Best Ways to Exercise a Dog

According to the association of pet obesity prevention, 52% of dogs are obese. Studies have shown that if you exercise a dog regularly, it will keep the dog fit and healthy. Having a dog in your house and taking him for exercise regularly can sometimes be tiring but if you plan things out correctly, you will be able to give your dog everything they need and still have time for your job/tasks. Exercising a dog is important. It instills discipline in a dog.

how to exercise a dog

Dogs need physical and mental activities for a healthy life so it is always recommended to exercise a dog. Spending some time with your dog to get that extra energy out can make a big difference. To do this, it is important to exercise a dog. If you have a busy lifestyle, make sure, time spent with your dog is efficient and engaging for him. The great part about these exercises is that your dog will not be making bad choices around your house anymore. In this article, we are going to discuss how to exercise a dog which includes walking, staircase running, fetch, tug, etc.

Have your dog walk you instead of you walking them is a great way to exercise a dog. Freedom walks allow your dog to sniff around in a free manner and it will tire them mentally as well. But, obedience during walks is equally important. Make sure, you’re not walking in one lane continuously. Walk in zigzag patterns. Walk at different speeds. Practice commands like sit, stop, walk or run. This way to exercise a dog will help them pay attention and they will learn to follow you quickly.

  • Staircase Run

This exercise is easy but can help a lot to tire your dog out. If you have a staircase in your home, walk up and down the stairs with your dog. It will be interesting for your dog if you do it with him/her. Make it extra challenging by racing your dog. It will keep your dog hyped. And it will burn a lot of energy.

  • Fetch

Fetch is one of the oldest yet most effective games to exercise a dog. Find your dog’s favorite toy and toss it across the room. Let them fetch you the toy. Be sure to reward by cheerful words or through showing excitement. It will help reinforce the good behavior. Keep repeating this for some time.

  • Tug

This is a great fun game to exercise a dog and tire them physically and mentally. You need a rope and a piece of cloth to play this game. If your dog is not interested in tug, make sure you are using the right tug and techniques while playing. Once their prey drive gets activated, let them win on the first try. Make it more exciting after the first win. Now take the tug again and make it difficult for your dog to reach it. This game will also induce some self-control in your dog. You need to be a bit attentive about it as well because it can induce aggressive behavior in some dogs.

  • Hide and Seek

Have someone hold onto your dog or make them sit in their place, when you run and hide. First, hide in a place where your dog can easily find you. Call your dog’s name when he/she starts finding you. Praise him/her after your dog finds you. It will motivate them to find you again. Then hide in difficult places to make it more interesting for your dog. This game will help the dog focus on your voice command.

  • Frisbee Throw

This is a great outdoor game. You can play it in the park or in your lawn. Frisbee is more fun to play with because it flies in one direction smoothly. It covers great distances, so your dog can run more and utilize his/her energy more.

  • Restrained Recall

This is a great way to teach fast and exercise a dog. It burns a lot of energy in a short period of time. The restrained recall is a great way to build value like in teaching your dog his name. It gets them motivated about hearing their name. It also helps to teach your dog the recall command; the come command.

You can do this with two people as well as alone. Here I am going to describe how to do this alone. You can use a tug or a toy. Tie the leash, but make sure the leash is attached around a stationary object. You will hold the leash from the other end to hold onto the dog. Make sure your dog is paying attention. You can use the come command. It helps your dog to focus on that object. Say come, release the leash, and back away. Your dog will follow the tug immediately.

  • Nose Work/Find the Treats

Make sure your dog’s nose knows what to do with the smells around. If you control the nose, you control 60% of their brain’s reaction. So, to exercise a dog using the sense of smell is important. You can train your dog to use his nose to uncover treats that you hide at different places in your house. You can start by showing your dog three small treats. While you hide the three treats make sure your dog isn’t watching. Put them in different places. If your dog struggles to find a treat, give him/her a hint. Let your dog enjoy the treats after he/she finds them.

  • Indoor Obstacle Game

Clear out the living room to turn your house into an indoor exercise center. You will have to create hurdles yourself. You can use so many things you have like cushions, blankets, chairs, etc. You can place broom handles across chairs for jumps. Place chairs in line, in one direction so your dog can pass under them like a tunnel. Place some plastic glasses in long-range to make your dog jump over them. Now you show them what to do by doing it yourself. The dog will try to repeat it.

Afterwards, you can start by giving commands to cross the hurdles themselves. This is a great activity to exercise a dog’s intelligence. Reward your dog with a treat to encourage him/her.

dog having an exercise while running

Conclusion of How to Exercise a Dog:

Casual walks for your dogs are not enough. Make sure to exercise a dog daily for 30 minutes to 2 hours depending upon the age and energy of your dog. Exercising a dog will give them strength, flexibility, and long healthy life. You can try hiking and swimming to exercise a dog. If your dog is old, don’t tire him out by exercising too much. Keep your dog hydrated while exercising to avoid heatstroke.

You can read more articles about dog health, nutrition, behavior, and training at Dog Vet Tips.

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