- Your dog relies on you, its owner, for all its needs - not just food, water and shelter, but also the variety, the interest and the company it needs for a good quality of life.
- The house dog shares your living space and has a special bond with the family. The outside dog usually has less contact with the family, less attention and quite often...let’s face it...more chance of being frustrated and bored!
- The very fact that it lives outside means that it is likely to be tied up or kept in its run for most of the day, with little or no company.
- Unless it gets plenty of opportunity to exercise and explore its environment each day, it will be bored and lonely, even if it has sufficient food, water and shelter.
- Because working dogs are intelligent and active, it is really important to offer them an interesting environment.
- This means that every day they must have lots of opportunity to snuffle around off the lead or tether and out of their run.
- They usually benefit from the opportunity to interact with people and other dogs.
- Apart from helping to keep your dog fit, regular good quality exercise will help prevent boredom and the bad habits that often go with it, like persistent barking or continual pacing.
- How much exercise does the dog need? There’s no easy answer to this question, because so much depends on the type of exercise it’s offered and the type of dog.
- As a general rule, I would recommend that, twice a day, working dogs be offered the opportunity to explore and exercise for half an hour or so at a time.
- Dogs don’t like to foul their kennel and if they are not let out of their run at least twice a day they will have to urinate and defaecate in it. No wonder they get smelly if their owner makes them live in a latrine! And I have no doubt they don’t like it.
- The considerate owner will offer the dog a toilet opportunity away from its kennel several times a day.
- The nature of farm work can mean that dogs are worked sporadically. These work sessions can be very physically demanding, so the dog must be fit, and this means exercise daily according to its needs.
- Too much work will cause exhaustion, muscle stiffness or damage, worn pads and foot sores.
Written by: Dr Clive Dalton