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Exercising Your Dog While Social Distancing

Leash walks can only take us so far. Most of us can find them fairly boring and quite a few dogs don’t find them sufficiently engaging to provide enough enrichment. So…how DO you provide exercise when you are limited to leash walks? The answer is you get creative.

Beau and Jo in the ultimate dog backyard!

You can set up little jumps in your hallway using books or other heavy objects to brace dowelling or broom handles. You can find cheap pylons and drill holes in them for more sophisticated jumps.

A lightly inflated air mattress is a good way to start helping your dog work on balance and learning to adjust to an unstable surface.

You can take low box, fill it with something heavy, close the top and use it as a perch to teach your dog to put their front legs onto it. Or jump on it and sit or do a down. If you really get ambitious, you can try to teach your dog to back onto the perch.

Set up two small circular boxes and have your dog put one front leg on each. This is a somewhat more difficult task for some dogs, but if you start small and work your way up, then you will accomplish quite a bit.

I have an island in my kitchen and when I have no other ideas for exercise, we do walking/heeling exercises around the island. It’s a good time for me to reinforce and sharpen up their “watch me” (eye contact cue) and “Get In” (heeling cue)

Remember, most dogs aren’t volunteers. They want to be paid for their work, just as we do. Reward their progress as they go along. Think outside of the box, as it were.


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