Every dog owner will know of a dog left in the garden for days, even weeks at a time. A poor creature alone and imprisoned with nothing to break the boredom, barking or crying in their frustration and misery.
Owners of these dogs will often profess to love them. They will cite giving their dog fuss, treats and cuddles. But those actions are about giving pleasure to the owner - not of value to the dog.
Sadly there are too many owners failing in their responsibilities to their dog because they neglect to meet the most basic requirement – a dog’s need for quality exercise.
My dog of a lifetime, Harry (a German Shorthaired Pointer) never put a foot wrong and was just perfect in everyway. The only time he ever became destructive was following an injury when he had to be confined to the house for ‘bed rest’ for 2 weeks – at which point I caught him chewing and ripping up the carpet! But he never, ever, did that before and he never did it again once he was recovered and we got him back to his normal long daily outings.
TV programme presenters visiting unhappy or troubled ‘problem dogs’ invariably end up advising owners to exercise their dogs more often and for longer. One TV programme reported how obesity in dogs is dramatically on the increase. Apparently with busy lives more owners are taking their dogs out on leash for less time than ever, often only 20 minutes a day. Unless you are talking about a small, old dog anyone must know this is woefully inadequate.
Blaming Pooches resembling Porkers on lack of exercise researchers did a test to see if they could prove the point. They attached a GPS recorder to a dog allowed to run free as the owner walked. The stats showed the dog covered a distance 5 times further than the owner! What a difference!
If as many as 90% of all dog related problems could be resolved by regular quality exercise sessions - what constitutes sufficient exercise?
As a guide, 45 mins (ideally 60 mins for medium/large breeds) of leash free exercise should take place every day. But at minimum three/four times a week. An exercised Fur Pal is a happier, more balanced dog. More exercise outside = more settled, less whining and no longer destructive at home inside.
A dog that sleeps for hours when you get back from exercise is good indicator that they’re getting time appropriate exercise.
At the Hound Dog Hotel active and stimulating exercise sessions are an integral part of the totality of my service - crucial for individual dog happiness and pack harmony.
But our outings are no walk in the park! Hound Dog Hotel sessions are daily Epic Adventures, full of interaction with other dogs (and me) where there is fun and play. My focus in on challenging all my Dogs’ senses and enrich their experience with smells, water & swimming, ball chasing - and by keeping them on the move.
These Epic Adventures are long in time and in distance. My Garmin GPS records I walk between 2 to 2.5 miles. Based on the TV programme saying off leash dogs do 5 times more than a walking human, my doggies guests could be doing 10 miles a day! No wonder they are such happy hounds!
An unexercised dog is stressed and tense. But dogs out running and playing burn off excess energy. Then, when they return to the Hotel, they’re calm and content, ready settle down to snooze as a member of a well adjusted and relaxed pack.
Exercise sessions at the Hound Dog Hotel are key to the success of my service. The following accolade is taken from a reference from the owner of Ruben, a large and super energetic Boxer. What Lisa said is something of which I am particularly proud as it accurately sums up the exercise component of my service:
The “Walk” that Maralyn takes the dogs on each day is amazing, they get to run, play, swim and meet other dogs. It is NOT a 30-minute walk on a lead around the block. It’s a full on extensive exercise, play and stimulation session rolled into one.
— Lisa & Barry owner of big bouncy Boxer RUBEN
Remember my Hound Dog Hotel motto and all will be well :
A Happy Dog is a Tired Dog - A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog
If you want your dog to be happy, tire them out, they’ll thank you with all their heart.
N.B. I place a high priority on dogs staying at the Hound Dog Hotel having recall - so on our outings they can run leash free.