING going on, in a completely sterile environment? My guess is it has been a long time (if ever).
But we expect our dogs to be happy just wasting away in our homes.
We might give them toys, but how often do we PLAY with them or TEACH them something new?
How to Exercise Your Dog without Exercise?
Work on basic obedience if that is what he knows
- Eye contact and focus
- Finding Heel
Advanced Dog Obedience
Or focus on more advanced dog obedience like working towards
- Off leash obedience
- Down on Recall
- In Motion Down or Sit
- Downs, sits and stands from a distance (go out 20 feet and see if your dog listens)
Teach Him Tricks
It doesn’t matter WHAT you teach him, it only matters that you are entertaining his brain! Tricks are just as entertaining to him as working on obedience and he is learning to listen to you either way!
Soon we will be launching a new trick training program!
Give Him a Job
If he thinks you NEED him to pick things up for you, or to be with you during the day while you work at home or on your computer then he will be happier.
The happiest dogs I have ever met or worked with are true working dogs; either police dogs that go to work with their owners or Assistance Dogs that work for their disabled partners. They feel needed, and let’s face it we all want to feel needed.
Now before I end this article, let me say I realized there will be the naysayers saying “But you didn’t teach us how to do all that dog obedience”.
Let me address that by saying if I did, this article would actually be a book, not an article.
Hands Off Dog Training One of our most popular programs
Puppy Programming Includes over 60 videos to teach you basic, intermediate and advanced obedience for your puppy OR DOG!
Video Vault Training videos that are updated each month allowing you to watch videos and train at your own pace
And, you can search our blog for specific articles you may be looking for; the search bar in on the right of the page.
If you want a specific command or concept to teach your dog, ask away and I will provide the answer in another article!
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.