Getting your dog adequate exercise is important for his physical and mental health. A good 40 minute walk gets their heart pumping and their muscles warmed up. If you like to toss the ball or frisbee for him, be sure his muscles are warmed up before he starts running, leaping and jumping to prevent injuries. Keeping him conditioned helps his muscles remain strong then he will be less likely to injure himself. Owners of dogs who compete in agility, flyball, herding, dock dogs or frisbee dog events make sure their dogs are warmed up and ready before they go onto the field to compete. Many dogs have injured themselves just jumping off the couch, but having him chase you while you race around on the 4 wheeler is just asking for trouble. They can’t go from couch potato to record breaking wind sprinter in a weeks time. Also, take into account the age of your dog. Cap, my 16 month old English Shepherd, can walk a few miles without getting overly tired. He is active and healthy. Coco, my 12 year old Belgian Tervuren, is not very active. Her favorite activity is going from one door to the other to watch the cat. Napping is a priority for her.
She can’t do what Cap can do. When she was a few years younger we used to go to herding classes. She needed to get exercise every day so when we went to class once a week, she would be able to run the sheep for 20 minutes. She wasn’t actually supposed to “run” the sheep although she would occasionally blast through them to get them to scatter. She would then have to gather them all back together. Teaching her to control the urge to scatter the sheep kept her mentally exercised.
Keep your in good physical condition by keeping him on a nutritious diet, getting him enough exercise and keeping him in condition for whatever events you want him to participate in. Don’t foget to keep his mind exercised. Teach him new things. At Aunt Faye’s Dog Training, we strive to help our clients keep their dogs fit both mentally and physically.