What Do You Do For Daily Doggy-cise When You Can't Go Outside?

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by lizzyrd, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. lizzyrd Experienced Member

    I've really noticed a huge change in Chimera's behavior when I cannot get her outside for a walk. What do you do when you can't get the pups out? [IMG]
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  2. reveuse Well-Known Member

    Where I live it rains A LOT - from june to sept/oct it rains nearly every afternoon (dunno how it qualifies as the Sunshine State lol) and Ro requires a ton of exercise just to be moderately sane.

    On a rainy day we do a lot of mini indoor training sessions (tricks and obedience) , also the interactive puzzles are great (even tho he breezes through one in like 30 seconds at a go). , and we use his agility jump inside too! I have to finish building the second one so I can set up a little mini course in my living room - and my apartment is not big at all so its still doable if you dont have a ton of space. Also there is a sort of circle of running space around my couch and I often invite my neighbor/friend and her lab over and the dogs play while I get my own social time. --- it's just enough space for the lab to chase Ro without knocking into anything....

    If I am really itching to get out I will go to Petsmart (since it is literally a 2 minute drive) and practice training/manhunting/walking in the store.
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  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lots and lots and looooots of training. New tricks, old tricks, little bit of everything. Anything to get their brains working. If you really want to go somewhere, there are many dog-friendly INDOOR places you can go to.

    But mainly bad weather days are devoted to twice as much training as a normal day for me and my dogs. Plus Mud is still recovering from what is now mild storm phobia, so training gets her mind off of it.
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  4. lizzyrd Experienced Member

    Ewww sorry about her phobia. I have a friend who sedates her very large dog because he is afraid of storms. I can't imagine having to do that.

    I wish I could find a dog-friendly place that is indoor! I've been searching the internet, but the only place I have found so far is 2 hours away :( I am going to keep looking because I think I'd always prefer an indoor one to an outdoor one. Buddha is short and hairy so when we go to an outdoor dog park he always comes back with his stomach and legs caked in mud. And for some reason the big dogs always slobber all over his back and head. Its pretty gross.

    I'm in Indianapolis, IN...but if anyone knows of any here, please let me know! I joined a dog walking meet up group that takes long walks at state parks. Tomorrow is the first meeting since I joined. Hopefully its nice enough tomorrow to go, but maybe some people there will know of someplace.
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  5. shaktishiloh Well-Known Member

    One of the things we do (especially when it's very hot and humid outside - we're in Southwest Florida) is using the treadmill:

    All dogs here love the treadmill exercise and they get calm, relaxed and happy. It's good physical AND mental exercise.
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  6. reveuse Well-Known Member

    Ohhh you are nearby me then (southeast fla here!)........ [IMG]
  7. mewzard Experienced Member

    We do a little bit of training, tennis ball catching and chasing...or she sleeps - lol

    We are in the UK and rains ...well ....loads [IMG]
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  8. Jean Cote Administrator

    LOL I don't think my husky would like the treadmill... She gets bored very easily :) But it looks like an excellent way to exercise!!! Thank you for sharing!!!
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  9. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I got involved in the sport of Nosework with my dogs about 8 mos ago - they LOVE LOVE LOVE it, and it's great, because it's easy to do hides indoors, and searching really wears them out mentally. I'm on the central coast of Ca and we've gotten a lot of rain this winter. On Sat we did all our hides/searches indoors - I had tired and happy dogs when we were finished. I really didn't have time to do a long walk on Sun (just too much to do) so we did our Nosework outside - they got to work in the wind - and again, tired and happy when we were finished. Yea!!! [IMG]
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  10. sara Moderator

    I have this happen ALOT... as in the winter, it's often too cold to take out my wimpy mutts :) Mostly, I do alot of training, and free-shaping, as it exercises their minds. I also take my dogs in to Petsmart, for a little training. Amazingly, Oliver, my seriously high energy boy, is fine with this. A 15 min free-shaping session will knock him out cold for a couple of hours (his massive brain must take alot of energy to fuel! LOL)
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  11. lizzyrd Experienced Member

    I have a treadmill but Buddha hates it. I might try Chimera on it. I really like the idea of hide/search indoors. I never thought I'd have a use for teaching them this, but now that you mention it, it sounds like a great "game" like kids playing hide and seek.
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  12. Interloper Active Member

    We used to have a border collie and I enjoyed "walking in the rain with the one I love"d.
    W e walked and played for about 3 hours every day; but it got difficult for me when I became unwell.
    My husband would never walk him, so I was adamant that he should not get another border collie.
    He did - and I couldn't cope with walking / not walking the lively new dog.
    I bought a treadmill (husband aghast) and put him (dog) on it for 20 mins before we went out - burned off excess so I could cope.
    I put music on, and sat on a chair in front of the treadmill - so he could focus on me.
    I held a loose leash for safety's sake, and kept him entertained with daft noises and even sillier singalong.
    At the end he got a small treat, and then went on his big walk - rain or shine.
    The Dry Dog Bag was in frequent use.
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  13. shaktishiloh Well-Known Member

    Interloper - great job and great post!

    Here's my 2 cents...;)

    It's important to think about the GOAL of the activity and about the NEEDS of a dog. Dogs need physical exercise and that means that to be able to actually start burning calories and get good cardiovascular activity, a dog's heart rate needs to be elevated for 20 minutes of constant physical activity. Fetching a ball, tricks, obedience sessions, or any mental activities indoor are lots of fun, BUT they fulfill very different needs. Playing or practicing tricks does not equal proper physical exercise. Because the original post mentioned about inability to walk the dog, I suggested treadmill exercise because it is the closest activity that can mimic the regular walk (this is not to say that treadmill activity can replace a regular walk either - as it cannot, but it's a good option if a dog cannot be walked). Plus with a treadmill activity you can also control warming up and cooling down process. We also use the incline feature (so the dogs get to "climb the Florida mountains" ;)) - that provides them with additional challenge.
    Not everybody has a treadmill or has a place for it, so in that case other forms of exercising a dog are better than nothing, but it's still good to keep in mind that mental activity cannot replace proper physical exercise.

    With that said, any activity with a dog can be made interesting or boring. I've worked with retrievers bored with retrieving because it was done improperly, dogs that didn't enjoy walking because they had some bad experiences, etc. It is all up to the handler to know how to make it fun. Dogs can be bored with regular walks too (the walk can be monotonous, too slow, etc.). I have introduced a number of dogs of different breeds, energy levels, temperaments, sizes to a treadmill exercise (including the dogs that are much less willing to please in general and you really need to know how to motivate them) - they all learned how to have fun with it. We had dogs that enjoyed walking together with another dog (2 dogs on a treadmill at the same time - that's of course if a treadmill is big enough, if the dogs feel comfortable with each other and are very familiar with the treadmill already, and are supervised at all times) and I often jump on to keep a dog company too (plus it's good for me too :)) Just my 2 cents.;) We also had dogs that simply needed to lose a few pounds and also needed some physical conditioning. Again - this is something that mental activity cannot replace. It can be a great addition, but not a replacement.

    I live in Florida now so here we deal with heat, humidity and exercise dilemma. I also lived in very cold climate (rain, snow, harsh winters) and had a dog . In both situations my dogs always got their physical exercise on a regular basis because this is what THEY need whether I was still at school, college, working, whether it was raining, snowing or hot.

    Here's one of the articles I wrote about exercising a dog when it's really hot:

    I hope this helps.

    Here's our Chopper - the canine treadmill instructor :D teaching another dog how to use a treadmill:

    And here after "professor" Chopper's instructions a new treadmill user enjoying himself:
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  14. Jean Cote Administrator

    AWESOME videos! Just have a question ... how did you get them to love the treadmill? I'm thinking if I put my husky on one of those she's gonna be like ... yeah, you want me to do WHAT??? :) :) :)
    mewzard likes this.
  15. shaktishiloh Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jean! :)

    Very good question! I love dogs like Onyx - they make you think and they are great teachers. Nothing better than a good training challenge too. To answer your question: I guess it depends on many factors as every dog is an individual AND every dog owner is an individual too. The key is to make a positive association and not to rush a dog if he or she is not ready for something.

    Owner's attitude is very important. If we believe that our dogs will never learn something because (...insert the reason here...) then we'll accomplish exactly this - which is a dog never learning a certain skill. Of course I do not mean teaching a dog something that a dog is not capable of physically or if there are any medical reasons for a dog not to perform certain physical activity. If a dog can take a regular walk and there are no physical or medical problems, then a dog can also walk on a treadmill so it's only a matter of both owner's and dog's attitude.
    If we, on the other hand, think about how to overcome certain challenges (motivating a dog to learn to enjoy this or that can be a challenge) - then we'll grow as trainers and our dogs will learn new things, we'll help to build their confidence and our dogs will learn to work with us as a team. If dogs can learn how to skateboard as a "trick", then why not teaching them how to use a treadmill? [IMG] It's just a bigger "skateboard" that you move on top of instead of pushing it. :)

    With the treadmill exercise for example, some dogs learn to enjoy it really fast and you do not really have to teach them how to enjoy it - it comes naturally as they find it pleasurable (Chopper for example cannot wait to get on it and is quite disappointed if he does not get to do that), other dogs need more time to learn to relax and enjoy themselves. Shakti on the other hand is a very different dog. If she sees that I do something with one dog she wants to do it too. She's basically very ambitious and competitive and likes getting attention. :) If she sees that a way to get attention is to for example walk on a treadmill (and especially once she saw that another dog did it and did it well). So it all depends on what motivates a dog in general and also on what motivates him/her at a particular time (just because some dogs like food treats does not mean that they will be interested in them on a treadmill for example - they might or they might not). Many times a similar situation happens with teaching dogs about swimming - some dogs are really not too sure about it at first (Shakti was that way) and then they end up gaining confidence and experience and learn how to love to swim. When Shakti was not sure about going into the water, I went there and she followed her pack leader. Then she realized that I will be there and help her if she needs me. Then she started to swim. Then she started looking relaxed and happy. Then I didn't have to convince her any more - she knew what it was about and learned to enjoy it - through her own experience. Swimming became self-rewarding. Same thing with a treadmill exercise - many dogs learn to enjoy it simply through experience and practice. It's like first time drivers - sometimes people are nervous at first while driving and then they discover that they love it. :)

    Another thing is that the dogs learn to love to use a treadmill here because they know I'm happy when they're on it and I show them that it makes me very, very proud of them. :) For Onyx you can add a game of chess. [IMG] Just kidding :) Whatever Onyx likes - you could start making an association with a treadmill if you'd like to teach her about a treadmill.
    You can also think of a treadmill as a "place" first (so no movement). Another thing is that with a treadmill there's some noise involved (so that's another challenge to some dogs). HA! Fun, fun, fun! :)
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  16. shaktishiloh Well-Known Member

    Hi everybody,

    Here's our newest movie showing some indoor exercise and using treadmill with dogs. The dogs in the movie are all different (different ages, sizes, genders, temperaments, energy levels, personalities and history backgrounds) - we always adjust the exercise amount to fit each dog's needs. Again, here in Florida there's no way the dogs could get true cardio type exercise outside during the hot and humid months. Here's the newest movie (also showing a 7 year old dog that just learned to use a treadmill). All dogs enjoy this activity also as a social thing. :) ENJOY!
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  17. Interloper Active Member

    Like it? Lexi - I love it!
    I love your dogs too - what a diverse and adorable pack.
    I am trying not to turn green with envy.
    I am bookmarking this for days when I need cheering up.
    Thank you :)
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  18. shaktishiloh Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much! I'm ALWAYS, ALWAYS happy to hear that our movies bring some joy (not just to the canine actors that enjoy having fun here) but also to humans. :) My "personal pack" consists only of 2 dogs at the moment (Shakti, the Shiloh Shepherd female in the movie and Chopper, the English "hard-working" Cocker Spaniel). 2 other doggies in the movie are our canine Board and Train students. They all enjoy exercise and they all learned to use a treadmill - helps their owner now tremendously (it's super hot and humid, and the Labradoodle in the movie is a VERY high energy dog that needs to run, run, run and loves a good workout :)). Stay fine-tuned and always visit us if you need some cheering up. :)
  19. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Great ideas!!
    It is extremely rare weather that prevents me from walking my dog. Like some of the others, i have relearned that i do like walking in the rain. I set out towels by the doors for our return.

    The heat??? Soak your own head, and your dog, with water, WA-LA! Problem solved. My dog can not not not tolerate the heat, but, if i soak him, he's fine, walks as if it's normal outside.

    the snow, only lops about 5 or 10 minutes off of our walk, depending on the temperature.

    Only thing that interferes with our walks, is ICE.
    Ice shortens our walks very very much, as i am tired of falling on it all the time.

    so on Icey days, we have some indoor agility stuff, do extra tricks trainings of all types,
    make him run up/down our stairwells, make him do full speed laps around the house (which he loves to do anyway), trips to Petsmart and the like (just for the anti-boredom factor there) etc etc. Buddy seems entirely satisfied, not antsy or restless, seems to enjoy the change-up of his routine and extra att'n.

    But, i'm starting to wish we could afford a treadmill!! Does look fun!
  20. running_dog Honored Member

    Like Buddy, Zac gets a walk pretty much whatever happens, I'm really thankful to be able to do this, I know a lot of people can't, one day I might need the treadmill but so far so good...

    Hot weather - walk early in the morning by the river.
    Wet weather - get wet.
    Icy weather - get cold and slither, walk may be shorter but the cold makes Zac really tired anyway.
    Unwell - delegate dog walking (3 times in 4 years so far) dog gets a short walk and sleeps on my bed for the rest of the day.
    Lack of time - get up earlier, if slept in run to playing field and do "find" and long fast recalls and retrieves.

    Really it is doing scent work (find) that tires Zac out if I don't have time for a long walk. He doesn't go potty with lack of exercise though, he's far too lazy and follows the motto of "40mph to the nearest armchair" :ROFLMAO:
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