The Super Athlete Struggle & How to Avoid It!
The STRUGGLE begins!
The STRATEGY that works!The trick to exercise is something we are very familiar with...moderation! How many of us would eat ice cream instead of supper every day if we could, yet we know that wouldn't be healthy. Name your most loved activity, and you pretty much want to do it every chance you get but you've learned to moderate your participation in that activity to avoid hurting yourself. Our dogs don't understand moderation. Sure they might appear to moderate their food intake if you free feed, but that is nature as a dog that is hungry finds food and a dog that isn't hungry doesn't search for food. It's up to us owners to figure out a way to moderate our dogs activities so those activities remain beneficial for the health of our dogs.
If you and your dog loving playing dog together, continue to do so but limit how long and how frequently you do so. Cam, being an old man would still chase balls until he dropped, but his would leave him limping and sore for days. I moderate his ball play so he chases 6-8 balls and takes a break, then if he's good we might do another session. Azul is more of a flirt pole chasing dog, but again this can have the same over use issue that playing ball can have. My best advice for managing this is to create a routine that can meet your dog's needs and fit into your schedule. The routine should follow this order.
- Physical Exercise - fitting your dog's breed, age, and individual desires.
- Mental Exercise - often in the form of a training session, but I suggest this be a game based training session.
- Calming Activity - something you do with your dog to help you both relax after exercise.