Need some ideas to exercise you dog other than a leashed walk?
Read on for some other great ideas!
- Fetch – throw a favorite toy of your pets and let them fetch it and bring it back to you. For dogs that fetch well and have lots of energy, try throwing the toy down a flight of stairs or a gentle hill, so the dog needs to exert more energy running back up.
- Off leash dog park – many dogs love to socialize and meet other dogs! This is also a great time to work on your dog’s recall. Since most off leash parks are fenced, it is a safe place for your pet to learn to come to you when called, while they are off leash.
- Jump – find a box or chair that you can have your dog jump over, start low and increase the height as you dog begins to find the task easy.
- Indoor Walks – some days are just too cold for some dogs or their owners to go for a walk outside. Walk your dog around the perimeter of a room or large rug, and around furniture, you can even create your own obstacle course! If you have a treadmill, you can also train your dog to walk on it. Start at a very slow speed and for short periods of time. Put your dogs leash on, stand at the front of the treadmill with treats to encourage your dog to walk forward. As you dog becomes comfortable you can increase the speed and distance. But always be there to supervise!
- Mind Games – mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise, try some of these great mind games with your pet or teach them a new trick:
- Use their sense of smell – have your dog watch you put a treat inside an opaque container, put the container in front of them and tell them to ‘find it’. When they acknowledge it, praise them, open the container and give them the treat. Add another container one at a time until you reach as many as you wish, but only put the treat in one of them, you are encouraging your dog to smell out which container contains the treat! If your dog guesses wrong, ignore it and point out the right container for them.
- Sit – Choose an activity you do regularly throughout the day and have your dog sit each time you do that activity. For example, every time you open a door, give your dog a command to sit. This will help to strengthen your dogs response to the command and give them some mental exercise.
- Toy Recognition & Hide and Seek – Name your dogs toys. Ask him to get a toy by the toys name. If he gets the wrong toy just ignore him and go get the right one. Once your dog knows a few toys well, you can start hiding them to play hide and seek!
The Calgary Humane Society Article “Exercise For Dogs.” 2007.
http://www.calgaryhumane.ca/document.doc?id=28. January 16, 2014.
For more articles on pet behavior from the Calgary Humane Society, visit: http://www.calgaryhumane.ca/behaviourresources