During these cold Canadian winters, us dog owners have a hard time tiring out our high energy dogs.
If you have children, you know there are certain hours where kids get this abundance of bubbly energy that needs expelled. Dogs require the same energy outlets to avoid behavior issues like anxiety, destructive chewing and excessive barking.
Some dogs were bred (designed) for a job! Yes… a job! Dogs like herding breeds or working breeds have instincts telling them to exert behaviors (like nipping at heals, or barking when they see a bird) that is helpful for their specific purpose. Exercising your dog on a regular basis (including winter time!) is just important as proper nutrition.
So what kind of sports or activities can help our high energy dogs live a happier and more fulfilled life?
Here are my top picks:
Agility is a sport where the handler directs their dog through a variety of obstacles (tires, weave poles, tunnels, levels) in a race against time and accuracy. This sport full fills a dog’s desire to chase and hunt prey as in the wild, they would be racing through natural obstacles in order to get their food. Not only is agility GREAT exercise for you both, but it strengthens the bond between you and your dog. You are not using toys or food to lure your dog through this course, it is your directions that guide them. You can find many indoor agility classes offered all year round.
The disc dog (or frisbee dog) sport started in the 1970’s and a sport my big dog Hemi LOVES. It consists of the handler tossing a frisbee in a variety of ways while your dog fetches. There are three styles in this sport: Toss and Fetch, Freestyle & Long Distance. It is almost like a choreographed dance but really strengthens your dog’s focus on you and your leadership skills.
“Carting” is a dog sport in which a dog (large to giant breed) pulls a dog cart filled with farm supplies or even people. This sport is called dry land mushing. This sport is typically used for sled dogs so they can stay in shape. This is great exercise for large/giant breeds with high energy such as Huskies, Malamutes, Bernese Mountain Dogs & Bully breeds.
Diane Caldwell is the founder of a raw food company called Canine Living Raw. Diane is a die hard animal lover and enthusiast. Her world revolves around benefiting the lives of her dogs and others. She is proud owner of Hemi, a 8 year old boxer mix and Frankie, a 9 year old chihuahua mix. Her 8 year career in the pet care industry has paved the pathway to her passion of canine nutrition. Her training and educational background includes certification in animal care, pet first aid, dog grooming and canine nutrition.