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Old 01-17-2013, 05:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Creative exercise and stimulation for dog

I'm always on the lookout for some creative exercise and stimulation for my dog especially things that reduce the ratio of energy spent for me vs my dog. It can't be 1 to 1 because within a few months my dog will have more endurance and energy than me.

I also find walks to be quite useless in terms of expending energy especially for a working dog. They're nice, they're relaxing but dogs need to run, chase and bring out that predator hunting side of them to be burnt out.

So far I have the following:

1) Throwing a ball. Pretty straight forward. I'm getting those ball flicker handles so it requires less energy and shoulder endurance on my part.

2) Chasing an RC car in an enclosed large grass field. Had to research quite a lot to find the right RC car and setup but she loves chasing that thing.

3) Tug - good way to teach and proof commands, teach impulse control, control drive

4) Tracking - nothing crazy I dont know if I can even call it tracking. All I do is have her sniff the ball and give her the stay command while I go hide the ball in the next room where she can't see. Then I tell her to find it and she goes sniffing around and gets big praise when her nose leads her to the prize!

5? I just bought a bicycle. I would like to get a harness and bike leash so i can walk her while riding. She's 5 months old so I have no plans on jogging or running her, just slow walks. I am however considering selling my bike to get a scooter. Dog scooters are pretty popular and there is a website that talks about how to get into it.
The way they do the scooters though is to have the dog PULL it. My question to anyone who knows the answer is, if you train your dog to pull a scooter or cart, sled, etc. does that mess with advanced obedience training involving heel commands? I like that if the dog is in front, they have to pull and exert more energy which is good exercise. They have less risk of darting around the scooter or bike and getting run over by the front wheel. But there is less control and unless they know right, left, stop and go commands they may derail the scooter or bike entirely taking the lead. Also may mess with heel commands. And no leash control for training or restaint if they see another dog or require a correction.
Should I not have them take lead and just walk them on the side?

6) forgot this one. Flirt pole with animal at the end.

Does anyone else have any other creative exercise and mental stimulation exercises they do with their dogs?
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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For a young dog I like tracking and search games. Things that use their minds and expand energy. You can do this in the yard too. Put the dog where she can not see you and then bring her out to search the yard (obviously she will need to understand the "game" first).

Swimming in the summer.

I have a friend with Malamutes who does obedience, agility, sledding (winter and summer) and ski-joring so pulling in front will not make problems for you later. Actually our USCA Universal Sieger goes ski-joring with his owner. This is NOT something I would do with a young puppy.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Since the weather here is crap (dark at 4:30pm, bitter wind chills, often spitting ice or snow) I've been doing a lot of push board work with Nikon. It gives him a lot of exercise pretty quickly and we can play indoors in without needing a lot of room I even played with training him to turn both directions, so I wasn't stressing one side of his body.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pancake View Post
I'm always on the lookout for some creative exercise and stimulation for my dog especially things that reduce the ratio of energy spent for me vs my dog. It can't be 1 to 1 because within a few months my dog will have more endurance and energy than me.

I also find walks to be quite useless in terms of expending energy especially for a working dog. They're nice, they're relaxing but dogs need to run, chase and bring out that predator hunting side of them to be burnt out.

So far I have the following:

1) Throwing a ball. Pretty straight forward. I'm getting those ball flicker handles so it requires less energy and shoulder endurance on my part.

2) Chasing an RC car in an enclosed large grass field. Had to research quite a lot to find the right RC car and setup but she loves chasing that thing.

3) Tug - good way to teach and proof commands, teach impulse control, control drive

4) Tracking - nothing crazy I dont know if I can even call it tracking. All I do is have her sniff the ball and give her the stay command while I go hide the ball in the next room where she can't see. Then I tell her to find it and she goes sniffing around and gets big praise when her nose leads her to the prize!

5? I just bought a bicycle. I would like to get a harness and bike leash so i can walk her while riding. She's 5 months old so I have no plans on jogging or running her, just slow walks. I am however considering selling my bike to get a scooter. Dog scooters are pretty popular and there is a website that talks about how to get into it.
The way they do the scooters though is to have the dog PULL it. My question to anyone who knows the answer is, if you train your dog to pull a scooter or cart, sled, etc. does that mess with advanced obedience training involving heel commands? I like that if the dog is in front, they have to pull and exert more energy which is good exercise. They have less risk of darting around the scooter or bike and getting run over by the front wheel. But there is less control and unless they know right, left, stop and go commands they may derail the scooter or bike entirely taking the lead. Also may mess with heel commands. And no leash control for training or restaint if they see another dog or require a correction.
Should I not have them take lead and just walk them on the side?

6) forgot this one. Flirt pole with animal at the end.

Does anyone else have any other creative exercise and mental stimulation exercises they do with their dogs?
What kind of remote car did you get? I have thought about this too. Sounds like a great way to work off energy on Stella's part and not mine!
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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onyx girl has a post for core exercise you may want to look at.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great info!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've filled up a small swimming pool and put those tiny goldfish in them and Felix LOVED grabbing and gulping them up. If you don't feel comfy feeding goldfish, cut up hotdogs will work, too. When the weather doesn't permit outside play, I hide his toy under a plastic containor. Figuring out how to get the toy out from under it really gets him sometimes LOL. Hope these help. I'm trying to think of more but I'm drawing a blank.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix's Proud Mammy View Post
I've filled up a small swimming pool and put those tiny goldfish in them and Felix LOVED grabbing and gulping them up.
What!??? That'd be a ridiculous amount of goldfish. You are talking about goldfish crackers, right? And you are talking about filling a child-sized swimming pool with them? Can you clarify this?
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Since the weather here is crap (dark at 4:30pm, bitter wind chills, often spitting ice or snow) I've been doing a lot of push board work with Nikon. It gives him a lot of exercise pretty quickly and we can play indoors in without needing a lot of room I even played with training him to turn both directions, so I wasn't stressing one side of his body.
What is pushboards? Never heard of it. I also have a treadmill but it's couped in the garage behind a whole bunch of stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katdog5911 View Post
What kind of remote car did you get? I have thought about this too. Sounds like a great way to work off energy on Stella's part and not mine!
It's called the Traxxas E-revo. I did lots of research on this and had to get help and do research in the RC car community to learn all the different parts, brands, etc. but it was worth it. I'll make it easy for you (or anyone else looking to get an RC car for their dog) I will make another thread with more details and put a link here.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix's Proud Mammy View Post
I've filled up a small swimming pool and put those tiny goldfish in them and Felix LOVED grabbing and gulping them up. If you don't feel comfy feeding goldfish, cut up hotdogs will work, too. When the weather doesn't permit outside play, I hide his toy under a plastic containor. Figuring out how to get the toy out from under it really gets him sometimes LOL. Hope these help. I'm trying to think of more but I'm drawing a blank.
Hahah what this is hilarious. Do dogs have problems eating fish with the bones and everything? i dont think my dog is big enough to eat a gold fish but I might consider something similar to this later. It gets real hot here in the summer so after winter passes by Ill invest in a small swimming pool and let her have some fun.

The things I do for this dog, I'm probably in about $2000 and it's only been 3 months


Does anyone go riding their bike or scooter with their dog? I'd like to hear more about this. I dont think my puppy is ready to walk along side my bike and I hadn't realized that bikes need to ridden real slow which is no fun. A scooter can be pulled but a bike not so much. Maybe i jumped the gun on this one and bought it too early.

Last edited by pancake; 01-17-2013 at 02:20 PM.
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