training not dependant on exercise??? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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training not dependant on exercise???

I think I learned something important today!?! I always thought if my dog got LOTS of exercise she would be easier to train, better minded, and just chill the heck out. Today we went to the trainer. We had to leave early in the morning so she had no exercise this morning and was in the car for the 2 1/2 hour drive there.

I was amazed how she wasn't all crazy and did very well in the session. I always thought I'd have to tire her out before we trained because she is so hyper. The best part was that after the session and for the rest of the day she seemed just as tired as our long hikes and even seemed "happier", if that makes sense. Plus, she learned a lot.

Don't get me wrong, we will still go for our long hikes but I don't think it matters quite as much if we miss a day hiking as long as I give her the mental stimulation with training.

Am I crazy or does the mental stimulation matter just as much, if not more, than actual physical exercise.

BTW My dog learns quicker at the trainers than me
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:53 PM
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All my dogs do better with more mental then physical exercise. I would say it's pretty important.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 12:20 AM
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BING ! a light bulb moment .

When you exercise you get all enervated and feel positively charged with more energy . We have runners / joggers who become addicted to the exercise , who feel horrible if they have missed a day. We see them jogging in our neighbourhood , rain, shine, fog, freezing , broiling hot -- they are there .
Dogs , the same --
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 09:19 AM
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Mental exercise is great. My dog is recovering from a surgery right now and not allowed to even go for walks yet and is confined to a small space. She is always a bundle of energy and the only thing that has kept us both sane is mental exercise.

I took this opportunity to teach new things and reinforce things she already knows. I choose things we can work on while she is laying down. We work on targeting with both left and right paws, leave it commands, watch me,
stay while I leave the room, take it, hold it, toy name recognition etc. The mental stimulation really helps tire her out and she is one happy dog:
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 09:27 AM
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I train a lot of 'silly parlor tricks', just to provide mental stimulation. I think it also helps with communication skills between the handler and the dog.

Not to mention it's fun entertainment for your guests....

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 10:14 AM
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A lot of trainers want even the hyper dogs fresh for training as a gassed dog responds slower is generally less accurate on behaviors and doesnt throw as much effort into things. If you got done running for an hour then suddenly had to take a test in a subject youd have a harder time of things than if you were rested.

Building up the mental toughness to work through the fatigue is a skill in itself for working dogs.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 11:06 AM
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Car rides always tire my dogs out. It must be all the new sights and sounds they're exposed to, but it never fails that they'll nap when we return home. The only thing that gets them sleeping like that is an off-leash romp.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, it was a light bulb moment! I usually hate being wrong but in this case I don't mind

Today was the first day with my new philosophy of training my dog. In the morning we worked on the exercises the trainer showed me to do and I didn't have to exhaust her beforehand. She did just fine!!! Although she does work better with the trainer. Tonight we did the engagement exercise Bailliff posted the other day.

And now I am so happy her mind and body are tired. whew, she can be a handful!
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