Could use a bit of help/advice. I'm feeling guilty. I know my lab Breezy isn't getting enough exercise and it's really bothering me. She is my only dog, so there's no other dog in our house to play with. She has a few doggy pals but we don't seem to get together enough, since everyone's schedules are a little different. Breezy is 5 years old. I walk her twice a day; in the morning on-leash around the neighborhood for anywhere between half hour to an hour. In the afternoon we walk on the beach off-leash for anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half. I wish I could run with her but I can't. Due to an injury, I cannot run without paying a big price for it later on. I feel bad because I know she needs to run. I tried riding my tricycle ( yes, tricycle but adult-version. No, I'm not a senior citizen. ) with her alongside and it sort of worked for a little while but she gets so distracted with squirrels and other dogs that it got dangerous a few times so I haven't tried it again in a while. Plus, where we live there aren't all that many safe places to ride a bike with your dog. Not enough quiet streets around here unfortunately. I was thinking about looking into taking her someplace where they offer classes for dogs and their peeps. I live in the south New Jersey area and found a place online about an hour from me called "Wonder Dogs". They offer classes in agility, canine musical freestyle, flyball, etc. I would prefer it be closer than an hour's drive but if Breezy loved it to me it would be worth it. A little problem though: Breezy gets along with some dogs but not all that she meets. We have done a few obedience classes but they were all on-leash. The classes at Wonder Dogs she would be off-leash. They do offer private classes though so then it wouldn't be a problem, but then she would miss out on being with other dogs. I'm torn. Either I take a chance and try to get her in a class with other dogs and risk her not enjoying it, or I do a private class and then she is alone with me, like it so often is. My primary concern is for her to get good exercise and also have fun. Does anyone know of any places in my area that offer fun things to do with your dog? Dog parks are out for us. I would really appreciate any tips you guys could give me! Thanks!
I didn't see you mention retrieving at all. Get yourself a chuck-it and throw the ball. Minimal impact on you and great exercise for the pup.
~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.
I may be totally wrong here (not having a lab) but hows about doing to Search work?? I used to do this a lot with my GSD, I would take a toy on our walk and drop it without him knowing and then send him to find it. It helped work him mentally. I am not sure if this would be something that labs would do tho?????
definitely join a class. maybe even look at agility - talk to the trainer about your constraints but I don't see why you would not be able to do agility (find a trainer willing to work with you).
Get some brain games or a book on games (find and seek is an example). get things like the tug-a-jug to feed them (it isn't that expensive). there are many games from Nina ottoson but they can be pricey so depending on budget a book with training tips may be more cost effective.
Have you tried different toys for fetching? Rocky won't fetch a regular tennis ball but likes squeaky tennis balls. Some dogs prefer frisbees. BUT - if you want there is a way to train a dog to enjoy fetching - I had to do it with Rocky for our hunt class. Somehow I got to a place where he feared the bumper (due to the stress I was putting on him to fetch it). So I had to back wayyyy up and associated the bumper to something good - for Rocky this was treats. I used clicker training and had to start with clicking if he was "near" it. it took a week and after that he was EXITED when I took it out. our sessions were short but you can probably get abit of fetching in with this process.
Are there places you can walk her off leash? that would be really great exercise. You can go at your own pace and let her sniff around.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
training can go a long way - look at this video! I am sure these dogs are getting lots of physical and mental stimulation in learning all these tricks.
Leroy's Fit Pit Dog Aerobics Workout Video - YouTube
Charlie (foster) and Rocky