Socialization & Exercise

The number one thing you can do for your dog to make him a happy, healthy member of your family is to ensure he receives adequate exercise on a daily basis. Regular exercise improves muscle tone, joint flexibility, digestion and cardiovascular fitness. It also helps to prevent obesity, which has been linked to numerous health issues. There are two forms of exercise: physical and mental. Physical exercise is designed to burn pure energy. Mental exercise involves play using games and puzzles that are designed to stimulate your dog's brain. Both are equally important and should not be overlooked. Most dog breeds were designed to work for a living and that means honoring their heritage with various outlets.

Examples of mental and physical exercise:

  • Brisk 30-60 minute walk twice a day (will vary depending on your dog's ability)
  • 30 minutes of ball or Frisbee retrieving
  • Puzzle toys
  • Obedience training done two or three times a day for 5-10 minutes each session
  • Hiking through the woods
  • Jogging (due to the stress on their legs this is not appropriate for immature dogs, please consult your vet if you are unsure)
  • Hide and Seek

The second best thing you can do for your dog or new puppy is to properly socialize him. A well socialized dog can go almost anywhere with you and be a great traveling companion. In contrast, a dog who receives minimal exposure to things outside of the home can be very hard to live with and embarrassing to take out in public. Socializing will involve exposing your dog to all ages and sizes of people, a variety of dog-friendly dogs and possibly other animals. You should also include a variety of sights, sounds, and smells too. From different walking surfaces, and food bowls, to appliances and places, everything you introduce your dog to will enrich his life.

  • Go to the park
  • Utilize fenced dog parks for off leash play
  • Teach your dog to Sit when greeting people
  • Arrange play dates with well-mannered dogs
  • Invite dog-savvy children to visit
  • Teach him to use stairs even if there are none at your home