Rocky’s Viewpoint

Rockys Viewpoint

A blog for people who treat their dogs better than family

Modern Dogs – Couch Potatoes?

Believe it or not, dogs are born to work. With a few exceptions, most are bred for a particular working purpose, such as herding, guarding, or pulling carts. dog sleeping on couch web sized

So what’s the predominant job our dogs do now?  You got it – couch potato.  They no longer have to earn their keep.  We love them and give them everything they need to survive.  But in general, our dogs are confined, alone, and inactive for most of the day.  This sedentary life in most cases is the norm and our dogs have adjusted to it.  However, this inability to release their naturally active tendencies, both physical and mental, can lead to the development of behavioral problems.  Because our dogs don’t work anymore, the opportunities for exercise are minimized.  Some pet parents may think the since their dog has access to the backyard, they will run around and release energy.  Wrong – they’re just home on the couch waiting for you.  It’s the interaction with you that is important to them. Some pet parents send their dogs to daycare so they can be social, get mentally stimulated and get exercise.  However, do they really get the mental stimulation and exercise they need? Studies show oftentimes not.

Dogs are like kids – if you don’t give them something constructive to do, they’ll find something themselves and it may not be to your liking.

 We need to get our dogs off the couch.  Exercise provides numerous benefits for your dog.  It supports their physical, mental, and emotional health.  When determining what type of exercise activity is best for your dog, you should consider his size, breed, and age.  Most dogs get huge benefit from daily aerobic exercise, activities that make him/her pant.  For example, long brisk walks, jogging, swimming, playing fetch, agility, etc.  Activities should suit your dog’s personality and natural interests.   Finding activities that work for you and your dog are the most enjoyable.  Experiment and figure it out together! You’ll be glad you did!