Dogs are man’s best friend, but many of them would like to eat the remote control. That’s because they’re active by nature, but they live with a TV addicted couch potato. This mismatch can make for a strained relationship – or a really miserable dog.
When bringing a dog into your home, you must consider the activity level that the dog needs to be physically and emotionally healthy. Some lazy adults think that if they only had a dog who needed walking twice daily, then they would get the exercise they’ve so carefully avoided for so many years.
Lazy people are not likely to change their habits enough to make a good fit between them and active dogs. It’s the dog that will suffer as the lazy owner slacks off on walking and the dog fails to get what he needs in regular outdoor time.
The amount of daily activity that a dog needs is not the same as exercise. Every dog needs time each day to walk, run, jump and unwind. That may come with a walk on the leash to the park or around the block.
A dog that lives in a home with a fenced yard can enjoy free running and playing without the constraints of a leash. Older adults who have their own problems with mobility limitations need to choose a dog that requires less daily activity.
People who enjoy spending time outdoors for recreation or to unwind after a day at work are ideal owners for active dogs. Both owner and dog look forward to the end of the day, when they can play chase in the park or go for a run together.
Larger dogs tend to be more physically active. Among those are dogs whose heritage includes being working or hunting dogs. They have an innate desire to be busy and work off energy. Dogs such as Irish Setter, Doberman, Beagle, German Shepherd and Greyhound are built for movement and agility, so they naturally desire daily exercise.
Size can fool you as the extremely large dogs like the St. Bernard and Bull Mastiff, who can easily outweigh their owners, are low activity dogs. Even though you see the St. Bernard in movies rescuing the lost skier, what you miss is the rest of the time when the dog is sleeping in front of the fireplace.
Small dogs like Poodles, Pekinese and Chihuahuas can live in small spaces and forego the daily long walk in the park, but their high-strung temperaments cause them to be high in activity around the house.
Granted, their activity may be running aimlessly around the room, jumping on your guests or bouncing on you, but they do calm down when the energy burst is spent. That’s the point where the little dogs crawl back on your lap or on their plush pillow for a well-deserved nap to recharge.
There may seem like so much to know before buying a dog – and there is! By taking time to make a profile of the dog that best fits your living space, personality, and personal activity level, you’ll have a better match for a lasting relationship.