THIS is What I Mean by Exercise

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Watch the video! It is only a few seconds long!

I realize that sometimes I make statements and things are lost in translation.

I often say, “Your dog needs more exercise” when I am faced with a question about a dog with a behavior problem.

You can see it in most of my responses to people.

My puppy nips and bites:  He needs more exercise.

My dog digs:  He needs more exercise.

My dog jumps on guests: He needs more exercise.

My dog is dog aggressive on walks: He needs more exercise.

Get the idea?

This is exercise!!!

It seems like an easy resolution or a cop out on my end.  How can something that is so easy be the answer to almost anything?

Because it’s true.

Dogs get into trouble when we aren’t meeting their needs; physically (exercise), emotionally (spending time with them), and mentally (challenging them with obedience).

They can’t raise themselves; well at least most of them don’t do a good job!

Imagine keeping your 4 year old child still and expecting him to nap all day?? If you want a tired kid, head to the park.

And, dogs are athletes.  Most of them are bred to sustain some sort of job.  Not to mention most problems arise with puppies and young dogs; because they have too much energy for lackadasical their environments.

I very rarely hear a working dog owners come to me with these problems… why?  It is because the dog is out working in the field all day!  When he comes home he is too exhausted to bite, jump, and dig!

I am not going to tackle emotional needs or mental needs in this article, although all dogs have these needs as well, and they need to be met.

THIS is exercise!

For this article I want to focus on just EXERCISE needs.

Most people don’t understand; I am not talking about a one mile stroll to the end of the road.

I am talking about an all-out 8, 10, or 15 mile RUN.

I am sure some people are gasping in horror, but dogs are athletes.  If people can run half marathons and marathons, this kind of exercise is nothing for a dog that is built and bred for it!

AND, dogs LOVE IT!

I hooked my dogs up to my trusty pedal cart on Sunday and we headed out for an 8 mile run.  They loved every ounce and footstep of it.  They were outside, their minds were engaged, they had to listen to me as to which direction we were turning and how fast they needed to go, and the only reason we headed back at 4 miles (to make a round trip of 8) was because we need to start conditioning again because it’s been too hot to do this during most of the summer!  They also need tougher feet!

If it had been up to them, they would have kept going for twice as long!

And, that is what I do; I gauge how long our trips are, by how well they are doing and how long their tongues are, how tough their feet are, and how hot it is outside.

Safety first!  I would never risk heat exhaustion or do this while it is hot (for more one when it is too hot click here); and we run down by the river and take many breaks so that they can dip their hot bodies.  And, I always make sure I have water for them.

I also don’t allow them to RUN the whole way.  They must listen to me and we must be at a safe pace, sometimes the walk, sometimes they gallop and sometimes they RUN.

A Good Dog is a Tired Dog

THIS is a GOOD dog!

After watching the video can you imagine how quiet my house was that night?

Could you imagine that if I had a dog that was biting, digging, eating and chewing things he shouldn’t, showing aggression or jumping on guests that this would help them not to do those behaviors.

I could have had a knock down drag out wild party at my house (if I liked parties) and my dogs would have barely noticed.  They were too tired to care.  This means it makes the odds better that they wouldn’t jump on people (although if they had a tendency to jump I would still keep them on a leash).

So if you are worried about your dogs jumping on your Thanksgiving guests or family members when they come over; give your dogs this kind of exercise just prior to your guest’s arrival!

A 1, 2, or even 5 mile stroll or even a power walk for you, does nothing to really make an athlete tired!

THIS is also exercise!

Your dog needs true exercise that stimulates his body.

I am not as much of an athlete as my dogs, and even when I was running 13 miles a day it wasn’t nearly as fast as my dogs like to run!

In order to conquer behavior problems, you often have to EXERCISE first!  Then take your dog out for more training 😉

I bet even a dog aggressive dog would be less likely to be as reactive or aggressive after an 8 mile run!   This can make your training program more successful!

Set your alarm for earlier in the morning, or go for a run when you get home, get a scooter or a bike, either way make time to give your dog what he needs!

There are 95 Comments

  1. Kathleen says:

    Just browsing your website looking for puppy training refresher tips. Our 12.5 year old female German Shepherd, Vixen, died in July 2012, to fast spreading mass Cancerous inoperable tumor. Our 9 year old daughter- only child- begged for another dog- claiming she felt like she lost her “sister”. Our daughter wanted to select the next breed of dog.
    We have gone from a 100lb german shepherd to a 4lb Teddy Bear dog (Shit-tzu- Bichon Frese).

    Training is different- feeding is different- walking is different-
    exercise is different- this dog is like an infant.

    I have had Shepherds my whole life- and even a shit-tzu with a shepherd at one time when I was a teenager. This teddy bear is like a baby.

    ‘Darby’ is stubborn even a bit spiteful- he is driving me crazy!!! He is cute as a button- but a little devil.

    We have had him for two weeks now- he is still having accidents in the house!!!.
    HELP!!! Give me strength!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He needs to be treated the same as your Shepherds!!!

    Don’t fall prey to treating him like a child!

    He also needs obedience training and exercise.

    Check out our puppy training videos and get your 9 year old daughter to do the training. They even go over proper potty training.

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/PuppyProgramming

    [Reply]

    Kira hunkele Reply:

    What u need to do Is be firm don’t go easy. Treat him like u mean it.

    [Reply]

  2. Laura says:

    Wow, 8 miles…the boyz would never make it. In the afternoon I’m dragging them the 1/4 mile we do. Maybe when it cools off things will be different. We have the property but really no where to ride bikes or carts with the boyz.

    [Reply]

  3. Jane says:

    I work long hours, so ensuring my corgi is exercised first thing in the morning is a must, as I cannot guarantee what the other people in the house will do with her. I take a ball to a local field and I throw it and she runs full speed after it for about 30 minutes. I know my work is done when instead of bringing it back, she sits down and waits for me to come to her.

    If I can take her swimming all the better, as that totally tires her out. I agree that dogs, even small ones, need more exercise than we think.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Jane, I have been dock diving with my fur kids all weekend!!! What a lot of fun!! There is even a Corgi out there with us… bet your girl would love it… and you can even get titles!!!

    [Reply]

  4. Agandl says:

    Kathleen, don’t be conned – they look cute but they are just big dogs in small packaging. As said treat him as you treated your GSDs and IMO if he seems stubborn it is because you haven’t found out how to motivate him yet.

    I have had one GSD and several smaller dogs. They can be very bright, intelligent and quick to learn. They will repay you many times over for what you put into them in the way of training. Just remember that they are learning every moment of their lives – it can be what you want it to be or it can be any behaviour that occurs to them if you don’t guide them.

    I think you can get a lot of help from this site – make the most of him and I hope you and your daughter have many years of happiness with him

    [Reply]

  5. Sara says:

    Where do you obtain a ‘pedal cart’? Or the gadget for the bike in the pic above? They look just the job! I am no good at hands free cycling! My two would love this!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I got mine at Tractor Supply

    [Reply]

    Jane Thomspon Reply:

    What is the device called at Tractor supply? I tried Springer in their search, but found nothing useful.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It is an “adult Pedal Cart” :)

  6. Toni says:

    I would love to do this with a bike = what is the best way to start off so I don’t get pulled down or off the bike. I’ve got a 12 mth old lab/aussie mix – she is a great dog, but would much rather run after balls at the park than walk on leash so not great on the leash. Thanks for any help

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Work on leash skills or get the type of contraption I have so they can pull.

    I use to bike with some of my former dogs and would snake the leash around the handle bars… but I had good control of them!!!

    [Reply]

  7. I have a 5 month Jack Russel puppy and he has already developed a BAD breathe. What can I do about this
    Nicola

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    That is not normal, check with the vet to make sure none of the baby teeth are retained.

    [Reply]

  8. JACK FORD says:

    Wow! Finally someone else that gets it when it comes to dog exercise!
    I have the same device (Springer) rigged on my bike which I use to “walk” my malinois mix. The first mile is basically me just steering the bike as we fly down the road at 25 mph, whizzing past all the other people leisurely strolling along with their chubby little dogs. He will finally start wearing down and slow to a jog for the final mile or so and by the time we pull back into the yard he is totally drained but happy. If I don’t take him on these little trips, I swear he will explode from all the pent up energy.

    P.S.
    This also brings up another very important subject, How to deal with off leash dogs that start chasing you while you are riding your bike with your dog.I would really like your advice on this.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I keep mine on leash too, and utilize a gentle leader plus my dogs are taught “leave it”. If we are in danger I carry a dog deterant spray to keep other dogs at bay.

    [Reply]

    Sylvie Reply:

    you can always carry treats like liver bitsand if an unleashed dog
    comes you throw some at them…they will stop to eat it, for sure!

    [Reply]

  9. Stacey Boothe says:

    I have a 5 1/2 month old lab/border collie. We are walking for about 1 1/2 hours (trying to be consistent daily) as well as continuous work on leash training. I really want to spend time with throwing the ball and frisbee, but he gets over-excited and then he starts jumping on me and nipping at me. We don’t have a fenced yard, so I’m not always confident that he will listen when I tell him to come. I know he needs this type of exercise too. Any suggestions on how to work through this?

    Thanks
    Stacey

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Get a long line and work with retrieve and ball training.

    [Reply]

  10. pam says:

    How do you meet the dog’s needs if you live in an area that isn’t geared for runs and a person doesn’t get home in time this time of year to be outdoors (it’s already dark when I get home). My husband is home with the dog during the day, but his health doesn’t allow him more than a mile walk with the dog. On the weekends I take three separate walks with the dog and am trying to have him learn “leash behavior” (he’s 15 weeks old) Perhaps I can lengthen the distance when he learns to stop pulling. I am making progress, but he is still learning not to pull. I wouldn’t dare to try riding a bike with him yet. Any other suggestions, because snow season is coming and the sides of the road will become even narrower for walking.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    There are all kinds of things. retrieve training, playing nose games, training, all take a dog’s brain power and make them tired.

    [Reply]

  11. Mel says:

    I have two Shelties and every other day we go to a dog park where I can take ’em off leash and let them both run like mad. And they do. They bark at everything and chase each other and both in general just explode. There’s a pond there which they wade in when they get hot (they’re not swimmers, unfortunately) and then we walk in the woods for a while to cool down. Since we’re in NE Florida it frequently hits 80 here by 9 a.m. so we usually go early in the morning. On days when we stay more than an hour and there are lots of dogs to chase, I have two nice, quiet boys for the rest of the day. :-)

    Mel

    [Reply]

  12. patty says:

    minette,
    I have a allmost 2 year old black lab, we got chets Dog Training Secret C.D. when she was about 6 mo. old and went through the program which was a big help to us as Lucy was the most high strung, excitable dog we had ever owned, We live in a rural area with a population of 130 people with little chance of socialising her with people, I have taken her to the campgrounds in the summer to help her with people and anywhere we can to expose her but still if she is around people she wants to jump on them, she just cant calm herself. She gets a tounge dragging walk every morning and several play sessions throughout the day where we play with her big jolly ball until she is done playing-is there something i am missing?What can I do to help her, she loves people especially children, but she is just too overexcited to be off leash around them.
    Thank You, Pattyjo McFarlane

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Exercise prior to meeting people.

    Then keep her on leash and don’t allow her to jump.

    Give her an “incompatible behavior” like DOWN. you can’t lay down AND jump!

    And, when she gets up she can’t be petted.

    The problem is that you are rewarding her when she gets excited by letting her jump on people… so she thinks that is not only what she can get away with, but also what you want!

    [Reply]

  13. Jean says:

    I don’t have the physical ability to run my australian shepherd–even on a bike/trike. Thank goodness she is OCD about playing fetch and we play every day for at least an hour with either her frisbee or her ball. When I’m tired, she plays fetch on her own by taking her ball to the top of the stairs, dropping it, fetching it and starting again.

    And she loves to swim. Wish my job didn’t interfere with being able to take her to the lake every day. :-)

    [Reply]

    Lou Reply:

    I also lack the physical ability to run my welshie like that! I am training him to be my service dog, and he’s a great little physical therapist. He has me up to 1 1/2 miles, four times a week. We take him to the park Saturdays and Sundays, weather/schedule permitting, and I do play fetch with him for about an hour a day.

    I think this article talked me into actually buying that treadmill. My boy is never tired!!

    [Reply]

  14. i have a 4 month ole female whippet. she could run away if off leash, i have been told. I do take her for long walks and have a large terrace where she fetches a tennis ball and runs for 30 minutes 3 times a day.
    there is no place that is closed in where I live, including the shoe town.
    any suggestions?
    Ronald

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    A lot of baseball fields are fenced in.

    [Reply]

  15. Fran Robinson says:

    I have a 10 year old Westie. She seems to have a growling problem.
    Whenever we go to pet her she growls andsometimes shows her teeth. When someone comes she is so friendly and is a different dog. This dog is a rescue dog.
    We have had her about 3 months. I am sure she has had obedience training. We are wondering how to correct the growling problem. Her one ear has been broken so we wonder if she has been abused.

    [Reply]

  16. Christine Pielenz says:

    I have a 5 year old Greyhound (an athletic breed if there ever was one), and trust me, he cherishes nothing as much as his sleep. He gets walked (sometimes we run leisurely) an average of 1 to 1.75 hours a day (spread across 4 walks), and then he sleeps the rest of the time. He has no interest in toys, or fetching things. And this is perfectly normal for Greyhounds. He’s got no behavioral issues.

    I’m just mentioning this because while I agree with you 95%, there are dog breeds that are “wired” differently. As far as I know, most sighthounds need little exercise as ADULTS, and our friends have Great Pyrenees, and all they do, again as adults, is rest most of the day, once they’ve had their relatively short walks.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I bet he’d love lure coursing 😉

    [Reply]

  17. Where do you get the device you have on your bike?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I made it. I had it welded specifically for the size of my dogs and then screwed it onto the pedal cart.

    I put a link to a place you can buy them online, on our facebook page. Look for the picture of my dogs and the link is right under it and join us on facebook.

    [Reply]

  18. Cheryl Reed says:

    I love this info. I have 2 yorkies and everyone thinks I am working them too hard when they walk 3 miles. The dogs especially like it when we are on an uphill trail. These dogs look like your good dog pic when they get done and even when I take them 3 miles everyday they are too fat. They have gone as far as 7.5 miles and still love every minute of the walk.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Cut back on their food if they are fat, otherwise it is hard on their joints 😉 but keep on exercising!!!!

    [Reply]

  19. Kevin says:

    In the last year I’ve begun to understand that concept of excersize makes a good dog. I have two labs (brother and sister) who are now three years old. They are constantly after each other like high school kids. I hate to run, and we also live at the top of a hill with a fair amount of traffic. Luckily we have a 5 acre property that allows them to run freely. One of their favorite things to do when I get home is go out and play with some of their toys. Their favorite toy right now is softball! I have two tennis balls (softball size) that I hit with a bat and they run to the top of the hill to chase them. They LOVE it! They can’t get enought of it either, so I have to stop them after 15-20 minutes and give them a 5 minute rest. During the rest period we play catch, while I throw them curve balls to keep them occupied. Its easier on my knees as I can just stand in one place and they do all the work. Really tires them out!

    [Reply]

  20. Andrea Luty says:

    Roxie, my 10 mo. old choc. lab does not get as much exercise as she should. I can’t run 8 miles, and do not have a safe place to ride a bike with her, even if I had a bike. Street is just way too busy. I take her to the dog park, but she is not a consistent runner, she hangs back. Fetch for her is taking toy and having me chase her, which is also why she takes things she should not have and runs outside so I will chase her, and then she lies down. I would love to use the chucker and have her chase ball, but that will only work once as she does not want to give the ball or any other toy back for another toss. I can take her swimming, but again one toss and then she wants to keep the toy or stick.

    Help- how do I get her to “play”, fetch and give.

    [Reply]

    Pam Reply:

    Hi Andrea, I am not an expert but this worked for me. Try using 2 toys. Thow one and use the other to ‘trade’ her and entice her to come back. When (if) she comes back to get to second one she hopefully will still have the first toy and have to drop it to get the second one. It may work. It’s what I did with my puppy, also choc. female lab. She was about 7 months old when I started this. Don’t chase her or yell at her. It just makes the game she is playing more fun. When she displays a behavior you don’t want ignore her. Turn your back fold your arms and all play stops. Play only on your terms. Reward the behavior you want with attention and/or food and ignore anything you don’t want her to do. Don’t say anything or even make eye contact. Don’t yell or scold as they are forms of attention and dogs LOVE attention, even negative attention. This will take time and persistence on your part. Good luck.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Pam, I have done the chase just to get her to run, but know I should ignore and do after the first or second time she does not give. Will be more persistent.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Teach her to play! Go back to the blog and search on retrieves. There are a couple of articles on play retrieves and also building drive and a clicker retrieve.

    [Reply]

    James Davidson Reply:

    Instead of using one ball, stick or frisbee, I will throw either of the above and have a treat in my pocket, calling it a “cookie”, and when he picks up the one thrown (not very far anymore), then I will call his name and say “Cookie” and I will usually get a very positive response. Have an English Shepherd who is just one year old. Takes some ingenuity to keep up with and never, never ahead of them. Good luck.

    [Reply]

  21. John says:

    On exercise: I look after my friend’s 7 month old boxer puppy. I used to take him for several hours of walking – I’m a bit too old to run- every day, but found in a couple if training/boxer books statements that too much exewrcis can damage puppies@ bones and also statements that boxers aren’t really physically mature until 2 to 3 years old. What is your opinion on this? What is appropriate for pups?

    [Reply]

  22. john says:

    On exercise: I look after my friend’s 7 month old boxer pup and used to walk for about 2 hours a day with him, as I’m a bit too old to run. Then I thought I might be doing harm as dog training/breed books told me that too much walking damages puppies’ bones and that boxers aren’t physically mature till 2 to 3 yeare of age. What is appropriate for pups?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Puppies can walk till they drop. They can also run on grass and soft surfaces. They can hike, they can swim, they can retrieve and play ball.

    They cannot run on hard ground until they are fully mature.

    [Reply]

  23. Dave says:

    I have two small Maltese who I can’t imagine could run 8 miles. Naughty dog not really a problem but I personally am kind of an exercise addict. Recommendations on exercise for the little ones?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    They can still run.

    They may not be able to go 8 miles but they can still run, and I bet they would love it!

    [Reply]

  24. Sherron says:

    Hi there I have 2 Siberians, one almost 15 years old and a 7 month old puppy. The 15 year old was active from a very young age running while I cycled/mountain biked or ran myself. She now has spondylosis and arthritis and the vet/chiro believes this is due to exercise too early in life. His suggestion for the new pup is no excessive running until 12 months of age, just allow natural play and walking. What are your thoughts on this?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I absolutely agree and I wrote this article to explain it better in July http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/give-dog-arthritis/

    And soon I will publish an article on puppy exercise.

    I have a 7 month old puppy as well and I know that I can’t run fast enough to affect his growth, since I have knee problems and don’t go very fast… But he won’t be hooked up to pull the cart until his is around a year and a half.

    [Reply]

  25. Pat DeYoung says:

    I am 71years old. No Way I can run 8 miles. any suggestions
    My Babies are one year old. they are a small breed a cross
    between a Shizue and a poodle. (I know I didn’t spell shizue write)
    Anyway I made up a new breed of dog called shitzpoo
    thank you
    pat

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Get a scooter, hook them up and run them for a while.

    I saw one at Walmart the other day (that you could sit on for 350 or you can go to “Play it Again Sports” or bike shops or scooter stores!

    [Reply]

  26. Joshua says:

    THIS! THIS! THIS! I have adopted this philosophy since the first day I brought my GSD home and I have very few problems. I also combine exercise with obedience. IE: we play frisbee, but we have to do obedience commands before the disc gets thrown. If you have a play driven dog, you can kill multiple birds with one stone. 1 hour of serious fetch with obedience followed by a calm walk (total is about 1hr20min) every day takes my dog’s mischief to ZERO, and she’s less than 2 years old. I can even leave her alone (with full access to the whole house) for a decent period of time (~6hours) if she’s had a good play session before hand.
    Exercise is (at least for my dog) a true panacea for behavior on every level.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Good for you!!! Yes exercise AND obedience are best, stimulates mind and body!

    [Reply]

  27. janet matthews says:

    My husband has Parkinson’s and therefore does not go on long walks most days BUT…every morning and night he takes his poodle service dog for a 21/2 mile trot around our gated community on his recumbent trike!!! Both of them get their required exercise and together time!!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    That is a wonderful story good for both of them and I am glad they have each other and wish them the best 😀

    [Reply]

  28. Anyone who has a problem walking due to autheritis or other cause can get their doctor to say they need an electric scooter from medicare (65 or older). I hook my Border collie”s leash around the seat support and he runs along beside me. He barks and bites at the finder because it doesn’t go as fast as he would like but after a short distance he settles down and runs steadly. We are about at 1 1/2 miles as he is too heavy now. He was at 187 pounds a year ago and I cut out all treats except rawhide chews and cut his food 20%. He is now at 175 and still loosing. He is taller that most BCs I see and I am shooting for 170 pounds. I’ll stop for a while and continue the excerise to determine if we need to start the diet again to loose more weight. He is five and loves the run. I like it too.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I also use to exercise police dogs this way and service dogs with electric or manual wheelchairs :)

    They loved it!!

    [Reply]

    Yvonne Reply:

    I know this has nothing to do with exercise however, I just have to know how a border collie can weigh 187 pounds and can even walk. I don’t know if I read this comment correctly but that is the weight of dogs like bull mastiffs or irish wolfhounds. Is he full bred? An overweight dog can cause him multiple health issues. I don’t mean to sound harsh but I always worry when I see or hear about overwieght dogs. I am a dog trainer and if I am training an overweight dog, I try to educate my client on obesity in dogs. This is extremely life shortening.

    Please let me know if I have read your comment correctly.

    [Reply]

  29. Brent says:

    I noticed in the video the dogs were running on pavement!
    How will their paws stand up to that pounding?
    That is my concern. I want to bike with my dog but can’t keep the dog on the grass beside me.
    Worried about the long term effect of pavement running.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Like anything you have to build up to toughen paw pads.

    I wouldn’t take a dog out for a long duration or he might rip his pads, but if you add distance and time after a while their feet build callouses.

    I would also never do this with a dog that was young/puppy or a dog that I didn’t have xrayed.

    But my dogs are appropriately aged and have xrayed good to excellent and they need this physical exercise to be happy!

    [Reply]

  30. Rachel Williams says:

    I am the owner of a 10 month old Kelpie Border Collie cross, I am worried that I have caused injuries in our puppy as from an early age we played ball retrieval with her and because she is a fast runner when she stops to get the ball she jars herself! I did not think of injuries later on, I have been reading your articles, I hope like anything that we have not caused her injury. We take her on some long walks and often take her to the beach and loves to play ball. When she is old enough and when i get a bike would love to exercise her that way.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    when she is a year and a half to 2 just get xrays of hips, shoulders and elbows. I do that with all my dogs before I exercise them all out!

    You can cause arthritis and pain if your dog’s conformation is already not good… then you need to do things like take them swimming and less jarring exercises!

    [Reply]

  31. Kenneth Greely says:

    I have the “Springer” attachment on my bike, as depected on your earlier post, and I have two large poodles… The poodles love to pull me down the road (one at a time, of course)… I let them have at it, and I enjoy the free ride… that is until they need to slow down… Then it’s a comforatble easy ride back to the house. They get their exercise on the way out, and I get mine in the way back in… I do, however, try to gage the point at which the poodles need to start heading home so they don’t get too burnt out…

    Note: the Springer is a blessing!!!

    [Reply]

  32. Julie says:

    i have a 2yo border collie she was desexed at 6 months old and ever since has had a problem when we exercise her. she looses control of her bladder after a long bout of exercise it just runs out of her she has no control of it whatsoever It lasts for up to 3 hours. We have tried to limit the amount she drinks when returning fom the exercise and offering smaller amounts more often but she just wants to drink to cool down we take her swimming in the ocean and she will drink sea water even if offered fresh water. In rivers she constantly laps at the water while swimming. When there is no exercise involved she doesnt drink in excess like she would if diabetic. I have been told that some dogs suffer from som hormane problem through being desexed too early and it is a lifelong problem. We are grey nomads and sometimes tis can be a real problem when travelling so we have to limit the exercise she gets some days. would love to know if anyone else has this problem and how they deal with it

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    actually my female has this problem also and did even though I did not have her spayed until she was 2 and a half.

    She overheats easily and drinks and excess of water.

    First make sure you do a blood panel and make sure there is nothing wrong physically. And, I would have her urine tested to make sure her kidneys are doing their job and that she doesn’t have an infection.

    I once had a Service Dog that did this she was about a year and a half and had a raging bladder infection OUCH!!

    As far as my dog goes, I let her drink all the water she wants after exercise and then I gauge how often she needs to go out. And, I put her out every 15 minutes if I have to!!

    She needs her physical stimulation but she also drinks a lot so I take that into account.

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  33. Jenny says:

    We have 2 x3 yr old rotti x dobermans whom we struggle to give enough exercise to as they are both dog aggressive and nightmares on leashes – I have thought about cycling before but am cared they will cause an accident either by going too fast or if we pass another dog -does anyone have any tips on how best to train them for this ?

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  34. Kim says:

    I guess I’ll have to give up my goldendoodle then, because there is no way I can take him on 15 mile long walks every day. Jesus, I had a dog when I was little and I don’t remember having to do all this.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Most people who had dogs as children don’t realize how much time and effort it takes to make a dog happy and meet their needs that is certainly true.

    And our life styles are different, 20 years ago a dog didn’t have to compete with his owner playing candy crush on the internet for hours.

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  35. kim says:

    Goldendoodle for sale: Male, 2 months old, very sweet.
    Needs to run the boston Marathon equivalent twice a day.
    Good luck, cuz you’re gonna need it!

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  36. Paul S says:

    I’d like to see some suggestions for physical exercise when the weather is very COLD. This has been a brutal winter for us in Chicago with wind chills frequently 20 below and real temps in the single digits. I’m not sure how long my shepherd/Akita mix should be out in this weather much less how to exercise her.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You can still play games and have a good game of retrieve to burn off some energy.

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    Paul S Reply:

    We have a pretty small home so that restricts us a bit. We play hide and seek and use a flirt pole some. We do the best we can it just feels inadequate on those really bad days.

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  37. GRACe Fritz says:

    I have a 7.2 lb long haired chihuahua who was dog.she doesn’t like to walk much and sometimes I have to drag her until she gets started. She is 7 and I got her when she was six. She never learned to play and isn’t interested in toys. I am 86 and don’t mind walking around the block but not much farther. She is adorable and affectionate but can be very stubborn.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Often you have to teach them to play with toys!

    And, I would make walking further and further one of your daily goals, you will both enjoy it and reap the rewards

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  38. Kurt Dammers says:

    Just a word of caution. I bought a bike to exercise my flat coated retriever, as I am no longer able to run. Well, on the way back from a country road ride, he either was too tired to keep up, or got distracted. In any case, he went left and I went over the handle bars! Dislocated my shoulder joint, seriously. Now I let him run loose to follow me, but I can’t “run” him in the city, for fear of traffic. So, please, think safety if you are connecting your dog to you on a bike.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I had a big fall once on a regular bike, that is why I now use a recumbent trike and attach my dogs to it so they can’t run one way or another.

    Check out this link… it is safer than just holding the leash and biking http://www.dogpoweredscooter.com/

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  39. Hi! I live in Togo, West Africa where it’s constantly over 95 degrees outside. I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback so he does better than most dogs would with the heat. He is 8 months old and bouncing off the walls. Maybe my problem is that I can’t get him to play anything other than tug and sometimes he doesn’t want to play with the toy and just wants to jump up and naw on my arms. (If redirecting him to the toy doesn’t work the game ends immediately). Either way, after a half hour of playing tug with a dog that weighs as much as I do I’m exhausted, but he’s just getting started. He gets bored of fetch after three or four throws. Sometimes we ‘play tag’ and run around the house (it’s way to hot to run outisde) but that normally ends very quickly with him jumping up and biting me because he’s so excited. What can I do?? I play tug with him for a half hour every three hours, but he’s always begging to play. Not to mention I’m covered with tooth and claw marks! Help!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You have to find a way to exercise him. Run him when it is dark outside or find somewhere to take him swimming so that he is getting the physical exercise he needs… he nips because he is so full of energy.

    I think if you can exercise before you train you will see better results.

    [Reply]

  40. Cheryl says:

    We have a gsd mix 4 months old. My spouse likes the fact when he says up she will put her paws on his leg in a stand. I think this could lead to jumping up on people which she has not done yet. Should I stop him or just allow this behavior noting that she needs the down command. We hav head a cairn terrier and he does the up with out jumping on everybody.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I think that will lead to jumping. Better to not start bad behavior young and teach specific behaviors later when they are older.

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  41. Carmen says:

    I live in South Florida. I have a 1-year-old 15-lb Shih Tzu mix (no one knows the father). She’s in good shape, but I don’t think she’s much of an athlete! Although she plays in the dog park, and will chase her ball for 15 minutes or so and stop, if I try to walk her more than a mile (forget running), even at night, she gets slower and slower and starts to pant, and eventually I just have to pick her up. Is it just that she needs training as well? Or are there some breeds that should not be pushed? I hear Shih Tzus overheat quickly and can get hurt if you push them too far.

    I normally walk/run 3-6 miles a day, but when I take her, I have to use her stroller after the first mile (silly, I know, but she LOVES it, and it gives us time outside). Will she be able to ever do a 3-5 mile run with me (I’m fairly slow, no more than 13 min mile), or is it just too much to ask of a Shih Tzu?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    My guess is she is over weight and has no stamina. Only your vet can answer the weight question but you need to be able to feel a dog’s ribs and it should not be hard to do.

    Plus house dogs need to build stamina, they are like us… they start out fat and lazy, but unlike us they are born athletes (if she had to catch her food she would learn to be fast.)

    But you need to do it when it is cool out as any dog can get over heated over 70 degrees in the sun.

    Swimming is also a great exercise

    [Reply]

  42. carmen says:

    Thanks. She’s not at all overweight, as we found out when we practically shaved her this summer. She’s quite svelte with no belly and easy to feel ribs. However finding any day or night below 70 degrees is nigh impossible. Maybe 2 a year. So I guess my dream of a marathon shih tzu is out of the question. I don’t want to hurt her and the heat really seems to affect her badly. And she detests water … so we’ll keep playing indoors. Is running up and down carpeted stairs going to hurt her joints?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Sorry 😉 most Shih Tzu’s are overweight 😉

    Any repetitive movement can cause damage but if she is an adult and your vet hasn’t mentioned knee or elbow issues she will probably be fine.

    [Reply]

  43. Tricia says:

    This was a very surprising article! I see now that i need to redirect a lot of my little Stu’s energy to biking. Whenever i take him when i bike though, he ends up dragging me even when i hit the brakes. How do i teach him to get it that i am stopping for a reason and that stop means STOP? Also he always goes too fast and ends up pulling me tons faster than i intend to go. Help?

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  44. Edwina says:

    I have an 11 y/o male Rottweiler he is very well trained, very obedient, and until yesterday has never eaten anything inside or out. He has mild hip dysplasia so his exercising has been cut to a minimum. He is very active, runs all over my house at full speed (we have an open concept and it is a big playroom for him and our female), plays with our female terrier mix constantly, and they rough house in the back yard. He has never picked anything up off the floor unless he was told to pick it up. Yesterday he picked up and swallowed a pair of underwear that fell out of my laundry basket. They were just washed and dried. I didn’t know that he eaten them until about an hour later, when he vomited them up. Not sure what is causing this behavior out of the blue

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Whenever there is a change in behavior with an older dog I suggest a trip to the vet! And, exercise actually helps with dysplasia, not full out running but long walks or long swims can be crucial for later pain management.

    [Reply]

  45. Carol Hoopingarner says:

    I have two dogs: Rescued stray. 9 years old. Won’t let us put a leash on him. Tries to and has bitten us when doing so. Impossible to get him to vet or groomer. Otherwise he is a perfect dog.

    11 mo old puppy. Hyperactive around us but also any sudden movement will send him running. Will not go out unless we go with him. Can’t pick him up or walk him on a leash/if we can catch him to get the leash on him. Just sits there and won’t move.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Search our free articles using the search bar for help with the leash

    [Reply]

  46. Megan C says:

    Have you any advice on giving dogs adequate exercise in winter, when it’s freezing out? Especially when it’s unsafe to run outside due to a foot of snow and a layer of ice on everything? I live in Connecticut and have golden doodle and a mini poodle.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    doggy day care, agility classes or boots and skijoring for the golden doodle. Dogs do great in the cold when they are exercising.

    [Reply]

  47. Karelle says:

    Yes! I’ve been knocked off the bike soooo many times while running my little mutt. It’s getting to where he is becoming afraid of the bike – it appears that he’s associating it with it being crashed. How can I help the bike stay a happy association?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You have to go slow enough to teach on the bike. I also like to teach my dogs left and right so they know when I am turning. They also have attachments that keep the dog away from your wheels http://www.bikemania.biz/bike-balance-bicycle-dog-leash-kit.html

    [Reply]

  48. alison telford says:

    I have a terrier x. Today we did a 10 klm bike ride, i have an electric bike which helps me. Then we met up with a buddy of his and they played and went swimming. 4 hours later he slept. In the late afternoon we did a 3 klm bike ride and he hung out with some other dogs at the park. He sniffed this and that, listened to commands, come, this way, wait, etc.. This is the type of exercise he needs to help him relax during the day, not bark at every noise and then sleep well at night. I can’t do this everyday, but I try to do as much as I can and the weekends we do a lot. People totally under estimate the exercise a dog needs,

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    AMEN!!!!! and THANK YOU

    [Reply]

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