Tag: dog exercise needs by breed

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Pet Health

Dog Exercise Equipments

Author: Taylor Ritz

What is dog exercise equipment? What is it for? How do I know if my dog needs it? We all want what’s best for our dogs, but with all of the marketing ploys out there, it can be difficult to ascertain what our dogs actually need to live their happiest and healthiest lives. We will discuss several types of dog exercise equipment, including what dogs benefit from them and in what conditions and situations they are best used.

Why do dogs need exercise equipment?

Exercise equipment can be useful in certain conditions. No matter what time of year it is, your dog needs regular exercise to stay healthy. If you live in a climate with harsh winters and have a dog that does not thrive in cold weather, you may need to exercise them indoors. Exercise equipment made specifically for dogs can help you maintain your dog’s health even in the dead of winter, all from the comfort of your home.

Types of Dog Exercise Equipment

Here are just a few of the myriad types of exercise equipment for dogs.

Indoor Ball Launcher

Multiple companies make ball launchers made for indoor use. Many have customizable settings regarding angle and distance so you can make sure the ball launcher doesn’t destroy your home. Once your dog gets the hang of bringing the ball back to the launcher, they will be able to keep themselves entertained while also getting a good workout. Indoor ball launchers are most effectively used for smaller breeds that can run through the house without destroying it.

Balance Disks

Also called wobble disks, balance disks are used to train core strength in both humans and dogs. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes but they all have one thing in common: they wobble! Balance disks teach body awareness, especially foot placement, and are great winter alternatives to (and training for) activities that require balance, such as hiking. Balance disks can be great workout equipment for almost any breed or type of dog.

Treadmill

While dogs can be taught to use a regular human treadmill, there are also dog-specific treadmills out there. These are often built with sidewalls that are better suited to keeping your dog safe while using the machine. Treadmills are not only beneficial for high-energy dogs that need vast amounts of exercise, but also for dogs who require some sort of physical rehabilitation or physical therapy.

Indoor Obstacle Course

Great for beginner and experienced agility dogs alike, indoor obstacle courses can facilitate agility training, even in the middle of winter. Most affordable beginners’ kits come with a minimum of a jump, a tunnel, and weave poles. Even if your dog is an experienced agility competitor, the indoor obstacle course can be a great way to keep up their training when the weather prevents them from accessing the larger outdoor courses.

 

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Pet Health

Best Dog Exercises By Breed

Author: Taylor Ritz

The individual exercise needs of a dog are extremely variable and dependent on multiple factors. That being said, the breed of your dog can provide some indication of how much and what kind of exercise will best suit your canine companion. Here are a few considerations for exercise based on breed.

Types of Exercise By Breed

While not a perfect rule, your dog’s breed (or their mix of breeds) may indicate what types of exercise are best for them. Here are a few guidelines for what exercises may be best for your dog.

What job was your dog breed for?

Is your dog a herding breed like a border collie? Or a ratter like many terriers? There are numerous activities and sports that can imitate the job your dog’s breed what created to do. Here are just a few.

Herding Breeds

Herding breeds such as Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, and Border Collies want, and even need, a job to do. These dogs are quick and agile, bred to herd animals over long distances. As a result, they have quite a bit of energy to burn and the endurance to maintain high energy levels for long periods of time. In some areas, herding classes and competitions are held where your dog can do exactly what they were bred for. Agility, where contestants navigate a series of obstacles at high speeds, is another great activity for herding breeds.

Terriers

Most terrier breeds were bred to sniff out and dig problematic prey out of underground burrows. To imitate this job, a sport called “Earthdogging” was born. Earthdogging entails dogs navigating a maze of tunnels constructed underground in order to reach their “prey.” The prey is safe from contact with the dog but still simulates the hunt.

Working Breeds

Working breeds spans a myriad of types of dogs and the equally numerous jobs for which they were bred. The group includes sled dogs like the Alaskan Malamute and cart dogs like the Bernese Mountain Dog. To create a job for these powerhouse breeds, consider engaging in activities similar to what their breed was created to do. If you live in an area that enables sledding, have your dog pull a small sled. Similarly, a cart dog could easily pull a cart. If you have one of these breeds but do not have access to sleds and carts, consider simply taking your dog on hikes while wearing a backpack.

Hounds

Members of the hound category are renowned for their keen senses. Scent hounds like the Beagle and Bloodhound can participate in scent work classes and competitions, where they put their impressive noses to the test. Sighthounds like the Greyhound and Afghan Hound can attend competitions and races with “lure coursing,” where dogs chase a mechanically-operated lure to simulate a hunt chase.

Retrievers

Retrievers, pointers, setters, spaniels, and some poodles were bred to find and retrieve small game. If you don’t plan to use your retrieving dog for actual hunting, consider a sport or competition that simulates these activities. Sports such as dock diving, where dogs jump long distances off a dock into the water after a toy, and disc dog, an ultimate frisbee endeavor, allow your dog to pursue their love of retrieval.

No matter what breed or mix your dog is, there are plenty of stimulating exercise opportunities available. In the end, a stimulated dog will be a tired dog, and a tired dog will be a better-behaved dog. So do some research into the purpose of your dog’s breed and find out what activities are available in your area. Your dog will thank you!