Dog Training Exercise and Play Can Make A Difference

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Dog Training Exercise and Play Can Make A Difference

by Michael Russell

Regular exercise is as important for dogs as it is for people. Dogs who do not get enough exercise can have more problems than just obesity. Unlike people, dogs do not do other things in their life when they are not exercising. When they do not have anything to do, they don't sit around and watch TV. They do not read books or chat with friends over a cup of coffee!

When they have nothing to do, they find more interesting enterprises and most of them are quite destructive. These destructive activities can be everything from tearing apart furniture to eating shoes to ripping wallpaper off of walls.

Exercise on a regular basis can help a dog to get rid of some of the physical needs to chew or rip things up. Exercise is also good for his human owner. Walks for the dog and the owner should not be just sauntering along. Walks need to be brisk and purposeful. There does need to be a part of each walk which is devoted to investigation, where the dog is allowed to just wander and do his sniffing and mark his territory and if necessary eliminate. For this reason, it is absolutely a necessity that the owner carry plastic bags with him to pick up any mess. However, most of the walk should be a brisk muscle conditioning and toning walk. The dog will be at its fittest when it is doing an easy trot. For a big dog this means the human should be doing a brisk leg stretching walk. For the small dog the human owner should still be walking briskly, but taking shorter steps.

The length of the walk needs to be at least a mile per day for a large dog. Two miles is even better. For a smaller dog, under 40 pounds, a half mile or less is best. For large dog breeds, under six months of age, the ideal walking distance varies with the age of the dog. A puppy 12 weeks should be able to go on a walk which is around a city block. This is usually about two tenths of a mile. As the puppy gets on to 16-18 weeks of age, that should be around two city blocks and by the time the pup is six months old, a half a mile is good.

The other component of exercise needs to be a play period. It is preferable that this be off leash if at all possible, chasing throw toys and playing fetch or running and playing with other dogs. The latest addition to many cities is the dog park and this is of great benefit to dog owners for it provides a safe place for this sort of interaction to occur. When dogs play together, it is important that introductions be off leash when possible. A dog who is attached to his owner by leash often has a tendency to be more protective of his owner or to be jealous of the attentions of another dog. Off leash, his reactions will be more natural and most likely he will have less tendency to be overly protective.

Dogs are naturally social animals and having a chance to get together and make other "dog friends", besides getting plenty of exercise and bonding with you through walking, can truly make the difference for your dog and change him from a destructive monster in the house to a laid back and mellow couch companion.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dog Training

Michael Russell - EzineArticles Expert Author

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