Ok, so what is an energy management plan? Do you need one and what does it include?

If you are experiencing unwanted or problem behaviours from your dog at home (think destruction, boredom or frustration related issues) then it is likely that you do need to address your dog’s energy in some way.

Insufficient mental and physical stimulation is one of the leading causes of problem behaviour in the home. An energy management plan outlines different activities to provide mental and physical stimulation to your dog throughout the day in order to prevent or reduce the high energy periods.

Let’s take a look at the exercise component of an energy management plan.

Exercise

Physical exercise is an important component of managing your dog’s energy levels. Providing your dog with adequate physical exercise will go a long way in helping to reduce many unwanted behaviours around the home.

To better manage your dog’s energy review what you are currently doing and look for ways you can either increase the amount of exercise per day or maximise the exercise they are currently receiving.

Here are some suggested activities to address your dog’s physical exercise needs:

  • Go for a walk.
  • Encourage sniffing at specific times during the walk.
  • Add a challenge like a backpack or walking next to a bike or stroller.
  • Include obedience activities throughout the walk.
  • Multiple walks per day.
  • Longer walk on the weekend.
  • Swimming at the beach, lake or pool.
  • A good run.
  • Game of fetch.
  • Playdate with other dogs.
  • Specialised training activities like tracking, scenting, herding or agility.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to how much physical exercise a dog needs. It really depends on your dog. Perhaps start by adding a second short walk to your daily routine or a long hike on the weekends.

The activities you choose should be appropriate for your dog and within their physical and mental capabilities. Herding activities would work well for a working breed dog like a border collie however adding a second walk in the evening may better suit a Labrador.

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