Exercise for your dog is a basic daily need just as eating and drinking are, and if it is not adequately provided, serious consequences may occur. Many dogs are referred to as “Hyper Active” by their owners, however when you take a look at the dog he is often times simply under-exercised. This pent up energy that is in your dog will come out one way or another. If you channel that energy into something you would like your dog to do such as going on a long walk or teaching him a new trick, your household will be more peaceful than if he chooses to expend his energy chewing on your new couch.
As if making time twice daily to exercise your dog wasn’t hard enough, you also have to make sure he is getting appropriate exercise. Here are some things to think about:
The chemical make-up of arousal is the same for excitement and aggression.
Dogs playing with each other without supervision and interruption can get out of control quickly.
The same is true of dogs who do not know how to play with their owners and toys.
Unsupervised playing dogs can learn:
Their owners will not protect them- they are responsible for their own safety
They do not need their owner nor do they have to obey anyone
Reinforcement (play) is not under their owners control
Inappropriate social behaviors (horrible greeting behaviors, bullying etc.)
There are many good exercise techniques, here are a few:
Good old fashion walking. Walking your dog on different routes daily will help to keep him mentally engaged. He should walk by your side and not be pulling or lunging at other animals or cars.
Play groups can be effective if all owners are supervising their dogs. You should interrupt the play when it becomes too rough or vocal. The dogs should share roles. One dog should not always be chasing or pinning, they should be equal.
Dog sports (like agility and flyball) are a great way to exercise your dog and build communication and teamwork.
A game of fetch or tug works well as long as the owner is in control. The dog should bring the toys back, release them on command, and sit or lay down before they are allowed to play again.