Make Exercising Fun For Your Dog .

  1. Follow the Dog:

Try this twist for your daily walks. Instead of walking your dog, have your dog walk you. Wherever she goes, you go. Think of your dog as a four-legged, furry, walking GPS that isn’t letting you know where the final destination will be. You’ll be amazed where the nose will take the two of you.

  • Run With Your Dog:

Running with your dog is like multitasking — you and your four-legged athlete get to enjoy the great outdoors while increasing stamina and strengthen muscles. Dr. Lucy Spelman, renowned veterinarian, educator and author on domestic and wildlife animals, agrees that running with your dog is a great activity with one caveat- Remember it’s your dog’s outing. You should be willing to stop when the dog wants to stop – to sniff and greet other dogs and people – even if that slows you down.

  • Let Your Dog Track:

Not all dogs are tracking breeds, but just about any dog can participate in the sport of tracking, a competitive event for dogs and handlers. A scent trail is laid out hours before competition. Once the trail has “aged” dogs, with the encouragement of their owners, begin the work of finding an object at the end of the trail.

  • Play Fetch:

A simple game of fetch can be all that is needed for your dog’s daily exercise fix. Fetch is easy to squeeze into busy schedules, as there is no need to travel far to fit in a game. A close-by park or backyard works great and on rainy days, fetch can be an indoor sport, played from the comfort of your couch.

  • Exercise Their Brain:

Don’t forget to exercise your dog’s brain. After puppyhood and the basic obedience commands have been taught, cognitive challenges tend to drop off. Find some silly, fun behavior to teach your dog, like high fiving or bowing on command or go for more advanced behaviors such as emergency down or command by hand signals.

  • Go to Your Local Park:

Getting a little tired of walking through your own neighborhood everyday? Make your walk more fun for you and your dog by taking a trip to your local park. Exploring a new trail will give you plenty of pretty scenery to check out, and your dog will be thrilled by the ride alone, let alone all those new sights and smells.

Give regular rewards at your knee

  • Give Regular Rewards At Your Knee:

Pick a marker on the street — something you’re sure to see at least once every hundred meters, like a tree or a car bumper. When you get to the marker, if your leash is loose and your dog is paying attention to you, mark the moment with a click or a “Yes!” and then give a treat at your knee or on the ground near your foot. Rewarding in these spots will encourage your dog to default to being near those areas when walking. Start out with a marker you’re sure to see at least a few times per block: Cracks in the pavement or fire hydrants or store awnings. Later on, you can pick something slightly less common, like treating at every Starbucks.

  • Encourage Sniffing:

It is hard for humans to even begin to comprehend what a dog’s sense of smell is like. It’s thought to be as much as 10,000 times better than ours. Needless to say, this means that smells are incredibly important to them. So, when your dog stops to sniff yet another lamp post, let him have a moment to really fully enjoy it. Think of pee as a dog’s way of communicating with other canines in the neighborhood. It’s like he’s checking Facebook. It’s his pee-mail. The information he’s taking in is a lot for a doggie brain to process, but that’s a good thing. Wouldn’t you rather he fatigue himself trying to comprehend the vintage of a particularly stinky specimen on a fire hydrant than use that same energy to redesign your sofa pillows?

  • Rev it Up:

When you are health focused and in good condition, or are trying to challenge yourself and your dog to get more fit, rev up the walks. Alternate your pace from slow to quick dog and if you can, add a little jogging to the mix. The quicker pace will allow your dog to stretch their muscles, increase their heart beat, and help burn excess energy.

  1. Explore New Scenery:

Is the old suburban track getting a little bland? Pack up the car in search of a new dog walking circuit! From coastline tracks to wetland boardwalks, from designated dog parks to bush trails, a new scenic walk is likely to be a hop, skip and jump from home base. Set a new circuit to explore once a week and create a new tradition. Alternatively, jump onto your bikes and discover a local cycling track or go at night to mix things up. Exploring your local area can be just as beneficial for your kids as it is for your pets.

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