Sunday, 4 January 2009

deciding how much exercise our dogs need

Penny has just been out with us to the local shops for a short walk. We mostly stuck to the shade as it's a warm - but thankfully not hot - day. We even stretched our stiff middle-aged bodies to bend down and check how hot the pavement was for her paws. Not too hot, I'm pleased to say.

Now the question arises: how guilty should we feel that she probably won't get another, longer walk today? It's always a temptation to say, as long as she gets 'off the property' for some stimulation, that's enough. We often have to weigh her need for exercise against our need to lie around doing nothing in particular. Especially during the summer holidays!

Well, I've just read an informative article about dogs' exercise needs, on a Canadian site called Dog Blog. Some points that struck me were:
  • having a large backyard is no reason to cop-out on walks, because most dogs won't exercise themselves - being a pack animal, they will wait for the leader to signal that it's time to go out hunting;

  • running around chasing a ball in the backyard is not a sufficient cardio workout;

  • the daily walk is a time for your dog to practise attending to you and reading your verbal or physical commands;

  • if you have exercised your dog well, she should want to curl up and have a rest when you get home.

Hmm...that resting thing doesn't really seem to apply to Penny, even when we've been out for two hours...


Noah the Airedale said...

Hi Penny & Parlance and a happy new year to you all.
We are walked religiously 3 times a day. This is still happening now even with our newly fenced backyard. We like to run around in the yard too and it's even better when D or B throw a toy for us to chase. I Noah tend to lay under the trees but my sissies really like to run around.
Our walks usually last for 30mins on average. D doesn't always come along but B always takes us. D can't manage 4 dales lol.

Noah x

Slavenka said...

My dogs are very different .Obi enjoys long walks but
Niki does not . It is really problem.
My happiness is that Niki have only 2 kg :)

parlance said...

Noah, now I understand why you and your sisters look so happy in the video clips and photos. Three walks! And that lovely exciting, big, fenced backyard!

parlance said...

Slavanka, I wonder if you sometimes carry Niki? I used to carry Penny if she got really tired on a hot day, but now she's too big for me to do that.