I love this blog post! Lots of valuable information in here, which may challenge what many of us have learned (or assumed) about dog training and ownership:
Definitely true. Misha can run his brains out playing off leash, but it won't exhaust him as much as a 1 hr agility class. When we get home from class he is out for night. So much thinking. On days when I can't take him for off leash play I take him to my university for a long walk around campus. But it's not just walking. I intermittently practice heeling and I have him navigate lots of obstacles in made-up agility courses with outdoor exercise equipment, benches, and rocks. And we always practice settling calmly in a busy area. Combining different goals seems to work very well for satisfying his needs. I have biked with him as well, but it didn't really tire him out too much. He still required play and training exercises.I have always thought that brain exercise is way more important than non-thinking running bersekers. When we walk from our house it it is a thinking walk with lots of behavior asks, like sit at stop signs and such, but also "free" time for sniffing in leaves and peeing on trees. No running at all. When we get home everybody is ready for a bit of a nap.
I know of someone with a GSP where the wife used to rid her bike with the dog running beside for at least 5 miles at a time and often more than once per day. The dog was still always hyped up crazy until they started taking him to a canine conditioning class that in the most basic of terms was obedience activities on balance equipment. The dog got physical exercise but also had to think about thigs like how to balance on the inflatable peanut. He turned into a different dog.
Oh my goodness. Just reading that made me feel tired! Lol.He spent over 5 hours last weekend (when his owner contacted me) running the yard and ignoring every attempt to get him to go back in the house.
Once they're in the habit of ignoring recall, and if they don't care about reward treats, what can be done that might work? I've seen this with stubborn, impulsive teens, you can take away everything they own but they'll still skip classes or climb out the window at night to run off and party. Some dogs are the human version of this.My plan is to really install some tough love based impulse control so we can get him to understand that the order to come isn't an ask, but really is an order. If his lovely owner can get a good recall then I think running the fence line and barking at everyone will fade away pretty easily.