Exercise tips for adolescent dogs
9th January 2019
When puppies become adolescents at from around six months of age, they’ll be bursting with energy, so it’s important to factor plenty of exercise into their daily routine.
At the start of adolescence, dogs will become keener to go on walks as their desire to flee the nest and explore kicks in. However, with this comes a tendency to wander off and have poor recall when you take them off the lead. Therefore, limit the amount of time you let them off the lead during the walk and be sure to praise them or offer treats each time they come back to you successfully.
Digging is great exercise and great fun for dogs. If your dog likes to dig, set up an area in the garden specifically for this purpose. This should prevent them from digging in other areas of the garden where some of your favourite plants may reside. If they try to dig in other parts of the garden, reward them when they come back to their designated digging area.
Socialising with other dogs in the local park will help your dog burn off excess energy and help them to learn how to behave around other dogs. However, adolescence is a time when female dogs come into season and male dogs become more domineering, so be sure to keep a close eye on your dog and step in if their play turns aggressive. Reward them when they are playing nicely to help them understand that’s how they should always behave around other dogs.
While socialising may be tricky at this age, don’t let any lapses in good behaviour put you off socialising your dog during adolescence as it’s important to ensure they stay social throughout their lives so that they know how to behave when they run into other dogs unexpectedly when you’re out and about.
No doubt you will have done a lot of training with your dog when they were puppies, but the training should continue in their adolescent years to reaffirm your bond and as a way to help them exercise. You could sign them up to a training course that’s designed for adolescent dogs which can offer more advanced techniques and create a focus for their exercise routines.
Set daily goals
To ensure your adolescent dog is getting all the exercise they need each day you could set daily exercise goals. It can be hard to keep track of how much exercise your dog is getting and to know if they’ve hit their daily goal though. To make it easy, give your dog an Animo activity and behaviour monitor. Animo allows you to set daily goals for your dog making it easy for you to keep track.