Like many of you, I would be at the office 9 to 10 hours a day while my dog was at home waiting patiently for me to return. Being a Lab, she would be bouncing off the walls with excitement as I opened the door. if scientists could find a way to harness the energy in all Labrador Retrievers, some of the world’s energy problems could be solved. I would then leash her up and take her for a 3 mile walk to the local dog park and back (with 30 minutes to an hour of Chuck-it time at the dog park). After returning from our walk, my Lab Taylor would often display what I call bouncing off-the-wall behavior at home, no matter how hard she played at the doggie park. I thought to myself “how can you not be tired?”
Then one day, I was running late for an appointment so I literally ran back from the dog park with Taylor in tow. Being as out-of-shape as I was back then, I would have to stop every few hundred yards and gasp for air with my hands on my knees. I noticed that Taylor had enjoyed the quicken pace. She was giving me that “what are we stopping for?” look. After that moment, I decided (more for me) that I would incorporate a little jogging to and from the dog park as opposed to just walking. Little by little, block by block, we increased the distance we jogged and decreased the distance we walked. This was more for me by-the-way, than it was for my dog. As time went by and we got used to jogging, we dropped walking all together and started jogging together. Eventually we only stopped by the dog park for a short while so Taylor could say hi to her doggie friends and then we would continue on our run.
Overtime I noticed a slow steady change in Taylor’s behavior. She was less likely to tear apart my apartment when at home and overall, she seemed to be better behaved. She also really, really looked forward to going out on her “jogging-time” even more so than before when it was just “walking-time”. I know this could be due to the fact that she is a little older but I firmly believe that in her case, running her has some little part in it.
Now I am not promising that your dog will experience the same change join behavior or have the same excitement in jogging. I am just saying that for some dogs, the normal hour-long dog walk my not be enough exercise or stimulation. I know that was the case for my Labrador Retriever Taylor (and still is).