Monday, July 21, 2014
There are many things I am learning about "parenting" a dog and I really find that the most important things have been boundaries, consistency and exercise. I never realized how much exercise dogs need until I saw how much energy our dog has when we wake up in the morning or let her out of the crate in the afternoon. I grew up in a family of mostly small dogs, 25lbs or less, who do not necessarily need much exercise or playing to tire themselves out. All of that has changed since Daisy, the 38lbs lap dog came into our lives.
There are some afternoons when I let her out of the crate that she runs laps in our mediocre size yard at the speed of what seems like a cheetah. It could be just puppy spurts, but she looks like a maniac. Regardless, I don't always feel like it is enough.
As my husband and I have started to get into running, we have decided to turn some of our walks with Daisy into runs. The first few times we were hesitant as we weren't sure if she could keep up or how long she would last. My first run with her was two weeks ago and man can she run! For our first mile I had to keep up with her, and the second mile she had to keep up with me.
We have recently been enforcing "heel" in our training and she's getting really great at it which is making our walks and runs much easier. Our furthest distance so far is 3 miles. I hope she can keep up with our endurance as we gain our miles!
As a side note, since Daisy is a rescue dog, we have thought some of her behavior has shown a sense of anxiety. We're not positive about it, and we are doing things to avoid it, but it can be difficult for animal to really express themselves. I have recently read that longer walks and more exercise helps with anxiety in dogs, not only because it tires them out, but because it clears their mind the way exercise does for humans! Neat, huh?
Here she is after our first run together. We were both tired. It was a hazy, hot and humid afternoon.