Mr. N can be a (minor) menace when he is not exercised enough. He has never gotten to the stage where he’s chewing the walls (plus he probably thinks walls taste gross) but I can tell that he gets reactive faster, is slower to listen and harder to train. His brain just isn’t all there.
I have some stitches in my leg from a minor surgery and was placed on exercise restriction. No squatting, carrying anything heavy (Mr. N just barely squeaks through the weight restrictions. I told him he’s not allowed to gain any weight if he still wants to be picked up!) and no running.
So Mr. N wasn’t getting as much regular exercise. Walks were shorter and he is used to semi-regular off-leash time which he wasn’t getting. I let him go chase a squirrel and he was very slow to come back. Normally his recall is snappy and a thing of beauty. Walked dogs definitely train better and listen better!
Walked Dogs Train Better
If you’re looking to add some spice to walks or need something to wear your dog out faster, here’s what we do.
Walk New Places
If I’m going anywhere remotely dog-friendly, I bring Mr. N with me. As a result, he’s been all over the city. He enjoys exploring and seeing new sights and smelling new scents. We’ve even run into the Unipiper once. Mr. N thought he was strange but whatever.
Add in Tricks
Mr. N is always doing tricks of some sort or another to keep his brain occupied and amuse me and the general populace. Not to mention he loves showing off. "Dance" and "high five" are always popular. Other stationary tricks include “speak,” “wave,” “sit pretty,” “touch” and “pray.”
When you’re Mr. N’s size, the whole world is an obstacle course. But even if you have a bigger dog, there’s plenty of things you can do. I have Mr. N jump on and off stumps, logs, and stairs. He likes to jump over grates and put four paws on anything that holds his weight. Then he expects his photo taken.
While he will never be a herding dog, Mr. N does know directional cues. He knows “left,” “right,” “straight,” “around” and “over.” He also vaguely knows “under” but he so seldom has to use it that he probably needs brushing up on that cue. So I’ll give him directions sometimes while we walk which makes him think especially when we’re not going a way that he expects. He also knows “run” which is useful in an urban setting when we need to make it across the street in a speedy fashion.
Pose for Photos
Photo taking can be the ultimate exercise in the 3 D’s. Distance, duration and distraction. There’s always other people, dogs and squirrels as a distraction. And you want them to hold the pose until you get the right shot for duration. And sometimes the right shot is twenty feet away and you want them to hold their stay.
Do you think walked dogs train better? Do you notice a difference in your dogs when they don’t get enough exercise?
Welcome to First Monday’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Tenacious Little Terrier, Travels with Barley and Wag ‘n Woof Pets. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below. Our theme for this month is exercise and training but any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long.
*If you buy from the Amazon links listed on this blog, it won’t cost you extra but we will get a few pennies that go towards running the blog and Mr. N’s treat allowance!