Keeping dogs engaged through socialization and exercise can do wonders for their overall behavior, anxiety levels and overall well-being. Dogs will misbehave out of boredom and lack of exercise. When a dog is feeling anxious, they can act out in a host of different ways. Many dog parents unintentionally reinforce dog behavioural issues, not knowing that the underlying cause is anxiety, lack of exercise or poor socialization.
Benefits of dog socialization
Ease of transition into new situations
Dogs that do not socialize with others are more anxious and afraid of new circumstances and situations. Socializing your dog early on by visiting friends, your local dog park, or introducing them to others through doggie daycare can help them feel more at ease as they get older.
Promotion of healthy dog lifestyles
Dogs that spend most of their time exercising and interacting with other dogs and people are healthier overall. The saying “a tired pup is a good pup” is genuine. The more they can use their energy productively, the less they will filter that energy into destructive behaviors or anxiety.
Development of confidence
By socializing your dog, you help boost your dog’s confidence. With each new positive experience and interaction, you help them learn that they are safe and not under threat. Introducing them to new sounds, places, objects and surfaces will not only stimulate their mind, but it will also desensitize them to daily occurrences which could otherwise scare them. When they become used to the environment around them, experiences such as hosting parties and visiting dog-friendly restaurants will be a lot easier and less stressful for you and your dog.
Benefits of dog exercise
The rates of dog obesity are staggering. Sadly, most pet parents don’t even know their dog is overweight, so they can’t take action to fix it.
Obesity is responsible for causing a host of health issues—arthritis, pancreatitis, depression, and diabetes are just some of the worst.
Exercising your dog regularly will help keep all of these health problems far at bay. For dogs that are already overweight, all is not lost. Reducing their food intake and providing them with short but frequent bouts of activity can help get them to a better state quickly. The more you build up their endurance, the better they’ll be able to get down to their goal weight and the quicker you’ll reduce the threat of other health issues.
Reduction of unnecessary barking
Generally dogs don’t bark to annoy us—they do it because they are trying to communicate with us. Some breeds are very vocal and like to “talk” to us all the time, but most of the time it is still for a specific reason. If there isn’t an obvious reason for their barking, like a skateboard passing by, an intruder, or some other impending danger, it is likely due to fear, anxiety, or excess energy.
One of the most frequent reasons dogs bark is because they are bored and seeking attention. Inactive dogs get bored more easily and are happy to spend all day barking to entertain themselves or get your attention.
Getting your dog out to play and exercise every day will make a huge difference to eliminate this problem behavior.
Strengthening the bond between you and your dog
Going out and about with your pup gives you something to bond over. Whenever you go for a walk, run, or hike with your dog, you are creating room to build trust. Show them that they can rely on you for fun and exercise, and that you will keep them safe and secure when out and about.