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Exercising with a dog...

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Old 10-05-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
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Red face Exercising with a dog...

I have a lab, who loves to go for walks. However I don't feel like it's much of a work out when I'm stopping every 10 feet for her to sniff. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? She's very smart and knows what I want from her, but she's very stubborn and would rather do what she wants, not what I want. I've tried using brute force, but she's really strong - and I'm not.
Help me! What's something we can do together, give me a work out, and keep her engaged?
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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Have you tried running with her? I have 2 sniffers but if you start running, they run and don't stop. They also keep going if you walk at a brisk pace.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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Do you have a local dog park? You can take you dog there and take off the leash, let her sniff to her hearts content and you can walk around the perimeter of the park at your own pace.

They also have no pull leads that might help. They go horizontal across the chest instead of vertical between the front legs.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:36 PM   #4
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Thanks! We don't have a dog park, unfortunately. I did that when I lived in Denver and we both enjoyed it.
My problem with running with her, is I get distracted, and so does she. I get focused on the run and don't notice that she has stopped, and I get jerked backwards, almost to the point of falling over. I wish she was better off leash.
I guess I will just stick with walking with her. Maybe she will get used to the route and won't stop as much if we do it every day...
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:45 PM   #5
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What are you walking her with? What sort of collar/leash?

My primary exercise is walking my two dogs. They get a few minutes in the beginning of the walk to sniff and squat (as I like to put it) and a few minutes at the end. During the middle they need to keep pace with ME! It takes a few days of being firm, but I've found that my dogs very quickly learned the routine and don't veer off the path very much at all any more.

That being said, I do have a few suggestions.

1) Look at what you're walking with. Those retractable flexi leashes aren't good for exercise-walking purposes. A leather or nylon 6' leash is what you need. And look at what is on your dog. Both my dogs go in standard chain "choke" collars. Don't let the word scare you -- they don't even feel the collar unless they are pulling. I used to use a Gentle Leader on one dog but he started to get a rub on his cheek so I stopped using it and now like the choke chain better. A Gentle Leader type thing (almost look like a muzzle if you're not sure what you're looking at) can be a godsend. You're controlling your dog by its face (sort of) which gives you a lot more control. Their necks and chests are burly and strong, but if you can turn its head, you can redirect the dog without much effort.

2) Don't be afraid to drag the dog along. Like I said, it's better to be TOUGH for a few days and get your message through than spend weeks and weeks fighting little fights.

3) Get a doggie backpack. I'm serious! I learned this from that dog whisperer guy and he is 100% correct! I would have never believed it if I hadn't seen it myself, but my lab mix walks now wearing a doggie backpack with a 3 pound hand weight in each side. He also carries water if I bring it, and empty poopie bags. A dog can be trained to carry 30% of its body weight (my don't doesn't carry nearly that much). But when that backpack goes on my dog is SO MUCH more responsive and obedient... It gives him a job -- a purpose -- and it makes a WORLD of difference!

GOOD LUCK!!!!!
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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I always worry that it's too much for my dog!! How do you know if it's too much?!
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:05 PM   #7
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Do you live in an area with hills?
You may not feel able to walk briskly enough but if you walk on a higher incline you'll burn tons of calories even if you're going slower and if you have to stop a few times.
That's what I like to do with my dog, but I have this kicka** steep hill beside me
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:07 PM   #8
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Haha, My doggy weighs about 9 pounds. I reckon I could use him as a handweight
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:59 PM   #9
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If you have the National Geographic channel The Dog Whisperer has some great ideas, I love that guy... I have two cats and use some of his techniques when I walk out the door and one of them wants to scoot out between my legs...
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:17 PM   #10
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Rebound - I have a gentle leader, but ran into the same problem. She had started getting a rub/scab on the top of her nose because she will plow her face into the ground/pavement/whatever in an attempt to get it off. I have a "claw" collar as well - kind of like the choke collar but instead of strangling the dog (my last lab would pull on that thing until she would gag and cough - didn't upset her in the slightest but I felt like I was damaging her throat) this collar has lots of little spikes that don't puncture, but concentrates the pressure into much smaller areas, less damaging. That being said, mine is bent out of shape and often falls off her. I should just get a new one.

I will take your advice and ditch the flexi lead unless we are going for a "business walk" vs a "pleasure walk". The doggy backpack is an interesting idea - I may look into that as well.

JustBeckyV & nicollem - I took Madison on a 2 mile hike a couple weekends ago. ALL uphill (seriously - there was a warning at the trail head). We got about 3/4 of the way to the top when she sat down and whined at me. I took that as her cue that she was done. She was very well behaved on her leash that day. I can try it again, but only on the weekends as it is short distance-wise, but about 1500 vertical feet gain in elevation, so it takes a while. There's a less intense, but longer (5 mile) hike right next to that one and takes about 2 hours roundtrip from my front door. But anyway - Madison was able to tell me she was done. She passed out for the rest of the day (as did I).

Onderchick- you need another 9lb dog to evenly distribute the weight. :-)
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bexx View Post
Rebound - I have a gentle leader, but ran into the same problem. She had started getting a rub/scab on the top of her nose because she will plow her face into the ground/pavement/whatever in an attempt to get it off. I have a "claw" collar as well - kind of like the choke collar but instead of strangling the dog (my last lab would pull on that thing until she would gag and cough - didn't upset her in the slightest but I felt like I was damaging her throat) this collar has lots of little spikes that don't puncture, but concentrates the pressure into much smaller areas, less damaging. That being said, mine is bent out of shape and often falls off her. I should just get a new one.

I will take your advice and ditch the flexi lead unless we are going for a "business walk" vs a "pleasure walk". The doggy backpack is an interesting idea - I may look into that as well.
We have the claw collar, too We went through a lot of things trying to get our lab mix to behave on leash. And for some weird reason the backpack has done the best job with him! He's about 70 pounds of PURE MUSCLE so it's hard when he misbehaves.

Plus, he looks SO cute in his little backpack. And when we walk past school bus stops in the mornings all the little kids ask if he is going to school, too. VERY adorable
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:29 PM   #12
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I use a halti on one dog, and a gentle leader on the other. At the begininng, they would have done anything to get them off, but now just an upward tug gets the nose off the ground. Persevere! You have to out-stubborn them, just like a kid.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #13
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My dog is about 20 lbs lol and is a little on the heavy side. I just don't want to end up carrying him lol I have taken him on a about a mile walk but that's as far as I have tried.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:55 PM   #14
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play catch with frisbee or ball, but move to a different spot after every throw.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:08 PM   #15
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Yeah I keep my big hikes with the dog for the weekends. Not only is a 2-3 hour hike good for me but awesome for my dog too!
I'm fortunate where I live there's so many mountainous trails that are super dog friendly. My favorite spot is leash free for my dog so I can keep moving and she can check everything out and sniff whatever she wants without slowing me down.
She's good about keeping me in her sight and catching up when I get too far ahead. But that all depends on your dog too.
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