Michael Peer, Professional Dog Trainer, Crystal City, Va: Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 5:40 AM
Answer: VERY. We all lead busy lifestyles and finding available time to exercise our dogs can feel next to impossible. Yet if you are experiencing behavior problems with your dog-then their amount (or lack their of) of exercise needs to be a consideration. The importance of exercise is easy to overlook. I even have to remind myself to mention to my clients to consider finding ways to get their dog moving. Dog parks can be most rewarding. As the dogs I work with improve through behavior modification, this topic usually comes to mind. Many people use dog walker visits and doggy daycare. These are rewarding for our dogs. Still, many dogs need more exercise than those two avenues provide. Two or three walks by owners at our regular or even stepped up pace often won't be enough to exhaust Buster. A number of owners elect to run with or bicycle alongside their pups which provides an excellent way to drain that pent up energy. If you have a perennial ball fetcher in your pack, you must realize that Sheeba can keep that up better than the Energizer Bunny! So be creative or consider dog parks where our four-legged pals can exercise mind, body & soul.You'll thank yourself once you develop ways to truly exercise your dog because of the noticeable relief it brings.