The value of exercise…in dogs

April 17, 2011 § 3 Comments

I am looking at two dogs that have mastered a convincing portrayal of death. They are both utterly passed-out in the living room–Annie doesn’t seem to notice when a cat meanders by; Milton rests facing the back door, an attempt at guarding the domain.

What brought them to this state?

Why, a fun-filled, action-packed day with their favorite doggy pals at A and R’s house!

At the house, there were not two, not three, but six furry friends to chase, tackle, and sniff in the backyard-o-joy. All six dogs were of varying sizes and ages (Milton and little Ali were the oldest while newbie Digby brought up the rear at eleven weeks). In between were Tana, Lucy, and Annie (who, by the way, just turned eleven months yesterday).

What I have noticed after my two rambunctious monsters make their way back home is that after a day in the backyard-o-joy (or even the house-o-joy, Milt and Annie are not prejudiced when it comes to spending time with Ali, Tana, and Lucy) is that they utterly collapse. If they could melt through the floor, I’m sure they would.

Yes, exercise is beneficial to the physical health of a dog. That is undeniable–exercise is beneficial to the physical health of any creature.

But I love that I have observed a difference in the benefit of exercise between cats and dogs: in cats, it’s mostly for physical health and socializing. In dogs, it’s about physical health, socializing, emotional health, and submission. Milton, for instance, is in training for his food “aggression.” (Quotation marks because he has never actually bitten anyone, but he sure as hell has threatened me.) We’ve been working on a new regime over the past couple of weeks, and some days are hit or miss. This evening though? Dinner went by in a breeze because Milt was too exhausted to fight. It was beautiful.

If only we had a fenced-in yard, they’d spend a great deal more time outside running around.

One day guys, I promise. We will move, and you will have a fence. That is a promise.

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§ 3 Responses to The value of exercise…in dogs

  • How fun that the dogs got a day outdoors. Ours spent most the afternoon outside and loved it, too. The weather was gorgeous here in Kentucky!

  • jacquelincangro says:

    So many dog behavioral problems can be helped with regular exercise. They need to burn energy just like kids do. It sounds like your dogs really benefited and had a great time to boot!

  • Jack says:

    I ❤ our 8 ft. privacy-fenced backyard with securely locked gates! Our dogs spend most of their time outside (when we're home and when the weather is nice.) One of the reasons why our dog was given up by its former owners is that she is "very hyper." If only they had taken her off the rocket fuel they were free-feeding her and took her to do more outside things! (I'm glad they didn't, or we wouldn't have had the opportunity to adopt her!)

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