Chapter 1: When A Simple Walk Isn't Nearly Enough
Human interference has resulted in hundreds of dog breeds, all bred to look and be a certain way.
Some are lap dogs, who were bred to be small and low-energy so that they can spend much of their time contentedly sitting on people’s laps. However, the great majority were selectively bred to use their amazing senses and abilities as working dogs and to have loads of energy.
To be happy, such dogs must release their energy daily through exercise. Yet despite this, many are treated like lap dogs rather than the energetic dogs that they are - barely exercised, their minds and bodies idle. With nowhere to direct their energy, these inactive dogs become destructive.
The result? A dog full of pent-up energy. Such a dog will dig holes in your backyard, bark non-stop, and chew up half the items in your house. All natural behaviours for a frustrated dog, yet undesirable to you.
It's A Dog's Life
“But Lulu loves her bed and blankie!” I hear you cry. Of course she does! What dog wouldn’t?
Sure, many city dogs live in comfort and enjoy that comfort immensely (I know that my dogs do!), but the desire for physical exertion is still there. Fulfilling that need CANNOT be replaced by any amount of comforts a dog might enjoy.
“Some dogs are couch potatoes” some of you might say. Yes, some dogs are, but if you’re looking at this website I’m ninety-nine percent sure that yours isn’t one of them.
So don’t worry about the fact that there are low energy dogs out there. That’s irrelevant. What we’re talking about here are the dogs that aren’t.
So how can a mere mortal like you or me give a dog the exercise necessary to keep him or her happily tired? This is quite the conundrum, because even the fittest among us humans would find it impossible to match the energy of even a moderately fit dog.
What about a run around the backyard? Well, that could be a solution…if you’re a city- or suburbs-dweller lucky enough to have a gargantuan backyard the size of a park.
However, most of us who live in cities and suburbs have small to medium backyards. And others of us who live in apartments have no backyards at all.
So running your dog around the backyard for extra exercise to bring about behaviour improvement is a good idea in theory, but in practicality your average city/suburbs backyard simply isn’t big enough for a dog to burn serious energy.
Playing In The Park
How about an outing to the park then? Exercise-wise, it’s just the ticket, but there are plenty of reasons that might not be a good idea.
The reasons themselves don't matter, but what does matter is that you have other options in the form of the techniques on this website. Read on for how to exercise your dog to being happier and better-behaved!
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.