There are many things you can do to ensure your dog is happy when exercise is a challenge. If you can get out, go for a walk, but this following exercise can be done both when you're out and about, or at home inside, in the hallway, driveway - anywhere you have a few metres.
Going for a walk or run is great fun and healthy for you and your dog. But most dogs can run all day, plus at the moment some people can't get out due to restrictions or choosing to remain indoors. We've also heard of people copping flak for just being out.
Most dogs have plenty of physical energy, but living such a good life means not a great deal of thinking or decision-making is required.
In my 20 years of personal training, I have shown thousands of owners how to mentally exhaust their dogs in the comfort of their own homes.
No matter whether your dog is great on the lead or a nightmare, this will not only help calm them down, but might help with your walking when the world gets normal.
Get the lead on your dog and go the end of your designated area where you will walk. A few metres is fine. What you are going to do is walk as slowly as humanly possible keeping the lead LOOSE (a 2m lead is ideal) - one step at first, and as soon as your dog puts their nose past your knee ie goes in front, or to the side, or jumps around, just give them the tiniest check (like a tug on the sleeve) and use a little growl. Don't take another step until your dog settles down. Keep doing that without taking another step until you get some focus.
Once that happens, take the next step and repeat. Don't move forward until you get that focus. The slower you go, the more focus you will get, and the more this will tire your dog. If you get to the end of, say your hallway, walk back to where you started and repeat. For most dogs, a couple of minutes is fine. Once you can step and your dog follows suit, they are thinking harder than they have for a month.
Remember to always keep the lead loose so your dog is choosing to follow your, rather than being restrained.
If your dog is hard work on the lead, this is a good exercise to do for a minute or two before walks too. And if your dog is a joy on the lead, this will still tire them out. Done properly, I have had Border Collies fall down with exhaustion having walked barely 20 metres!
And you can do this regardless of the weather, anytime of day.
In our next newsletter, we will talk about chewing and destructive problems that some of you might be finding are on the increase!
Let us know if there is anything else you need or want to ask on Face Book or email
If you subscribe to our newsletter you regularly receive a bunch of codes for mixed purchases, or lines of other product. www.howzyadog.com.au