Your dog is happiest with daily exercise and socialization
Why are play and exercise important?
Play with other friendly dogs not only provides a dog with its exercise requirements, but also helps to meet social needs. Every dog needs to have regular playtime with other canines so they remain friendly to their own species. Insufficient exercise and social attention can contribute to problem behaviors including chewing, digging, garbage raiding, hyperactivity, excitability, attention-seeking behaviors, and even some forms of barking.
Without daily exercise and social attention, pent-up energy will find a way out! This applies to ALL dogs, lap dogs included. It’s especially true for hunting dogs, herding breeds, and working breeds of all types. If you have a hunting dog that doesn’t get to hunt (a few times a week, not three or four times a year) you can expect behavior problems.
How much exercise does my dog need?
Have you ever seen a herding breed dog herd sheep or cattle? Those dogs are bred to run 20 miles a day and be fully engaged mentally the entire time they are doing it! It’s impossible to get a herding breed dog enough exercise if you don’t own a sheep ranch! The best you can do is go to the dog park at least once a day.
For most dogs, a half-hour walk per day is simply not enough exercise. Not even close. Ever taken your dog out for a half-hour, only to come home and have her sprint around the house? Those of you with dogs that can go, go, go for hours know exactly what this looks like. A half-hour walk is just a warm up. The dog enjoys a half-hour walk, but it’s not going to make the dog tired.
For a lot of dogs, a 30-minute run does nothing to tire them out. In most cases, it’s just enough to get the dogs hyped up. Even if you go for an hour bike ride or run with your dog, he might plop down for 20 minutes afterward or even an hour, but then he’d be right back to bouncing off the walls.
To be challenged both physically and mentally at the same time, your dog needs to run full speed and chase other dogs and be chased by other dogs. Other dogs can challenge your dog in ways that you can’t. If you go to an off-leash dog park for an hour, once your dog is comfortable enough to run and chase and play with the other dogs, we guarantee that your dog is going to come home and plop down for three hours and won’t move!
That’s because it’s not just physical like running or riding a bike. It’s both physical and mental at the same time and that’s ten times more effective! It’s like playing a long game of chess while running up a hill!