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Dog lovers!! How to exercise with


Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Introducing Lily and Cricket, my two "problem" dogs that I would LOVE to work out with...if I could!! I was wondering if anyone had any tips, tricks, or experience with "problem" dogs, or if anyone knew any games I could play with them that would also double as exercise for their human. aka me!!
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NIFFERNOOT 11/7/2010 11:40AM

    Hi there, TXCrickeyBug. My first time here and I just had to respond to this blog because I feel like I've been in a similar situation with my dogs.

Lily looks quite a bit like my Jack Russell. I have two dogs, a jack russell (10ish years old) and a 100-pound golden retriever. They are both problem dogs in their own right. I can really identify with your problems.

I walk them everyday for 45 to 60 minutes now but at first I HATED walking the big golden (he was my fiances dog...now he's more mine). I have kind of found a happy medium with the dogs but it hasn't been easy and is still be a work in progress.

Here is what I found works for me:

ROUTINE. I walk them everyday, the same route, about the same time of day. This way they know what I expect of them at every turn. The first part of our walk is on city streets, so they have to heel but they know that when we get to the big open field and trails, they'll get to run free. They also know that near the end of the trail, I expect them to come when called (the golden is not good at this) so that they can have a treat and get their leashes reattached. I know which houses have dogs, and where we might run into problems.

I think it's really, really important to walk dogs at least once per day. Just last week I was sick and my dogs didn't get walked for two days (they have a yard, but that's just not the same). When I finally felt well enough to walk them, they were so full of beans that they were harder than usual to control. A tired dog is a good dog.

I'm not a fan of dog parks...too many dogs, too much excitement, too hard to control my dogs. The jack doesn't like other dogs and the golden, while he usually likes other dogs, is very big - and there was an incident when he started a scary fight. Now he only gets to play with one or two dogs at a time, if I know the dog and if the owner is right there to watch that dog. I am very alert to any signs that he or the other dog might be aggressive....the moment I notice a lowered tail or fur on end, the leash goes back on and he gets reeled in.

If you think it's painful to have a 40-lb dog pull your arm, try a 100-lb dog. I'm 120lbs and, unfortunately, not as muscular as the dog. Two things: A LEAD! Your dog may hate it at first, but these can work miracles. Any small pet shop should be able to find one to fit and show you how to use it. It biting is really a concern, there might be something that functions more as a muzzle+lead. I know Cricket may not like it at first but if she comes to associate it with going for a walk, she might do what my golden does: he hated it at first but now he pushes his nose into it to help me put it on him.

Secondly, I wrap the big dog's leash around my back (not all the way around me, just around my back). This way, I can lean my whole body into it if I need to pull him back. This is the only way that I have kept my shoulder from dislocating when he sees a squirrel/cat/paper bag blowing in the wind....

Would a cage-type muzzle be an option for Lily? The kind that doesn't keep her from closing her jaws but will keep her from eating toads? At 10 years of age she's not likely to be learning any new tricks (like "leave it"!) Again, she might hate the muzzle at first but will probably get used to it quickly.

Just like parenting, people will give you all sorts of advice and yes, sometimes make you feel like a bad "pet parent". Every dog is different, though, and not all of them respond to the same training. My two dogs are as different as night and day. The dog whisperer makes it all look so much easier than it really is....

That is so cool that you can use the ChuckIt with your dog. Unfortunately, my retriever doesn't retrieve unless he's swimming! We do have some pretty good tug-o-wars, though...there's an an arm workout in that!

Sorry if this is long winded but I hope it helps.



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ANGELHOPE69 11/6/2010 11:46PM

    I agree with Miabellaluna.....The dog whisper is awesome.....you could practice in the home or in the car lot before you go to the park.....Its fantastic that you want to exercise with your dogs....my coco is my motivation and workout partner! She even copies me when i am doing yoga!

emoticon Good luck

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MIBELLALUNA 11/4/2010 10:12AM

    DOG WHISPERER TECHNIQUES!! We rescued, rehabbed and rehomed more dogs then I can tell you and I am solidly in agreement with his techniques and recommendations. You MUST have alpha dog status before your aggressive dog will give up his role. It's a giant pain in the butt but you must make them walk behind you (just by a paw or two) before they 'get it' that you are in control and calling the shots. It takes us about 15 minutes of stopping and changing direction and such before my dogs (who aren't walked enough , admittedly) 'remember' that they have to follow me, not drag me, if they want to move. It's the first, most crucial step to gaining control over them. While walking them on a leash isn't usually enough exercise for them, jogging would be. Or do you have a treadmill? I've always wanted to try Cesar's technique of getting a dog to walk on one for exercise, maybe try that?

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ALANAF_27 11/4/2010 12:21AM

    Cute dogs! I gave up on my dog a long time ago! He is very old now (16) but before I would take him for a walk but about 15minutes in he would sit down and refuse to go anymore, not even home. So I'd have to carry him home! Sounds like you've tried a lot of different things! Good luck!

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JESSASAURUSFLEX 11/3/2010 8:38PM

    That thing is super cool! My coworker would LOVE it!
Cute pooch

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