Shetland Sheepdogs are playful dogs who love to be out and about, exercising as often as possible. Yet, statistics have shown that 1 in 5 Shetland Sheepdog owners don’t regularly walk their dog, behaviour that, if sustained, can result in health problems in the long term.
Exercising your Shetland Sheepdog doesn’t have to be a chore, however, and there are a variety of ways that you can get (yours and) your Shetland Sheepdog exercise in, without overly exerting yourself.
Here’s our guide to the best, most varied ways of keeping your Shetland Sheepdog fit and healthy:
Walking, Running And Jogging
Ok, it’s the obvious one, but the most basic way to exercise your Shetland Sheepdog is to slip on their harness and take them for a good old dog walk. There’s no doubt that your Shetland Sheepdog will jump with excitement as soon as they spot their lead, which is an obvious sign that this tried and tested method works.
We’re not suggesting that you take your Shetland Sheepdog for a sprint, but a short run or jog can do them the world of good. Why not wear the appropriate clothing and, if opportunity arises, get in a bit of extra exercise for yourself as well as your Shetland Sheepdog. A couple of laps around a local pond, for example, will not only break up the walk, but also allow your Shetland Sheepdog to burn off a good deal of energy.
If you’re getting bored of the same old walks, why not change them up a bit? Take a different route, or walk a different area of the park… Or, even better, take your Shetland Sheepdog with you when possible! If you’re meeting a friend for lunch, for example, find a dog friendly cafe, or sit outside in a pub garden if the weather’s good?
Canicross is another option for the more adventurous dog owner but not for the faint hearted!. As long as they’re by your side, your Shetland Sheepdog will be happy to accompany you!
Another way to release some energy fast is a good old game of fetch. Chasing their favourite ball or toy will keep your Shetland Sheepdog occupied for hours and, with any luck, they’ll kick it around themselves for a while and give you a break. Or, take the toy with you on a walk and give your Shetland Sheepdog an even longer run!
However, it’s important that you play in a safe and secure area. Make sure that your Shetland Sheepdog is well trained enough to come back to you if you’re playing outside. Also, be considerate of others around you – you don’t want to be chasing your Shetland Sheepdog through a family picnic!
Tug Of War
We love a good game of tug of war almost as much as our dogs, and Shetland Sheepdogs especially could play for hours!
Shetland Sheepdogs will play with anything – a favourite toy, a shoe, an old sock – and now you can get special rope toys, designed specifically for the game. These are great because they make it easier for your Shetland Sheepdog to grip the toy between their teeth without hurting them. They’re also made specially to not fall apart in their mouth.
Whilst playing the game, it’s important to ensure that your Shetland Sheepdog doesn’t become too aggressive. If they do, it’s a good idea to change the game to something more calm.
Find The Treat
Perhaps a more relaxed game for you, hiding your treats around the house is a great way to keep them occupied and steal away an hour for yourself.
The key is to not go overboard – remember, the more treats you give them, the more energy they’ll have. So, why not hide your favourite toys instead? Some Shetland Sheepdogs will take to the game very quickly, but for others it’ll take a little longer.
Stick with it – you’ll be thanking us when your dog is busy in the other room and you’re free to watch half a Netflix series in peace!
If you’re looking to train yourShetland Sheepdog, then why not exercise them at the same time with an agility course?
There are loads of specialist agility kits on the market that you can buy, and they’re not that expensive. Otherwise, just use household objects – cans of soup instead of cones, old cardboard boxes to walk through, etc.
Repeating the circuit will do wonders in terms of training your Shetland Sheepdog, whilst giving them the exercise that they need!
How Tailster’s Dog Walking Service Can Help
We know that our lives are busy, and it’s often difficult to find the time to give your Shetland Sheepdog ample exercise. That’s where we at Tailster can help. Tailster’s dog walking service will ensure that your Shetland Sheepdog gets as much exercise as you specify, keeping them fit and healthy when you simply don’t have the time.
For more information on our service, head over to the main site.