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Dog Training 101: Unique Ways to Exercise Your Dog on Hot Days

Black and white dog splashing in water

Whether you've just begun training your dog, or currently have your Best Dog Ever, your dog's behavior is incumbent upon 3 important things: Piloting, Activity and Work. Piloting is merely guiding your dog through daily life, exactly as a parent does for a child. Work is mental enrichment (bored kids and bored dogs can wreak chaos). Activity seems pretty straightforward, though, right? Exorcise your dogs and kids with exercise.

How do you exercise your dog during the hot weather? Last week in Cleveland, Ohio, our temps were in the upper 90's with 1874% humidity. Not exactly weather for a healthy walk with your dog.

Considering I have a hyper Border Collie and a psychotic Aussie, I have two choices:

  1. Pack up and move down to hell for the better weather; or

  2. Stay put and get my dogs the exercise they need so they can be my Best Dogs Ever.

Although choice 1 sounds appealing, let's go ahead and figure out ways to exercise our dogs safely during a heatwave.

Tips for Exercising Your Dog Indoors

Dog Flirt Pole/Teaser Stick

Yeah, don't Google that one. It's not what you think.

I'll save you the awkward search history:

beagle jumping for toy

Dog toy with rope

All my Best Dog Ever clients get one the day we start training, and they always thank me for the genius trick to wearing out their dogs indoors. This is also a great toy for working through impulse control issues. Just make sure you have a little bit of room to play, as it can get a little rowdy, but it sure is fun.

Dog Backpack/Day Pack

Another fan favorite of my clients: dog backpacks, or as we refer to it in our house, the "happy jackets".

Just put a very small bag of rice on each side (my 1 year old Aussie only has 1.5 cups of rice on each side), and let your dog wear it indoors all day, effectively wearing them out slowly, but consistently.

I think of it as a crock pot version of exercise rather than the quick sauté of some other means of exercise.

Just be careful with your dog's joints, as well as the weight. A little goes a long way. As always, I'd advise running it by your vet first, but this is my go-to method of wearing out my dogs.

My Hazel is currently using the OneTigris brand because she's a freaking rhinoceros and needs the durability (get it here). My Arwen is a bit more ladylike, so she uses Himal (get it here).

If you've attended one of my free Pack Walks in the Cleveland Metroparks, these are the backpacks you've seen a lot of the dogs there wearing.

Dog Enrichment Feeders

Another things my Best Dog Ever clients love: enrichment feeding. As I mentioned before, dogs require mental work, and this definitely hits that mark, but quite a few of the feeders I use require a bit of muscle, too.

Brown dog playing with red toy

Kong Wobbler

Great for my rough and tumble dogs, as it "fights back" keeping your dog's interest. Durability scale is 8/10 (not perfect for my extreme chewers, but pretty close!).

Get it here.

Omega Ball

red and yellow dog ball

The toughest enrichment toy I've found so far (haven't had a dog chew through it...yet). It is one solid piece, so it can be a little tougher to fill, but that's what makes it so durable.

Bonus points on the price!

Get it here.

Tug a Jug

Seriously, though...who is naming these dog toys? After you get past the name, it's easy to see why this is my favorite: it's the hardest by far. My Aussie, Hazel, is too lazy to play with it, but it makes my Border Collie lose her mind. Get it here.

Take Your Dog For a Walk... Indoors

Okay, hear me out on this one. I love traditional treadmills for exercising dogs indoors, but ever since I discovered the walking pads, my life has changed. It's so convenient. I currently am using the Walking Pad Folding Treadmill for my dogs (get it here), and I love that I can fold it under my desk when they're done. Yes, it's pricey, but the space it saves in my office is worth the investment.

If you're looking for a traditional (aka, less expensive) treadmill, the Sperax is the one to get. Find it here.

Pro Tip: I also use it to pre-game my dogs' regular leashed walks outside. By getting out some energy before the walk, our walks are so much more enjoyable together.

Exercising Your Dog Efficiently

Now put it all together. Mix and match.

  • Backpack plus enrichment feeder

  • Flirt pole followed by treadmill

  • Backpack while on treadmill

And don't forget old tried-and-true method that can be upgraded:

Play fetch indoors with a jump. I simply use two soup cans with a broom balanced between them. Toss the ball over and my dogs get just a bit more exercise than just a traditional game of fetch.

Indoor agility can also be a lot of fun!

And a game of tug with a rope toy can sometimes take the edge off a dog who needs some exercise.

Your Best Dog Ever

Without adequate exercise, our dogs are prone to reactivity, destructive chewing and anxiety.

Having your Best Dog Ever depends upon your being the owner your dog deserves: seeing what your dog needs in order to give you the behavior you want. Exercise is a main component of having a calm, happy dog.

Struggling With Your Dog's Behavior and Training?

Most dog owners struggle at some point with their dog's training or behavior. Maybe you're a first time puppy owner who has gotten in over their head, or perhaps you're frustrated with your dog choking themselves during walks.

We've helped thousands of dog and puppy owners like you guide their dogs to become their Best Dog Ever with our force-free method of dog training: Piloting. Because it's never too late to discover that your dog is indeed the Best Dog Ever.

Green and blue dog training logo

Kerry Stack

Dog & Puppy Training

Serving Greater Cleveland Area

& Northeast Ohio


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