Exercise is a painful thought for most but when you add a dog to the mix and exercise becomes much more FUN! Exercising is fundamental element for maintaining whole health for most species, it helps maintain body weight, regulate metabolism, keeps joints mobile , keeps their muscles elasticated , improves cardiovascular health, even helps promote a positive mental attitude too!
In respect of the Dog it offers so much more than that, exercise can be used to help with many aspects of a dog, especially training! Unlike us humans, a dogs purpose is to burn off their energy from the foods they eat, so if they don’t get the adequate exercise they’ll more than likely show behavioural issues inside the home, such as chewing, climbing, bouncing around, not listening basically being a Diva! However i appreciate that not everyone has a dog has the right environment around them to offer their dog their physical exercise needs, which is usually a breed issue as many owners get a dog but don’t research the breed.
Scenario: You live in a tower block apartment in the City Centre of Manchester and you’ve watch a few videos online of how awesome the Belgian Malinois are and you just had to have one, So you take the all mighty step and purchase/adopt Adult Malinois (To whom we will name “Challenge” in this scenario) and you take Challenge back to the apartment in your Euphoric Bliss, unknown to you what a potential nightmare your in for!
In the above scenario, many would find issues catering to the physical exercise needs of a Belgian Malinois in such an environment, however thankfully Belgian Malinois love being exercised mentally too which makes them incredible breeds to train and mental stimulation has proven to be equally tiresome, which you can do from your own home or in a social environment such as high pedestrian/traffic areas but if you just took this dog for a basic walk around the block in the AM and PM and offered no alternative way for them to burn energy, you’ll soon have signs of negative behaviour/chaos that impacts you financially as you replace materialistic items. (Diet also plays a part in Energy Levels) Ideally The Belgian Malinois needs big open spaces they can burn explosive energy and safely!
This is why research into a breed is important as you need to know if your lifestyle can cater to all their needs, especially exercise both physical and mental. This benefits the relationship you will have with your dog(s) as the bond is sacred, i firmly believe a dog knows if your not giving them what they need but when you do, what they give you in return is priceless!
Having a dog is the perfect excuse to give yourself a health kick too, you’ll see many dog owners running (CaniCross) or biking (Bijorking) with their dogs but it doesn’t have to be to this level, those people are usually fitness enthusiasts that take their dogs while they do what they need to do, two birds one stone, although if you fancy CaniCross, please make sure your dog doesn’t jump up at you, I found this out the hard way! Ouch!
If you feel like you could walk your dog more, then chances are you’re right so put on those trainers/hiking boots or what ever takes your fancy in the sensible footwear department , there is no time like the present to burn those calories, You can even monitor your steps by using apps such as Outrun which even lets you earn £’s while you shed Lbs’ and compete with friends! #HighestCountWins This particular app is only available on IOS currently HERE. (Disclaimer:This is not an affiliate or a Sponsored link in anyway, merely a recommendation)
If you currently have a puppy, please don’t exercise them to much! There is an old rule of thumb, which is merely a guide which many ignore but it is: 5 mins of exercise (Intended high intensity exercise) per month of age up to twice a day until 12 months of age.
Michael K A Bennett-BCCSDip.HthNut