Jump to content
BC Boards
Lewis Moon

Really hot weather....what's your exercise strategy?

Recommended Posts

Here in Arizona we're entering the season of "maximum suckage". In about a month we'll regularly be hitting triple digit temps and in two it'll be 105 at 10:00 at night. Decidedly NOT good weather to be exercising my little mouth breather.

Yet....if I don't exercise him I know he'll repay the kindness in spades with six hour games of fetch and tug in our small living room. :rolleyes:

My wife and daughter can give him a good walk early in the morning when the streets aren't frying pan hot but after the morning nap his batteries will be topped off and the black and white Energizer Bunny will again grace our home.

What do the folks from desert areas do to exercise their pups during summer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the obsessive ball playing you describe in the house is about training, not exercise needs. If you don't tolerate it/don't offer it, he will stop expecting it. At the very least you need and iron clad command that means "the ball will not appear again today". If you stop entertaining him so much, he will start learning to entertain himself, and with some mild corrections for wrong choices, and some good choices (chewtoys, stuff kongs) available he will settle down

 

if you really feel he needs *exercise* and the temperatures won't allow it then I would invest in a treadmill and teach him to use it. Gradually work up to a 10 minute easy trot. the goal is to satisfy his need to move without creating a monster that needs more...more..more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A lot of the obsessive ball playing you describe in the house is about training, not exercise needs. If you don't tolerate it/don't offer it, he will stop expecting it. At the very least you need and iron clad command that means "the ball will not appear again today". If you stop entertaining him so much, he will start learning to entertain himself, and with some mild corrections for wrong choices, and some good choices (chewtoys, stuff kongs) available he will settle down

 

if you really feel he needs *exercise* and the temperatures won't allow it then I would invest in a treadmill and teach him to use it. Gradually work up to a 10 minute easy trot. the goal is to satisfy his need to move without creating a monster that needs more...more..more.

 

He does pretty well when I sub a chew toy for his tug/fetch toy. My humor bone was in hyperbole mode in the OP. Sorry....Coffee talking. More than anything I worry about him becoming sedentary during the summer. I have the option of going to the gym. Him, not so much. I was thinking about finding some sort of "glow ball" to play chuckit fetch out in the school yard after dark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He does pretty well when I sub a chew toy for his tug/fetch toy. My humor bone was in hyperbole mode in the OP. Sorry....Coffee talking. More than anything I worry about him becoming sedentary during the summer. I have the option of going to the gym. Him, not so much. I was thinking about finding some sort of "glow ball" to play chuckit fetch out in the school yard after dark.

 

I find these dogs need much less exercise than people think. I would consider the treadmill in your situation for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chuck-It makes a glow ball now, and I have a couple, although I haven't had to use them yet. I used to use a different brand of glow ball in the dark and it seemed to work fine. I don't know if the dogs could see it in the dark, but they could hear it when it landed and smell it, but I could see it fine. Just recharge with daylight.

 

Do you have a pond or other water option, as long as the water isn't too warm? That's my favorite summer choice for exercise, and sometimes we use a sprinkler or sprayer for some cooling fun. Plus, you can exercise if you have a cool-down option readily available - we keep a small tank full in the shade near the house and the dogs can be sent for frequent cool-downs.

 

What Lenajo said is important - training and channeling energy into good habits is essential - and I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to mindless ball-tossing at certain times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I find these dogs need much less exercise than people think. I would consider the treadmill in your situation for sure.

Agreed. When I wrote, worried about Scooter's lack of exercise when I had a fibromyalgia flare up, several people told me the same thing. Also, don't forget, anything that challenges their mind is a work out too.

 

I sympathize with your problem though. Summers here can be hot and humid. Doesn't take much to wear him out in that kind of weather. Even if the temps aren't bad, the humidity tires him out more quickly so we have to restrict exercise on those days. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He does pretty well when I sub a chew toy for his tug/fetch toy. My humor bone was in hyperbole mode in the OP. Sorry....Coffee talking. More than anything I worry about him becoming sedentary during the summer. I have the option of going to the gym. Him, not so much. I was thinking about finding some sort of "glow ball" to play chuckit fetch out in the school yard after dark.

 

What about focusing on brainwork during these months? Nose games, clicker work, 101 pet tricks, etc - it will give you and him plenty to focus on and learn and you can do it indoors or out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you swim him?

 

I wish . We have an above ground pool with soft sides (a bag pool) but no ponds within any reasonable distance. I would need to build a platform for the pool with steps on both sides to allow him to get in and out. At this, point, though, he hates water. Does everything he can to avoid it. I hope this changes over time but we'll have to live with it if it doesn't.

When playing, he'll switch to a chew toy if I say "no more" to his tug toy entreaties, but I have noticed that he'll be a bit more insistent if he didn't get his afternoon exercise. I'm also guilty of really encouraging his indoor play obsession because....well....we both enjoy it. I worry that will escalate this summer.

Mostly I worry that he'll becoma a sedentary "sausage doggy" like our dear, departed Staffie, Bea. We made big mistakes with her. I don't want to repete them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you are in a similar boat in the summer that I am in the winter. I simply don't go out with the dogs when it is in the 20's with wind chills in the single digits.

 

In the winter, I do a lot more indoor activity. I play games with the dogs that exercise their minds, as well as their bodies. So, instead of just throwing the ball, I will play games like "find it", and other special games that my dogs love. I spend time doing some shaping with the clicker. I work indoors with jump stantions or short planks. And we dive into the real training challenges that I typically have "on the list" for most of the year.

 

I'll go out and throw the ball a few times when they really need the edge taken off, but we are literally out for a few minutes on those days.

 

Like others, I have found that these dogs need a lot less pure physical exercise than their reputation indicates. Of course they need some exercise. But I have found that during extreme weather, moderate physical exercise coupled with quality training (and I'm talking minutes a day!) gets the job done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I lived in central CA we used to play twice a day for 15-20 mins: early AM and just before dark. We also played in the sprinklers a lot. In general, the dogs slowed down like we did and we just played indoors a little and played mind games vs physical games. Like so many have said, imo the "required 5 hrs of daily exercise" mantra to be false.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our morning walk is scheduled at about 04:45 -- my wet-nosed alarm clock takes care of that. That is the time when it is about the coolest. With the lighter mornings, we take a route around the nearby fields -- where it's cooler -- rather than our winter route which is a couple of degrees warmer. In the evenings, we must go out, but I wait until the sun is setting and go to Cosmo park lake, where they can splash around a bit. Senneca gets really lethargic in the heat, but does like to get herself wet by runing in the water. Rhys, who is the ball monster, takes frequent breaks to flop down and soak. Everyone gets less exercise, of course. Senneca usually ends up a couple of pounds pudgier by the end of the summer.

 

We don't do any form of indoor games; balls and throw toys are safely out of reach. I actively encourage them to be calm inside and let all their energy loose whe they go out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While you definitely want to keep him from overheating, you may also find that his heat tolerance will improve the longer the temps stay in that range, if he does get a reasonable amount of time outside (which may not be possible with the typical AC in Arizona - I *hate* how cold everyone seems to like to keep their houses there - no offense to Arizonans!)

 

Perhaps early morning hikes a couple times a week could help keep him fit? You'll be working just as much as he is, and therefore will be mindful of your own heat/exhaustion levels. He'll be getting mild to moderate excercise he can control. And you could help him out by bringing enough ice water along to keep wetting his belly, inner thighs and ears periodically to cool him down.

 

As for "pestering" with balls, etc., I find a command that the game is all over is a great thing to teach. We use "last one", which Odin understands to mean that WAS the last one. He immediately walks away when he hears it and starts doing something else, although as he is a drama queen he often goes with a bit of a sulky expression. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While you definitely want to keep him from overheating, you may also find that his heat tolerance will improve the longer the temps stay in that range, if he does get a reasonable amount of time outside (which may not be possible with the typical AC in Arizona - I *hate* how cold everyone seems to like to keep their houses there - no offense to Arizonans!)

 

Perhaps early morning hikes a couple times a week could help keep him fit? You'll be working just as much as he is, and therefore will be mindful of your own heat/exhaustion levels. He'll be getting mild to moderate excercise he can control. And you could help him out by bringing enough ice water along to keep wetting his belly, inner thighs and ears periodically to cool him down.

 

As for "pestering" with balls, etc., I find a command that the game is all over is a great thing to teach. We use "last one", which Odin understands to mean that WAS the last one. He immediately walks away when he hears it and starts doing something else, although as he is a drama queen he often goes with a bit of a sulky expression. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks everyone. I love the idea of indoor brain games and training some of harder behaviors/tricks. That will be a really productive way to spend some spare time this summer. Wish I lived close enough to Cosmo to walk over in the evening, but it looks like I’ll be loading Cerb into the car a couple times a week and taking him down to the school. While he doesn’t seem to like swimming, he’s all about being doused if he’s hot, so after sunset, a good squirt and rubdown from his water bottle and we’ll be good to go for a short workout. Aclimation to the heat is important but you butt up against a dog's limits pretty quickly. Humans are much more (physically and technologically) adaptable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great thread! We usually run with Zorro twice a day and I've been wondering how to deal with summer weather. We adopted him a year ago but during his first summer here he was afraid to venture far from our yard. He's definitely over that now and is used to a good run in the morning and the evening. So here's my question: how will we be able to tell if the heat is too much for him? He has a strong drive, and I'm afraid he'll overdo it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It definitely gets ridiculously hot here. Generally, the dogs just don't get quite as much outdoor exercise during the summer as they do during the rest of the year. Here are some of our summer strategies.

 

*We visit our friends with pools and let the dogs swim.

*We go to the top of Mt. Lemmon and hike where it is much cooler and shadier. There is also a little creek with cool water for the dogs to cool off in.

*We bring a lot of water with us for the dogs (and for us).

*We take day trips with the dogs to shadier locations so we can actually stand to be outside.

*We walk the dogs before the sun comes up and after the sun sets.

*Lightweight booties help with the hot pavement, but we try to stay on the grass or dirt in the summer.

*We take weekend trips with the dogs to San Diego, Flagstaff, Prescott and other places that aren't quite so hot.

*Instead of a hard core fetch game, we just go out in the shade and I throw the ball a few feet. The dogs are happy with that.

*During monsoon time, we go out when a storm is heading in or right after the rain. It usually cools off and gets nice and windy before the storm. You can squeeze in a decent little walk before the rain comes, or stay out in the rain!

*Dogs are allowed in Bookman's, so you can head there and walk around the store. It's also a great time to practice manners and commands.

*Take a trip to PetSmart, Petco, one of the feed stores or another pet store with the dogs.

 

The Tucson Botanical Gardens has The Dog Days of Summer throughout the summer months. You can take your dog before opening hours one day during the week. It is cooler and shadier and makes a nice little morning walk.

 

You can also join our Tucson Border Collie Meetup. Throughout the summer we will try to rent (provided everyone pitches in) an indoor location with AC for the dogs to play once a month. Tucson BC Meetup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*We go to the top of Mt. Lemmon and hike where it is much cooler and shadier. There is also a little creek with cool water for the dogs to cool off in.

Mmm, yes. Mt Lemmon is one of the places to go to escape the heat. It's a bit of a drive from us, or else we'd be there a lot more. It's also the only place that Senneca has actually set her paws on that funny, cold, white stuff they call snow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I *hate* how cold everyone seems to like to keep their houses there - no offense to Arizonans!)

 

I agree!!!!! :rolleyes: My house stays at 82 degrees in the summer. People think I am crazy, but I can't see how they can afford to keep it any cooler.

 

I also agree with a lot of what everyone else has said. Here are a few aditional suggestions:

 

We have flood and solar lights in our yard so we can play outside when the sun isn't available to torch us.

 

We play in the sprinklers a lot and I always hose my dogs down before we go outside and before we come in.

 

We only have short play sessions. Just being outside when it is 105 takes energy. :D

 

We will be getting a baby pool for dogs to lay in. We haven't tried it before, but I can't see how it would hurt. I might put my feet in as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Along the line of sprinklers.... Here in Tucson my dogs LOVE the hose. I take it out to water the potted plants on my patio, and they go crazy, jumping around, twirling and chasing the water stream trying to catch it. I often have to put them inside so that I can get my watering done! In the summer I will water the plants before I take the dogs for a walk so that they are all wet when we go.... of course, that moisture lasts only about 10 minutes into our walk, but I believe it helps some.

 

You said that your dog isn't interested in water. My former dog didn't care much for the hose until our newer dog showed interest, and then he got the idea. Once he saw the stream of water moving around, he just had to catch it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm...I never thought to hose Scooter down before a walk or outdoor activity in the summer. :rolleyes: Good idea!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It gets pretty hot down here in south Alabama during the summer. I've found those cheap plastic (hard sideded) kiddie pools you can buy for about $15 at places like Wal-Mart to be extremely nice. The dogs love them. They can all easily get in and out as they please/feel the need to when they get hot. And if I feel they are too hot, I can easily tell them to get in and "chill" for a for minutes.

 

You could also try games with water hoses. Some dogs like to chase the water. I agree with those that said to replace the ball for training time. If you do play ball, I would hose him down before, during, and after the game of ball.

 

And of course, make sure he has a constant supply of fresh, clean water.

 

You mentioned you have an above ground soft sideded pool. We've got one left over from last year that I'm going to be using as a dog pool for my dogs this year. I plan to take the ladder that it came with and attach a ramp to it so the dogs can climb in and out. Then make a flat piece inbetween where the handle bars are. Not sure how I'll make the entrance to it so they can get up the ladder, but it's an idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You mentioned you have an above ground soft sideded pool. We've got one left over from last year that I'm going to be using as a dog pool for my dogs this year. I plan to take the ladder that it came with and attach a ramp to it so the dogs can climb in and out. Then make a flat piece inbetween where the handle bars are. Not sure how I'll make the entrance to it so they can get up the ladder, but it's an idea.

 

I'm not really familiar with above ground pools, but my parents' Golden taught himself to exit their in-ground pool via the ladder. It is funny to watch.

 

It gets horribly hot and humid here, so we all get kinda lazy over the summer. We still take the dogs out to the acreage to run around 4-5 times a week, but instead of spending 30 minutes to several hours out there, we spend 15-30 minutes. It doesn't help that the acreage borders a lake, but we can't touch the lake because of the gators. It is soooo tempting sometimes, especially to my water-crazy older BC. Besides that, we play indoor fetch (when we aren't playing, the fetch toys get put away), tugging, hide-and-seek, mental games, and training. We try to get in a little bit of water hose playing every day to keep Diocese's weight down, but unfortunately the rescue isn't interested in water and he is the one with absolutely boundless energy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...