I attend a yoga class, once a week. There, we learn to use our muscles in order to attain--well, I haven't learned what, yet, but I hope to learn, soon. The point is, it feels good and calms me down! And moderate exercise can help your dog to calm down, too!
The first step in any exercise program is to check with the doctor—in this case, your veterinarian—to make sure your dog is physically fit enough for increased activity. After your dog receives a clean bill of health you can take him to one of the wonderful parks South Jersey has to offer. A good one is Timber Creek Park, located in Blackwood. Another is Freedom Park in Medford, where there is lots of room to let Fido off-leash so he can mingle and run, unencumbered.
As long as he is dog-friendly and shows no signs of aggression he will have the time of his life! Gloucester City has some lovely areas where you can meet and greet others out for a walk and we also boast many dog-friendly shops along Broadway and King Street. Or, plan a play-date with friends that have compatible canines and rotate among those that have fenced-in yards.
If you are not so adventurous there is the TGIF Exercise Plan, one of my favorites. To participate, gather up these essential ingredients: 1 lawn chair, 1 laser pointer, 1 Margarita. Place the lawn chair in the middle of your yard on a Friday night, be seated, hold the Margarita in your hand, shine the laser pointer all over the yard, take a sip, and watch Fido chase the light. Repeat.
You can also construct some awesome agility equipment at little or no cost. An empty refrigerator box picked from your neighbor’s trash makes a great tunnel! Two coffee cans with a broomstick between them makes a great hurdle! You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to equipment that will give your dog mental and physical exercise! More importantly you will be increasing the bond you already have with your best buddy.
When your dog has had his fill of running with the hounds it’s time to take him home. Make sure he is hydrated and give him the opportunity to curl up undisturbed. You will find that he is much less likely to chew the furniture, bark at passers-by, and generally display attention-seeking behaviors when he has had an hour or so of exercise. And, if you are an active participant, you will surely feel the benefits of fresh air and steady walking, unless of course you use only the TGIF method. Then you will probably just have a Saturday Morning Headache.
Next week’s topic will deal with structuring a multi-pet family, effectively. Cleary’s Notebook welcomes your comments!
As always, you can reach me via email at Brotherofthewolf@comcast.net or by calling me at 856-981-8957. Brother of the Wolf offers natural training for exceptional dogs.
Wado udohiyu, (thank you so much in the Cherokee language)
Dawn Watson, owner of Brother of the Wolf, LLC
Pictured: Cheyenne, a proud graduate of Call of the Wild Adventure class, poses with her owner, Fran Watson