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Old 05-26-2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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Default Feeling guilty when exercising

Ok, I know it's crazy and very possibly really stupid. But I feel very guilty when I exercise at home or run on the treadmill because I have a very intelligent, very active Border Collie cross. Anyone who knows anything about BC's knows their desire to work. Every time I grab my athletic socks and runners he gets all excited and hopeful that we're going to be doing something. So of course when we're not I feel horrible. He just lays up in the porch with my older dog and watches me or snoozes on his doggy bed I do take him for walks, though probably not as many as I should, we go to the off leash area a lot because normal leashed walks are not enough for him. I'm doing C25K but I can't do it in public yet. We do agility but only 1 day a week I try to work with him a bit every day but lately life has been crazy, time I used to spend working with him is used for working out. Is it dumb to feel guilty? I keep telling myself I need to do this for ME and maybe in the fall or next summer I'll take him running with me instead of doing it on the treadmill.

Does anyone else ever have this problem or am I a total loser?
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:08 PM   #2
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My dog (OK my husband's dog) tries to pull the guilt trip on me when I go out for a run, but I want to RUN, not stop and sniff every few feet.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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I can totally relate. I have a BC mix and boy is she a handful. Not really, but the girl needs some exercise! At 7 years old she can sprint for an hour+ straight when we go on off leash walks (100 yards ahead, 100 yards back. back and forth for the whole walk) No matter hoe much exercise she gets, I know she canuse more. I feel terrible that I run on a treadmill, instead of with her. During the winter, it's even worse. We don't have any streetlights, but we do have coyotes. Walking after or before work doesn't happen because it's super dark. So unless I come home and walk her on lunches, she doesn't get a walk until the weekends. My vet suggested that when she can't get enough physical exercise- mental exercises can be just as good. We've taught her to find things by calling out right or left, etc. We hide things under blankets and boxes and make her look for them. Or we just work with training. It helps keep her stimulated and happy. Admittedly, she also gets more "treats" then. More raw bones, frozen things to play with, etc. She puts on a little weight each winter, but she's still happy, and relatively sane.

Do you have a dog park? Will your BC chase a ball? (mine looks at me like I'm crazy. she will, however, chase a dog chasing a ball. Go figure) These are good options to tire them out quick. Or, if you have anywhere you can take pooch for a swim, that's also a good way to tire them out quickly.

But, it's normal to feel guilty- it's a sign of a good doggy mom!

What's your BC mixed with? Lucy is a BC and pit mix and I'm telling you- the next dog I'm going to the pound and asking for the dumbest dog there. Having a smart one is so much work!
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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My dog is good for sprinting.

45 second run/sprint
15 second cooldown ("sniff")
... etc

Not sure if that might work for you
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:31 PM   #5
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I too feel guilty - I have a little Boston Terrier - she might be little, but man can she walk/jog. I always feel bad that I am exercising and not doing something with her. Luckily, she gets more excited for a car ride then a walk - but I still feel bad.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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My dog has to go into her kennel when I exercise (she chews on things inappropriately when alone), but I've never felt guilty about it, because she does get her exercise other ways (walks, dog park just about every day, training and play, etc). Dogs aren't meant to be active 24/7, so as long as you find a way to get her stimulation when you aren't exercising, I think it works out.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:52 PM   #7
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Call me crazy, but why not let your dog get some exercise on the treadmill also? Obviously don't run with her but put the treadmill on a lower speed and allow her to run on it a while? They do make doggie treadmills but I wouldn't spend that kind of money.

Here's a link on teaching your dog how to use a treadmill:
http://www.squidoo.com/dogtreadmill
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:20 PM   #8
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I only have a goldfish, and i don't think that Xi even remembers when I leave to work-out....in fact, I'm not sure he even remembers who I am.

That being said, you are a BETTER pet owner because you're healthy. Even if your doggie isn't getting every moment of exercise you could possible do, what time you do spend with your BC is going to be better quality time. If you're healthier, their exercise time is going to reflect your new stamina. If that means taking time out of your day to exercise just for you, that is ok too.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the support everyone, very many good points were made, including the fact that he's likely more interested in running with his nose to the ground.

I do spend time at the off leash park in summer and take them down to the river when it's warm. He doesn't like to swim because his introduction to water was rather abrupt (no we didn't throw him in), but he does like to run through the water.

Also I have noticed that I do better when on the agility course, so that is a benefit for him I guess... I run better ='s better runs for him ='s a happier both of us.

We also send him searching for balls, toys and people. He picks up names really fast and also understands Yes and No (or at least what they are supposed to mean).

I will check out that link on getting your dog onto the treadmill, I'm not sure he'll be very impressed with it though. Right now he'll get up onto it just fine, but as soon as it starts moving he jumps off... I don't have the heart (or strength) to hold him.

Southpark - He's crossed with a bull terrier and likely something else, he's the one in the back of my avatar. Oddly enough, his name is Chase (gee.. I wonder why), I always say we named him Chase, not Retrieve, for a reason. He loves chasing the ball and loves even more chasing a dog chasing a ball, it's a herding thing.. BC's get excited by moving things. Does your dog herd at all? Chase tries to herd other dogs.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:59 PM   #10
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OH my gosh, too funny!
I was having this same talk with my fiance the other day about our bichon/shih-tzu mix.
I am also just starting the c25k, but I can't take Stella (my dog) with me because I can't keep a pace without having to be sharp with her, because she just wants to sniff and pee, sniff and stop, sniff and pee, stop, act like she needs to pee, but just wants to sniff.
I walk her every day, but it's usually a quick couple of blocks and then I will go out and do my run. Or I should say my pathetic attempt at running!
So, to the point.. the compromise I reached is to do a "warm-up" walk with Stella before all of my workouts. We need to warm-up anyway, so I dedicate 15 minutes to the puppers and then go about my routine. If it's raining or too hot, we will play fetch or tug or war in the house for a little while, then I give her a treat and go about my routine!
Of course, I still feel a little bad!
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:28 AM   #11
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Aunty Jam- Chase is adorable! Lucy looooves to herd. Luckily she doesn't do it with people or our cats, but when you take her to the dog park all the sudden you look up and realize that all the dogs are hanging out in this small little group Lucy herded them in to. I've never had a herding breed before and it's been so interresting to see exactly how much she wants to work, and how eerily smart she is. (she turns the spigot on in the backyad if she gets hot and wants cold water) I wish we had agility near us, but unfortunately we don't. We do however have a place you can take your dog and teach them to herd sheep about 30 minutes away, so we may give hr a shot at that sometime.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:54 AM   #12
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SL - Thanks Chase has plenty of instinct but isn't sure what to do with it so it always looks like he's stalking the other dogs. It really freaks some of them out. Agility is so good for them, my other dog is almost 15 years old (the picture I posted is about 4 years old) and retired much to her dismay. I'd love to try herding with him.

I felt really guilty last night and this morning He's all fired up and wanting to go. He and Kelly were playing in the back yard and he was just running around like a nut. Thank goodness tonight is agility night. I may just try running at the off leash area this weekend... some of the trails are pretty secluded.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:55 AM   #13
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What i do with Loki our Akita pup is.. i make a set point of 3-4 times a week taking an hour long walk -5km walk with just him and i make him walk for half of it let him do what he wants on the walk for 15 then the other 15 he walks.

even if the dog isnt running/jogging and you take them for a walk, its better than sitting around doing nothing for them..

Have you tried biking with your dog? that might be your best bet because it doesnt take much effort on your part but you can get them going pretty fast!
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:57 AM   #14
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Oh i forgot to mention, look into a small dog back pack, working dogs NEED things to do, if they dont have things it gets themdown, even if going for a short walk put an empty dog back pack on him/her. Sometimes even that will help them get focused and release some of that pent up energy! making them think they are doing a job
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:59 AM   #15
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I feel your (guilty) pain! - I have two dogs -one is MY BABY (Trixee), she is nearly 14 years old and simply cannot get around like she used to. And then there's our "newest" baby (Jester) who is almost 2 years old & FULL of energy. I need to walk Jester, but I feel guilty if I don't take Trixee out too... but she simply CANNOT keep up and if I walk at her rate, it's almost like not walking at all... plus, she can go about 10 minutes and that's it - bless her heart! -

and then of course I feel guilty because I'm not taking Jester out... oh dear lord. It's a doggy thang, ya know.
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