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Why dogs need a walk (or 2) every day

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Saturday night trash pick-up, take 1.

I confess.

I used to think walking the dog was optional — an indulgence for leisurely weekend mornings or warm summer nights. The guilt Zach experienced if he and Luke missed a couple of days’ worth of walks used to make me wonder if I was getting involved with an overly sensitive man.

Nope. As the owner of a Luke, an animal 10 times the size of my elderly Scooby, Zach just had a clearer understanding of how not getting enough exercise can make a dog do this:

Although that bit of dog bed carnage is not Luke’s personal handiwork (ahem, Charlie Machete), it’s one of the more extreme examples of destruction we have experienced recently.

Increased bouts of chewing, rough-housing and a game of chase we like to refer to as “pin bull”, seem almost always to follow a missed or skimpy walk.

For example, no one got a walk last Friday, because Zach and I had a social engagement that began right after I got off work and lasted late into the evening.

Consequently, the next 24 hours included the following:

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Zippers, snaps and straps torn off one of Zach's favorite bags.

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Artificial flowers removed -- by fang -- from my birthday hat.

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A new roll of toilet paper put to use. For teething.

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An airhole installed in my shirt.

The redhead, caught red pawed.

The list of things ruined since we became a four-dog household is long and varied: eyeglasses, shoes and boots, stocking caps, pillows, a corner of the wall, every dog bed in the house. (As I write this, Zach is actually making new beds out of heavy canvas.)

With so many creatures kickin’ about, a little wear and tear on the residence is inevitable. Just ask Dogs or Dollars — a blogger who has six forever dogs, plus a new foster: humans in multiple-dog households have to take the messes in stride, but some steps can be taken to minimize the chaos.

Strategic toys help. Finding a way to give each animal a significant amount of personal attention each day helps. Never leaving anything valuable at dog-level helps.

But nothing beats exercise.

Tired dogs are happy dogs.

What is your dog’s worst/best destruction story?

If you live in the Kansas City area and would like to walk your dog in a social setting, consider joining dog socialization group KC Pittie Pack & Friends.

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About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on March 6, 2012, in Dogs, KC Pittie Pack and Friends, Random Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Oh my I must have super angles, I have never had a problem with my girls tearing up anything. Recently Midnight did get into the trash and put it all over kitchen. Her first offense sense she arrived in Oct. She also went to her crate and put herself in when caught red handed. I can’t take them for longs walks due to back problems so I take them out into my yard which is a field and spend time with them out there and I take them to back woods to explore. I do find when they have been out and play and explore they get along better when they are inside. They do get their walks but they are not as long as we would want them to be.

    • You are lucky to have access to the back woods to explore with the dogs. We have a very small backyard. There’s an unofficial off leash park a few blocks away, which we visit often. Unfortunately, only half of our pack can be trusted off leash. Those who can always come back extra tired!

      • Yes I have gone threw the small backyard thing I used to live in Philly and had a very small fenced in back yard. BabyGirl was never allowed off leash outside the yard in Philly. So when we moved here she must have thought she moved to paradise. I did have to spend time and train her for off leash. It went well I think because she loves the freedom. Midnight came from Manhattan NY in Oct. I don’t know anything about her background but her off leash training has went very well also. I was so surprised at this.They both know the boundary line and when we go off property (to go visit the horses) they are always leashed. Safety always comes first.These 2 city girls really adapted to country life quick! This summer I hope to explore my area for creek access . A new place for us all to explore! Those after outing naps are great and cute!

  2. Oh the carnage! LOL!

    I’m fortunate now that most of my crew is older, the destruction has slowed down. Daily crazy train runs used to be absolutely mandatory in order to keep everyone’s sanity intact. Every weekend started with a early morning hour spent at the Dog Park. Because it had to.

    Even now though, obviously it happens. You’ve seen my dog couch.

    I’d add to your list…(if I could)
    Daily training exercises. Even if they are just incorporated into your routine. Waiting to go in and out of doorways until released. Puppy pushups for treats (not just a sit, but sit, down, sit, usually finished by do something clever).
    We sprinkle the house with low value chew toys. Not food based things typically.
    Raw Bones once a week are their very own workout, and can take the edge off a dog whose been cooped up.
    Yes, personal attention. Even if its just getting away from the group to check the mail or go to the store or be inside while everyone else is out exploring.
    One of the 10,056 reasons dogs are great is because it is very often the small things that make all the difference.

  3. Thanks for adding to the list! We have yet to try the raw bones, although Charlie Machete goes through a lot of other kinds of bones and stuffed kongs. I try to be extra mindful of giving personal attention to the husky mix Minnie. She is the calmest and most submissive of the bunch, so she will just go be good while the boys monopolize us. She is my errand buddy for sure!

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