Mentally exercising your dog
Exercise is important to your dog’s physical and mental health, but what types of exercise are best? Show Me Dog Training believes that exercise is about quality, not quantity; the key is to play repetitious obedience games with your dog so that you’re exercising both their body and mind.
Dogs struggle to focus when they aren’t getting enough mental exercise. An indication of a dog’s lack of focus would be when you’re playing with them and they go off to sniff some foreign object or aren’t focused on you when you expect them to be. A way to cure this loss of focus is to make focus part of the games you play. For instance you could require that your dog perform the “down” and “stay” commands before you throw their ball for them. The act of the dog lying down may be physical, but when they listen, process, and perform the task they are in a mentally stimulated state that requires them to focus.
Play with a dog that involves both physical activity and a mental work out takes more energy, which is good for the dog. In terms of exercise it is said that “a happy dog is a tired dog.” Focus is the key to obedience. If a dog is not focused on what you are asking it do you are no longer in control; if there is no focus the dog will have a difficult time obeying your commands and working in a cooperative manner with you.
Thank Dog Boot Camp in Nashville, Tennessee is a program that allows its participants to work out with their dogs while requiring them to focus on them while they receive basic obedience commands like “heel” while their owners are running or “stay” when their owners are standing still doing weight training. It’s a great example of a physical and mental workout for dogs.
Show Me Dog Training offers in-home training throughout the St. Louis area and we can guide you in developing and putting a quality exercise routine into practice for your dog. A dog’s lack of focus is a main obstacle to overcome in dog training, and our trainers use a nearly three-decade-old program to overcome it. If you want to get your dog mentally fit and focused, we can help! We have an office staff standing by to take your call, 800.649.7297, or you can send us a message using our contact form.