How To Get Your Lazy Dog To Exercise

Dogs are generally quite playful and active by nature. However, as a dog lover, you know that dogs have a personality of their own and can sometimes act lazy and indifferent. There could be a number of reasons why your furry friend is not in the mood to play fetch. Here are some simple and easy ways in which you can get your pooch to get off the couch.

1. Check If Your Dog Is Medically Fit

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The first step to getting your dog more active is to check if there’s some medical condition that’s holding him back. If your dog is not as active as he used to be or is not acting like himself, maybe he has an undiagnosed medical condition. So get him checked by your vet for any medical problems that might be at the root of his inactivity.

Some common canine medical conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Anemia
  • Lyme disease
  • Thyroid
  • Boredom

If your dog is overweight but you think you’re feeding him a reasonable amount of food,

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he might be suffering from hypothyroidism. Diseases like Lyme can also cause your dog to feel less energetic or he may be in pain due to arthritis which would make him avoid moving around too much. So make sure he’s physically healthy.

2. Getting Your Dog To Go Walking

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If you’re not into running and a friend forced you to run a few miles, you’d probably hate the experience. Instead, if you went for brisk walks for 10 minutes and over the next few weeks you slowly started to run, you would probably start enjoying it. The same goes for your dog. Going walking should be a pleasurable activity and your dog should enjoy it. So start with short 5-minute strolls around the neighborhood. Give him the time he needs to sniff around and take breaks so that he can soak in the surrounding smells. Over time, he will learn to enjoy this little outing and will be willing to spend more time walking outdoors.

3.
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Getting Your Dog To Play

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If your dog is medically fine and is still not willing to play, it’s probably a training and behavior problem. One of the explanations could be that he has a fear of stepping out and playing. It could be loud noises in the neighborhood, the sound of a leaf blower, or other scary dogs. Another reason could be that he’s happier sniffing around and eating grass and does not really care about playing. Simply put, it’s just not something that interests him. It’s up to you to make him realize how much fun it is to play the retrieve game. So you might have to put in some effort to encourage him with treats and rewards. If your dog is very stubborn, you should think of using the expertise of a trainer to get him up and running.

4. Relieving Your Dog Of Boredom

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During the winter months or when it’s raining continuously for days, your dog who is stuck indoors all the time might just be feeling bored. This is where you need to get more creative and find ways to engage him. A good way to do this is to start playing hide-and-seek with your dog. The game may require two people at first. One person stays with your dog while you hide and make a funny sound every now and then. Your dog will go room by room until he can find you. Once he finds you, treat him like the champ that he is. You can repeat this many times. Be creative and find ways to engage him indoors when the weather is bad.

5. Bonding With Your Dog

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A problem that many single dog owners face is that their dog plays only when there are other dogs around. If your dog is acting like this, it’s probably because he

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does not view you as his playmate. In such a scenario, you need to set some time aside for special bonding with your dog. Apart from the daily walks and play time, you need to go a step further to plan a “date’ with your furry friend. It could be a picnic at the park, going with him to a pet-friendly restaurant, or just window shopping. It’s up to you to decide but make sure you two spend some quality time at least once every week.

Every dog is unique and what works for your neighbor’s dog may not work for yours. So take the time to know your dog better and find out about all the things he enjoys doing. He will cherish all the extra attention and will look forward to playing with you.