By Sara B. Hansen
For some dogs, daily walks just aren’t enough. Get creative with canine fitness and find new fun ways to challenge your dog to keep her healthy and strong.
Different activities will not only give dogs the exercise that they need, but can also train them in specific aspects, such as agility and obedience. And the best part trying new activities can offer more opportunities to bond with your pet.
Two years ago, I started taking my dog Sydney to agility training. It’s been a great experience for both of us. She loves our instructor and enjoys running through tunnels, jumping through tires and zipping through the weave polls.
Not only does she get extra exercise, the classes have helped us have an even better relationship. She’s always been well behaved, but now we’re much more in tune. She anticipates what I’ll want and she listens like a champ. The experience has also made my formerly very shy dog a lot more confident and assertive. She’s much better at meeting new people and dogs. And where before she was very rigid and only wanted to take one or two routes when we walked, now she’s ready to explore and we’ve wandered down most of the streets in our neighborhood.
When choosing an exercise option, consider your dog’s breed, age and overall fitness. Never push your dog to do too much too soon. Let your pup’s reaction be your guide.
So experiment with some fun canine fitness options. Try anything and everything from treibball to canicross or surfing and dog diving. Find the activity that’s right for you and your dog.
Sara B. Hansen has spent the past 20-plus years as a professional editor and writer. She decided to create her own dream job by launching Dog’s Best Life. She grew up with family dogs and since she bought her first house, she’s had a furry companion or two to help make it a home. She currently shares her heart and home with Sydney, an Australian Shepherd-Corgi mix. You can reach Sara @ [email protected].