Exercise; seeking the balance

With our busy lifestyles today; many dogs do not get enough exercise. Many behavior issues can arise from a lack of exercise for our pooches. As the canine conscious guardians seek out ways to get their dogs exercise requirements met; they may go overboard. Can one over exercise their dog? Yes. I've seen it often in the high energy breeds; Labradors, Siberians, Setters and mixes. Owners who never miss a day at the park; they arrive at 6:00 and don't leave until after 9:00. That is a lot of running and stimulation.

As with runners who become addicted to running; there is a snowball effect. The more you run the more you need to run to feel the exercise satisfaction. When you exercise your dog to extreme; it is important to allow their body to heal. Like our own body; exercise is great but recovery time is essential. Vast amounts of exercise without time to recover can be damaging to the body. Over exercising can actually become an issue of its own. A dog can become accustom to expelling monumental amounts of energy on a daily basis so that they crave more and more to reach a relaxed state.

Along with too much wear and tear on the body; a dog can become overstimulated mentally. Dogs need down time; it is a time when they can fully relax and recuperate. Just like over exercising the body a dog's mind can be over stimulated. Dogs that become adapted to high levels of continuous mental stimulation may be easily agitated by a lack of or lower level of external stimuli.

It is a balancing act; finding the perfect amount that satisfies but does not over stimulate both mentally and physically.

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