4 Exercises That’ll Tucker Your Dog Out… And Have Him Behaving In No Time
I have noticed lately, a gamut of people having trouble meeting the exercise needs of their dogs.
This is pretty darn normal!
We, as humans, are just too busy!
We are pulled in by work (often taking several jobs just to make ends meet), family, social media, hobbies and many times we just don’t make time for our dogs.
Even I work full time with a few jobs lately!
And, I have high drive dogs that need a lot of exercise.
What are my favorite tricks?
In no particular order, except the last!
#4 Mental Stimulation
Solving puzzles and using your mind is exhausting.
Don’t believe me?
Take a college class or go to a continuing education class for a day or two.
Learn some new information.
And, try and tell me you are not tired when you are done!
Unless of course you are used to constant learning every day.
The thing is that learning is exhausting.
If you want a tired dog, teach him something new, or at least put a spin on the things that he knows by engaging his mind.
Don’t stick to the same exact training regimen with your puppy each day, in the same boring order. Mix things up, make him perform faster and make it a game.
Mental stimulation is also crucial to his happiness.
#3 HIIT Exercise
Have you ever done H.I.I.T or High Intensity Interval Training?
Those are four of my worst dreaded words when they are strung together in a sentence.
I am currently getting back into shape and learning to deadlift, squat, and bench press safely.
My personal trainer believes in HIIT training and engages me both with weight training and cardio several times a month.
I HATE it! But I also love it, because as difficult as it is at the time, it is worth it throughout the rest of the day.
- I sleep better.
- I think better.
- And, I feel better about myself!
Your dog can benefit too!
I like to take my dogs for high intensity runs.
I sit in a lateral recumbent trike and I let them pull for several miles.
Most of the time, as long as it is safe I also allow them to set the pace.
Your dog is an athlete and he needs the ability to enjoy exercise, REAL exercise!
Exercise is also good for his heart and body condition and joints.
Please do your dog a favor and provide him with some real exercise each day!
His body, his waistline, his blood pressure and his mind needs it!
#2 Regular Physical Exercise
I can’t say it enough, your dog is not outside plotting his exercise regimen and planning to get fit.
A stroll around the block or a stroll for a few miles is not enough to tire your dog.
Occasionally I like to enjoy a several mile hike.
I also like encouraging my dogs to swim.
I find that swimming will exhaust my dogs fairly quickly, whereas walking and hiking takes many hours of consistently rigorous exercise; swimming is fairly physically exhausting.
My dogs absolutely LOVE dock diving.
You can also teach your dog to pull weights
Pull a cart
Pull a scooter or yourself in inline skates (as well as skijoring in the snow).
Lure coursing is also another fun physical sport.
But the #1 Way to Physically Exhaust Your Dog?
Put all of these things together for fast and complete exhaustion.
My favorite go to when I want a tired dog is getting them to perform obedience commands in a fast paced manner and then I throw their ball to chase as a reward.
For instance, I grab my chuck it and ball (I often use these because I can throw farther) and my dog and ask for numerous commands; watch me, heel, sit, down, return to heel, down in motion and then I mark the completed series of commands with a click or a word and throw the ball as far as I can for them to retrieve.
As they rapidly return with the ball (or tug or whatever toy I am using), I decide whether I am going to ask for them to drop the toy and then throw it again, or if I am going to ask for more obedience before I throw.
I mix it up!
I don’t always ask for the same behaviors in a row.
And, sometimes I will throw the ball or toy multiple times before returning to obedience.
The running after the toy and retrieving is great exercise for my dogs, physically.
They are chasing and fast and returning as fast as they can.
I also sometimes bounce the ball hard, or toss it so they can catch it to give them variety with their play.
If I take them out for HIIT I throw in some changes of direction, some downs in motion or sits in motion and some heeling.
And, when my dogs are hiking or come back from swimming I also ask for downs from a distance, or some quick eye contact and focus and heeling so that I engage their mind.
The best stimulation comes when you engage all parts of your dog!