K.I.S.S. Dog Training - Mike & Dogs
K.I.S.S. Dog Training - Mike & Dogs

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Tuesday, Oct. 29th 2013

Back Yards and Exercise

OK, let’s look at a common question (and misconception) in dog training…
“How much exercise does my get in the backyard”?
Oh boy do I love this one, or the “Don’t worry my dog gets plenty of exercise, I have a big back yard” Let me break this to you gently, but backyards have about zero use whatsoever in exercising your dog… Unless that is you are in the backyard with the dog playing fetch, Frisbee or some other game to aid in the exercise!
Don’t believe me well let me tell you a story…
Way back when, in the days of me having a real job (the boring one where I did not get to play with dogs all day” I was a district manager and I had an office! I was so excited when I was presented with my new office. I went out and bought a desk calendar, I got a pencil cup, and I even hung up pictures and decorated a bit. After a day or two it was truly my office, and oh it was such a stimulating environment… I loved it!
Now fast forward 3 months and I was doing whatever I could to get out of that office…It was boring, constricting and a very nonproductive place to spend time. So I started hanging out by the coffee pot, went to other peoples office’s, I even started taking long lunches because I did not want to go back to the “office”. In fact the longer I had the office the clearer it became the only work I could get done was when I was not in the office… What do you ask, does my failures within my own office wall have to do with dog training…
Well it is simple: Once a dog has smelled, seen, tasted, touched and heard everything there is to hear in your backyard they are going to get bored and start to entertain themselves… Chewing, digging, barking oh yeah and my personal favorite escaping! Does this sound like a great exercise program or more like a prison of frustration???
Look I don’t want to harp here and there is not enough time or page space to go over all of the solutions that are out there for this type of thinking but suffice it to say it is probably our own human nature that is creating the problem, and it usually falls into one of two areas…
Well here they are:
·         I don’t want to leave my dog at home (in a crate or loose) because it is cruel… Look dogs are den animals and being left with fewer options they will do less damage and learn less problem behaviors… Now I am speaking within reason. I am in no way condoning or encouraging 15 hours days in the crate, or a dog raised in isolation but instead short periods in a crate or with an Xpens with plenty of space… Even the idea of Doggy Daycare is an option…
·         I have never really trained my dog, he/she is now a juvenile and destructive when left alone so I am throwing the dog outside to make my life easier because I am frustrated and I just don’t know what to do…

Ironically both scenarios are fixable… Call a trainer, have them come out to your house… Let them help you and Fido get back on the same page and work on living together… Because as unfortunate as it sounds once the dog is tossed in the backyard it is only a matter of time before the next stop… Which is the pound, and I think we can agree that no one wants to see that…
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