Lack of Exercise Can Lead to Destructive Behavior in Dogs
This is so true! Many breeds of dog were bred for high activity levels and without the necessary amount of exercise they can become easily bored leading to annoying and destructive behavior. In choosing a dog, you need to be sure to choose a dog that fits your lifestyle other wise you will need to tailor your lifestyle to fit the dog you’ve chosen.
Your dog barks nonstop. Your dog digs, ruining your yard. Your dog chews anything he can get his teeth on. What’s missing from this picture? Chances are, it’s exercise.
It’s not news that we humans don’t get enough exercise, so it’s no surprise that our dogs aren’t moving much either. While most pet lovers recognize that exercise is good for their dogs, few seem to make the connection between a lack of exercise and behavioral problems that have excess energy and boredom as components.
While environmental management (such as removing barking triggers or giving a dog something acceptable to chew) and training your dog are important, these strategies are only part of the solution. Dogs aren’t getting the exercise they need, and it’s causing problems.
Look at the big, active dogs we adore, such as the Labrador, golden retriever and German shepherd. These breeds are high on the American Kennel Club’s list of the most popular. You don’t have to go far down the popularity list to find other active breeds as well. Factor in the countless retriever and shepherd mixes, and you have a lot of dogs whose genetics have prepared them to work nonstop, but they spend their lives in small, boring backyards.
And what are they doing to burn off all that natural energy? You guessed it: barking, digging, chewing.
If you’re thinking of getting a dog, think very seriously about what breed you want and whether you can provide an active dog with the exercise it needs. If you can’t honestly say that your dog will get 30 minutes of heart-thumping aerobic exercise at least three to four days a week â€” daily is better â€” then you really ought to reconsider getting an active large breed.
Instead, consider the alternatives. For large breeds, look at the sight hounds, such as the greyhound, saluki or even the massive Irish wolfhound. These breeds were not developed to work all day like the retriever, husky and sheepdog, but rather to go all out for a short period of time and then chill out. They’re big, but they’re couch potatoes by choice. Many guarding breeds, such as Rottweilers, boxers and Akitas, also have relatively minimal exercise requirements. All dogs love and need their exercise, but not all dogs will go crazy if they don’t get a ton of it.
Most small breeds are easy in the exercise department, too, not because they don’t need a lot of exercise, but because it’s not as difficult to exercise a small dog with short legs. A Yorkie, pug or corgi can get good exercise in a small yard or on a brisk walk.
If you must bring a large, active breed or mix into your home, then you also must meet your dog’s needs when it comes to exercise.
Your efforts will pay off for you as well as your dog. Experts agree: A dog that gets plenty of exercise is less likely to develop behavior problems (and more likely to be able to overcome any behavior problems that are already established). Plus, an active dog will be less likely to suffer from life-shortening obesity.
So get out that leash. Find that ball. And make some time to get your dog out and running. Exercising your dog â€” especially if you’re a walker or runner â€” is great for your own physical and mental health as well. (Pocono Record)
Some great advise here, be sure to keep it in mind ad you and your canine companion will be much happier… and healthier too!
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