Back at it-exercise regime

Well; here we are, the first Monday of the New Year. So what better to start off the New Year with than our dogs? Being that it is Monday; my dogs have the day off and a much needed day off at that. They've been hard at it over the last couple of weeks and need a quiet down day; especially Luke. He's been hiking and jogging with Dad nearly every day and loving it I might add. But he's tired and from the look of him laying under the covers on the bed with me; he is in no hurry to get going.

While we're on the subject of exercise; how do you know how much is enough for your dog? There is no guideline for how much is enough for dogs; all dogs being different as well as their guardians, enough exercise is a personal thing. I like to see a dog who is relaxed at home; resting and chill so to speak. Pent up energy can wreak havoc on a dog, your relationship with your dog and even your home and belongings. I remember a dog that I use to see on a regular basis; the guardian was a runner and the breed of dog was a lab. Even at a young age this dog was in the park chasing after her ball that had been thrown clear across the field with a "chuck it." She was run to the point of exhaustion.

Some breeds are go getters; you know the dogs that will keep going until they drop. Tilley is a dog like this; although she has a nice "off" switch at home. In Tilley's younger years; there was never a point where she would stop chasing either a ball or frisbee. It was my job to know when she had had enough. I think the intensity of exercise plays a huge factor in how much is enough. Young dogs that are in good shape can pretty much go all day long; should they? If you are talking about a nice walking hike than sure. If you are planning on running your dog then you should cut the time down and if you are strictly power exercising with a ball, then cut it way down.

When a dog goes after a ball or frisbee it is typically with everything they have. There is alot of stress put onto their body. I've shot alot of dogs in action and when you can stop time and see the stress it is much easier to understand. And just like the runners who can't seem to get enough; you can cause a "need more" scenario with your dog as well. I believe all dogs need to be off leash and running but just as important is environmental stimulus; new things, new adventures. Even taking new routes each day help to stimulate a dogs brain; helping with the relaxation at home.

So more than just quantity is quality of exercise; don't just consider the body but factor in the mind as well.

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