Variety is the spice of life, and just like us, puppies and dogs will get bored doing the same thing day in day out. You will soon learn that there are certain types of games that your dog enjoys more than others – often this will relate to his breed, and what “type” of dog he is.
See if you recognise your dog here:
The Ball Hog – is obsessed with fetching and chasing just about anything. Often come from breeds that work with their mouth, such as retrievers and gun dogs.
The Athlete – has endless energy to burn – will run all day. Often dogs from herding or hunting breeds
The Nose Dog – loves nothing more than following his nose around and around. Often from breeds used to track scent, such as hounds, beagles
The Couch Potato – is the master of the “do we have to?” look, just love sitting in front of the fire Examples include greyhounds, basset hounds, and bulldog.
The Diggy Dog – just loves to dig and dig. Often also like to chase small animals, usually breeds such as terriers, or the dachshund.
The Smart Cookie – bored easily and loves to learn new things. Often from a breed used to performing work, such as herding livestock
This week we will feature The Athlete. Watch for the next one next week or let us know which one you like to see next.
In general, dogs love to have a morning and evening exercise session, with at least one session being dedicated to aerobic exercise. This is best performed in a fenced (safe) off lead area and can include running or playing with other dogs, swimming, playing fetch etc. If there is no safe area where your dog can be off lead, running beside a jogger or cycler are also good aerobic exercises for dogs. (But remember, as mentioned earlier, not for puppies!) Always ensure your dog is safe from traffic if biking or rollerblading with him.
You can even train a dog to run on a treadmill if he is confined to an apartment or small house. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, which will have health benefits for your dog as well as have a calming effect on his behaviour.
Loves high energy games, running and always looking for new things to do.
May be from a breed that was originally bred for high-energy jobs, such as hunting or herding. Examples include Vizslas, German Shorthaired Pointers, Australian Shepherds.
Lets your dog run to his heart content. Ensure that you get a Frisbee designed just for dogs, with padded edges that will not injure his mouth. You can even join a club or compete with other dogs! Frisbee dog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp9OcGPufEc&feature=related
This combines athletic activity with obedience work, and is ideal for intelligent athletes. Dogs follow courses that go over, under, around and through various obstacles, and can work up to competition level depending on your level of motivation. Many clubs are available to help you get started and practice at agility.
This activity combines a hurdle race with retrieving a ball – see below for a great Aussie example:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXeqzwz75Is&feature=related
This is basically dancing with your dog! This is an organised sport, and competitions are held all over the world, or you can keep it between you and your dog if you prefer…Freestyle demonstration:www.youtube.com watch?v=sQFEeeiTBqU
This is basically running cross country with your dog! Definitely for the runners out there.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ns_US6jrs4
This is a fun way to enjoy time with your active dog – all you need is a bike and a harness that attaches your dog to your bike! Your dog basically pulls you along. See the example below:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiC3Sbrrqf4
This is a competition event where dogs jump from a dock and the aim is to see which dog can jump the furthermost. Great for dogs that love to swim! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yqKpH2D8c
Other Good Games:
This game is just what it sounds like. Use a large ball and roll it gently towards your dog. Encourage him to “get it!” and praise him when he paws or noses it. He will soon get the hang of it!
Playing with doggy mates at the dog park will give him a great work out. You can also take your Frisbee, and run or bike to the park to incorporate other work outs into the fun!
For a variation on the theme during warm weather, a trip to your local dog beach (or river, pond etc) can also be loads of fun. Remember to take a floating throw toy, and always watch your dog doesn´t get out of his depth!
Let us know what other activity your Athlete like to do