Dogs require exercise for many reasons other than keeping their weight down and keeping trim. Many problem behaviours associated with dogs can be helped just by providing a variety of exercise. Walking is a structured exercise and should be scheduled each day to maintain your dogs activity and fitness levels, but for boredom and frustration which can lead to behavioural problems you should fit in extra activity.
Some of the problems associated with a lack of exercise and stimulation are being destructive, barking, aggression and chewing. Any dog which is bored becomes frustrated, which in turn will manifest itself in a variety of undesirable behaviours. To imagine how your dog feels shut yourself in a room first thing in the morning, allow yourself one visit to the bathroom prior to this and spend at least six hours in the room alone and without outside stimulation. Go to the bathroom after six hours and maybe go into the garden for ten minutes and then straight back inside the room, all alone. Try repeating this daily and see how you feel-would you become a little crazy?
Trying to fit in adequate exercise for your dog is difficult when you have work, children and a house to look after but with a few simple changes it can be managed. One of the first options is not to have a dog-if you don’t have adequate time for a dog then don’t get one. They require time and patience to grow and function properly, so please think carefully. If you have a dog try to walk him for at least twenty minutes twice a day during the week as a minimum.
Combine this with some play in the garden or play with toys with him. Chew toys or toys stuffed with food are great boredom breakers. At the weekend take your dog out for a longer walk to vary his routine and surroundings. Taking a ball will provide extra exercise and play time.
The amount of exercise and walking will depend upon the age and fitness levels of your dog. If you have a dog which is older or is overweight or has a pre existing condition then you should take it steady with gentle walks although regularly. Seek the advice of your vet if you are at all unsure.
Deciding how much exercise is enough for your dog is a complex issue and depends upon a variety of factors. However, if your dog is displaying signs of boredom or frustration then even the minimum time walking each day will help.