My dog’s name is Abbey, and she loves to exercise. Your dog may not based on her breed, personality, or lifestyle. Abbey is a mix of dogs who have the most fun when they are moving. In fact, her three favorite words relate directly to exercise. If she hears one of these words, she will drop whatever she is doing and prepare to participate, without limiting her excitement. Some people need a dog exercise machine, but we have a dog who is one!
Favorite Word #1 = Walk
This is Abbey’s favorite word. The word most dogs probably love to hear is “treat”, or a food item they prefer. Abbey loves to walk, hike, run, chase, play, etc. The most exciting part of her day is when she hears the word “walk”. I’m a certified personal trainer, and I don’t even get THAT excited about exercise.
Abbey and I have gone hiking hundreds of times. We’ve taken walks even more often around the neighborhoods. We walk at least one mile everyday. Sure, I realize how beneficial it can be, but Abbey is the one who prompts all of these walks. I enjoyed hiking prior to adopting her, but now it has become our favorite activity.
Our longest walk took place along the San Antonio Riverwalk, where we hiked 15 miles in a single afternoon. It was quite an adventure. Abbey, normally gets to sniff whatever she likes, and take the direction of her choice when she’s on the move. No amount of walking diminishes her excitement when she hears the word “walk” everyday. Who knows where we will be setting records next? One thing is for certain – WE WILL WALK!
Favorite Word #2 = Cat
This is Abbey’s second favorite word, although no less exciting than the first. Say the word “cat” and she will do Mach 10 to the front window. Once the cat is is view, she will whine or bark playfully until noticed. If she sees a cat while walking around the neighborhood the reaction is different. Her inclination is to chase any cat outdoors. She won’t attack, or bite a cat. She simply wants to smell and play the chase game.
Unfortunately, most cats do not play the chase game. Furthermore, cats do not play with dogs, lest they be seen and shunned by their community. No, cats enjoy lounging undisturbed. Cats (who are not kittens) don’t even exercise unless pursuing a bird, or rodent. What are we doing to our household pets? That’s a separate topic up for debate.
Abbey would love nothing more than to play with a cat while out on the walk. However, the feeling is never mutual. Most cats will simply run away. Some will stand their ground while Abbey hops around. She will also bark playfully, but we continue the walk before discovering who would have given up first. My guess is Abbey, but don’t tell her I said that.
Abbey definitely comes from a line of Rhodesian Ridgeback hounds. She has the appearance, temperament, and personality of a ridgeback. Not to mention their ancestors used to hunt the largest cats of all – the king of beasts. If you can chase a lion, you can chase a cat. Abbey has had opportunities to catch cats, but she would rather play and you can’t play with your food.
Favorite Word #3 = Squirrel
We have a lot of oak trees here in San Antonio, and many squirrels live in them. Abbey’s third favorite word is “squirrel”, and it may have been the first word she learned. Squirrels are always putting on a show outside and Abbey loves to watch it. Yes, she nearly does Mach 10 to see the squirrel show. By the way, it’s hard for a dog to do Mach 10 on a tiled floor. You can imagine the skidding and sliding for yourself.
While Abbey loves watching squirrels, she will waste no time trying to chase them. Again, she will not try to attack, or bite a squirrel. She simply wants to chase, and be chased. Unfortunately, squirrels will only take part in the former.
Abbey has had opportunities to catch more than a few different squirrels. In fact, a young squirrel gained a significant amount of life experience today, thanks to Abbey. The young squirrel sat atop the fence, not expecting Abbey to be near. She rushed out the door, pushed on our fence and knocked the small squirrel to the ground in front of her paws. Instead of grabbing a mouthful of tail, she chased it around a nearby tree. That squirrel will not be back anytime soon.
We Do Not Need a Dog Exercise Machine
Abbey’s favorite words all relate to exercise and we love to exercise for fun. In fact, our dog IS an exercise machine. This works out well for us as an active family. However, your dog probably has three completely different words he loves. Those words may have nothing to do with exercise. Which words does your dog love the most?
I’ve been a personal trainer for nearly a decade, certified by ACE, NASM and WITS. Helping people reach their fitness goals and potentially live longer is a true honor. I have over 1,000 hours of coaching experience with seniors, youth athletes and individuals with disabilities.
I can help you feel better, and live longer. Even though I share workouts on this site, you are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed here. Let’s move better, live longer and wander more often.