How Exercise Impacts the Health and Behaviour of Your Dog
Robust Dog Exercise on a Daily Basis is Beneficial for the Dog and Its Owner
This is certainly no shortage of advertising aimed at improving the health, eating habits, and/or physical condition of human beings. On a daily if not hourly basis, television and radio advertising, along with printed flyers delivered in the mail, are bombarding people with messages to adopt better dietary habits and get into better shape.
Despite the specific type of program, the basic premise of these ads is the same – there are professional services available to help those who either cannot, or chose not to, help themselves in leading a healthier and more active lifestyle. So, if this is recommended behaviour for humans, why should it not apply to dogs as well? In fact, it does, perhaps even more so for dogs because they truly need support from their owners to maintain any type of regimen.
Fundamentally, dogs need some type of regular exercise; not just a leisurely stroll in the backyard a few times a day but routine physical activity that is both stimulating and fun for the dog and its owner.
Depending on factors such as age of the dog and proximity to various amenities, types of robust dog exercise that could be pursued include:
- Walking – multiple times daily for at least 20 to 30 minutes per walk
- Playing Fetch – chasing a ball, stick, ring, disc in a park or into water
- Swimming – romping in a pond, stream or lake; jumping from a pier
- Nature Hikes – through the countryside, forests, conservation areas
- Off-Leash Play – free-run time in designated dog parks/agility parks
These types of outdoor dog exercise/physical activity can be beneficial to the dog in any number of ways, including but not limited to:
- Socialization skills
- Mental stimulation
- Weight management
- Maintaining regularity
- Relieving boredom/tedium
- Preventing muscle atrophy
- Satisfying their hunting instinct
- A fortified dog-owner relationship
In general, dogs love to play, run, hunt, sniff, and socialize with people and other dogs. Therefore, a commitment to providing and participating in daily exercise/outdoor activity will be vitally important to a healthy lifestyle for the dog – and for its owner as well.
By establishing and maintaining a daily dog exercise regimen, owners will be rewarded with a fit and happy pet plus many hours of mutually-enjoyable companionship.
Regular Daily Exercise Can Have a Positive Impact on Overall Dog Behaviour
In addition to its positive impact on a dog’s health, regular exercise will have a similarly constructive influence on dog behaviour. Dogs that are confined to their homes and/or immediate properties can develop certain traits that are less-than-desirable whenever an opportunity arises to interact with other people or other dogs.
By encouraging outdoor physical activities and exercise away from the home or property, dog owners can avert several types of dog behaviour that are actually detrimental to the dog’s overall well-being. Such behavioural development can include:
- Reduction of shyness/timidity
- Increased confidence in social settings
- Suppression of unwanted aggressiveness
- Less skittishness/defensive reaction to loud noises
- An ability to tune out distractions and focus on owner commands
- Reinforcement of basic commands first learned in obedience programs
Unfortunately, however, there will be occasions when dogs will demonstrate behavioural issues that cannot be influenced nor rectified through a dog exercise regimen. In these instances, the dog and its owner might encounter/be placed in positions of risk to their health and safety, and as a result, more formal dog behaviour and obedience training might be the most appropriate course of action. Such services are available from the certified dog training professionals at Alpha Paws in Newmarket, Ontario.
Alpha Paws specializes in basic dog obedience training and solving behavioural issues for dogs of all ages.
Is your dog exhibiting signs of aggression, timidity, or skittishness when interacting with people or other dogs in your neighbourhood? Call the dog obedience and behavioural training experts at Alpha Paws today at 905-830-9500 or 1-877-868-PAWS (5248) to schedule a consultation on the best training option for you and your dog.