Options For An Effective And Safe Dog Workout
In dealing with the possibilities, it’s safe to assume that many of the ideas presented here will be dependent on what size of dog, what breed, and what they can do. So going for a generic presentation, there are several options to a good walk or run, but your dog may not be right for all of them.
Can Your Dog Jump?
If so, change up a regular game of fetch to teaching them to jump and catch. It could be a soft tennis ball or a flying saucer disk. If Fido loves to jump, even an ordinary stick can do the trick. Just throw high enough for them to get to the object while it is still in jumping distance and let him shine.
Go Off Trail
You may be very familiar with a few different places you walk, but find a new location where dogs can lead the way. Let your dog follow his nose. Since dogs “see with their nose,” letting them explore while they sniff their way around a new location can add variety to his (and your) routine. You might even consider taking some clipping from herbs or other flora with distinctive scent to scatter along your usual route. It can add variety to the walk that you usually take – at least for your dog. Don’t forget the possibility of a quick swim for your dog.
You could even create a course for your dog (and others) to follow making a scent trail. Add a toy at the end of the trail for your dog to find, and then he can play after he’s given his nose a good workout.
Dog-Centered Events And Activities
Check out what is available in your town, neighborhood, or city. For example, in some places there are Flyball games with relay teams of dogs racing on a course including four hurdles, there’s more to it, but that’s the start. Sign up for an agility class where high-energy dogs burn it off while running and jumping with other dogs. They can learn new skills, socialize, and burn energy at the same time.
If you have a dog park nearby, especially one that is geared toward your size of dog, that can be a great way for your dog to be part of a pack. They tend to make up games as they play together, whether it’s tag or play fighting, climbing over each other in something akin to doggie leapfrog or racing against each other. If they can be off leash and play with other dogs, they’ll get great exercise and enjoyment too.
Some of this depends on the breed of dog and their size, but you can teach your dog such things as riding a skateboard or boogie board, dancing on his two hind legs, doggy yoga (doga), and for herding dogs try soccer.
Let Them Run Beside You
Allowing your dog to run and play beside you while you go for a bike ride, go rollerblading, skiing or snowshoeing, stair or bleacher climbing, or any other activity you enjoy.
Just remember to make sure your dog gets enough water while being active. Especially when the weather is warm. And when it’s cold and icy, consider booties if they are too sensitive. They’ll work off some of their energy for the first couple of times they wear them just trying to figure out what the heck is going on, and your laughter muscles might get a little workout too.