Walking versus Fetch - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
meli_ssa4's Avatar
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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Walking versus Fetch

So I have read multiple times that walks don't tire out a GSD and they need to do mental mind work. So my question is: Is walking for exercise the same as just playing fetch/running/playing in the yard? Or is there a mental stimulation to walking for the dog as well?

the reason I ask is that now the time has change it gets dark at 5:30pm. Where I live we don't have street lights so it is extremely dark. I could still take Darwin for a walk with my headlamp, but if running around the backyard gives him the same exercise then why bother going for the walk too? He enjoys the backyard much more anyways.

We have a large backyard (probably close to 3/4 of an acre) and then 30 acres of woods around it.

Rylee (Quartz) Von Narnia - 08/01/2012
Darwin Von Narnia - 03/23/2014
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 01:26 PM
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I personally find it pointless to walk Bear due to his energy level. He is always off leash in the yard, swimming in the summer, we play lots of fetch and he plays with a friend's dog a couple times a week. I incorporate training into everything, and do specific training with him a few times a week. Up until a couple weeks ago he was in basic obedience, soon I will be putting him in intermediate.

I would just play fetch with him, its great for tiring them out and try to incorporate training into it.. Make him stay, throw the ball, and release him after it lands.. etc.

Be the person your dog thinks you are

Bear - 02/26/15
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 01:38 PM
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Nothing wrong with playing in the yard!I do make a point of driving my dogs into town for a walk once a week just because it's a whole different world of noises,smells,and sights.They really enjoy it and it seems to tire them out.


Samson Blk/Slvr GSD. RN
Misty Husky Mix
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 02:02 PM
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Mine is still young and gets 2 walks a day plus at least an hour vigorous play either with other dogs or Frisbee or a long hike. In summer he does a lot of fetching and swimming. Training him before tiring him out is definitely not effective, lol.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 09:18 PM
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I find walking can be great for tiring out a dog, the smells, sights and incorporating training are all excellent ways for a dog to burn energy. Plus, there will be times where you might be in public or taking your dog somewhere he will need good leash manners, so having him already trained and familiar with being on lead will be a boon. Fetch and playing is great for burning off loads of energy all at once though, and it keeps the dog is slightly better shape. So mixing up both would probably be best. I think it just depends on the energy level of your dog and what works best for you in your life.
My dog responses well to walks, and its fun to watch her explore. She generally seems pretty tired when we get home.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 09:09 AM
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I didn't have a big fenced in yard so my first dog and I walked quite often. We did have to be mindful of salted roads in the winter and hot blacktop in the summer. Sometimes I'd attach a long line to a harness so that he had more room to play in autumn leaves or goof around on the beach. They were all good exercises and bonding times and training opportunities. In fact, during a walk my youngster would grab the leash and pull on it, which translated in my mind to, "hey, this is boring...lets do work". And we'd do our sits, stands and downs, etc. They were quiet roads and we had plenty of room.

Patton CGC BH
Chief fetch fanatic

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 10:09 AM
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I jog or walk, or both my dog everyday. I work-play in my yard everyday. I have cable spools for tables, plastic pipe for hurdles, hula hoops, home made balance beams, flirt pole* [or make one], different size balls, tugs and all kinds of toys for different exercises. I am also backed up to the woods and changing trails around makes for new things.

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