I don’t think that I can ever emphasize enough how much a Labrador Retriever needs their exercise. My mother had a labrador retriever when she was young and she showed me photos of before and after she was tasked to care for it. You see, her dog, named Max wasn’t very active. Her parents were not big fans of going out for walks or talking the dog out for a drive.
This resulted with Max becoming quite fat from all the eating but no exercise. When my mother was given the task of caring for Max, she was still pretty young and of course wasn’t allowed to go out for walks by herself. She had to be rather creative in the ways that she could exercise Max out. While they couldn’t go out for walks, they did have a backyard and that’s where my mom’s creativity kicked in.
I start today’s article with this background because this is going to be our topic! As an adult, I know now that life can be pretty busy and it will be the pets that will be the first to suffer. So I asked my mother to share the activities that used to do with Max in their backyard. Here are some of her answers:
My mother emphasized that it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. All that was needed was for the dog to be active aka running around. Labs were bred to be retrievers of their owner’s kills out in the field. My mother tapped into that and got Max used to this Frisbee that she had. Once Max was comfortable with the toy, they proceeded to play fetch at least 20 minutes per day.
Tug of War
To be honest, I was rather skeptical about this one. While I can see why tug of war would be a good exercise, wouldn’t that also teach the dog aggression? According to my mother, not so much! In fact, she used the act of playing tug of war with Max as a rather teachable moment. She taught him to understand the command to release his bite on the ratty old fabric when told.
She also clarified that her mistake at the beginning was letting Max grab hold of the fabric first. She made sure to correct that so that her dog would understand right away if my mother wanted to play tug of war and when she didn’t.
Exercising a lab isn’t that hard nor should it cost you any money. All your lab needs is some dedicated time from you to give them something to do. Never forget that these are activities that you can do in your backyard. If you do not have a backyard, fetch should be out of the question unless you can bring them somewhere spacious.
Tug of war should be doable. Never forget that if your dog is obese, that is your fault. Do a very thorough analysis of how you are raising your pet.
What activities do you do with your pet in your backyards?