Excerpt from Happy Dog: How Busy People Care for Their Dogs
This is the make-or-break condition for many new dog owners. They get a Golden Retriever because they want to start a new exercise kick and are amazed that when they’ve decided that exercise is overrated and inactivity is a virtue, the dog still demands activity. How could that dog be so insensitive!
If you select a dog who has exercise requirements greater than your own, problems will ensue. And don’t assume that eventually your new pet will decide that he really doesn’t need activity after all. Many dogs who are denied the exercise they crave will develop behavioral problems to signal owners that everything is not okay in their lives. Listen to that message or you are likely to come home to find your couch serving as an appetizer for your frustrated furry friend.
But don’t just assume that a working dog such as a Greyhound needs excessive exercise. Most greyhounds, even ones retired from the track, make great couch potatoes and can be very happy with a sedentary lifestyle. Your job is to determine your exercise match before you take a dog into your life, not after.
If you’ve adopted a dog with abundant energy and the need for exercise, don’t fret. Seek out a friend who likes to jog and see if he or she would like a running companion who could serve double duty as security. If all else fails, and you can’t bear to exercise yourself, consider teaching your dog to retrieve a flying disc and let him do all the real work. You concentrate on conserving your energy, flinging the disc for your dog to fetch, and keeping your eyes open for members of the opposite sex who are taking an active interest. There’s always an upside to taking your pet to public areas!
Need for Attention
Some people need to be needed, and this is often reflected in the time they spend with their pets. Other people would rather lead active social lives that don’t involve their pets. Whatever your preference, remember that all dogs are social creatures, but they do vary considerably in the demands they put on your time.
If you work all day and party all night, you may want to reconsider why you wanted a dog in the first place. Most dogs, however, can get along fine without you for considerable periods of time, as long as you take their needs into consideration. We’ve made some generalizations about breeds, but if you are reasonable, just about any dog can adjust to your schedule.
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