Excercising For Dogs

Exercising for your dogs should ideally be at the same time every day. Regular habits are quickly formed and a dog will look forward to his daily outing and settle down contentedly afterwards.

I do not feel that one can definitely say exactly how far or how long exercising should take, as it entirely depends on the circumstances under which the dogs are kept.

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A very large proportion of dog breeders who only keep a small number of dogs do not have the facilities for exercising on their own premises, in which case they must be walked on a lead or taken to a park or field. If possible the dogs should have some freedom to run. Obviously the less freedom they have at home the further they must be walked. Unfortunately far too many dogs do not get enough free exercise to stretch their legs and train and develop their muscles. I know that walking is a tremendous help in that it tightens feet, strengthens pasterns and generally helps to tighten up the muscles; even so experts believe that the average person can not walk fast enough to really do a lot of good without some free ranging as well. A bicycle is excellent for exercising dogs but unfortunately in these days it is not very practical owing to increased traffic and owner and dog safety. I know people that a few years ago would cycle daily with five or six dogs loose. You can regulate your speed so that the dogs step out at a really good quick walk, not a gallop. Of all methods I think this is the most beneficial unless you are fortunate enough to be able to exercise them on horseback. However, these methods are only recommended to those people who are sufficiently isolated for it to be safe from traffic.

I am sure that during the winter in particular many dogs suffer by being confined to house or kennel whilst the owners are at work and probably do not return until dark. It is not sufficient to take them for long and exhausting walks at the week-ends and leave them shut up in small runs all the week. It is the regularity not the distance which is key.

I believe that we should see far better movement in the ring if exercising were taken more seriously. Puppies should be included at about five months onward. I repeat that a marathon is not necessary and certainly not for puppies. In the case of puppies if you have plenty of space and a fenced in field you may not need to do more than let them romp around at will. Even so I find that they are apt to return to the kennels if not actually accompanied and wait for someone to go with them. Personally I enjoy the pleasure of taking them loose across the fields every morning.