We all know that exercise is important for all dogs, regardless of breed or temperament. I’ve also explained that, for many dogs, mental stimulation is also necessary to prevent them from going “stir crazy” around the house.
Even with a large yard to run around, an intelligent dog may require more mental stimulation in order to calm down in the evening. While a simple walk may not do, a walk around the neighborhood, combined with obedience exercises, could calm such a dog both mentally and physically.
Highly active dogs such as the working breeds often require even more than this. There are many options available today to work out a dog, including dog sports such as agility, flyball, and disc dogs, as well as breed-specific sports, such as herding and hunting. If you’re not sure which sport to choose for your particular dog, your dog trainer could offer some suggestions.
Of course, time can often be a limiting factor in the exercise that our dogs get. If this is your situation, due to work, travel, illness, or whatever the reason, there are many services available to support you in your endeavor to have a healthy and fit dog that can settle down around the house.
Doggy day care is a modern service where you drop off your dog for a day and he is allowed to play with other dogs in a supervised environment. Dogs are tested in advance for temperament and must be fully vaccinated.
An alternative to day care is a dog walking service. Advantages to these services include controlled socialization to people and other dogs, better health, and the opportunity to take care of their “business” away from home, where the dog walker will dutifully scoop it up. Dog walkers can also offer basic obedience training to keep your dog sharp, as well as covering daily feedings and light medications if you are not able to be home during the day.
As the Romans said, “Mens sana in corpore sano”, that is “A healthy mind in a healthy body.” It applies to dogs as well as people!