A common phrase in our house is “a tired lab is a good lab.” Labs, especially young ones, need to work out their excess energy to be able to become that furry, affectionate family member you know and love. We love the energy of a lab; they’re so happy, silly and always up to be your running buddy! However, that energy can be hard to wrangle, like trying to rope the wind. Labs without an outlet for their activity can get rambunctious and downright naughty. Excessive barking, chewing, jumping and other annoyances can disrupt the household and ruin a good Netflix session!
Labs are a very versatile breed and enjoy a variety of exercise. Incorporating training or a job for your lab will be a win for everyone. Read below for some fun energy-taxing exercise for your lab;
-If you and your lab aren’t used to much exercise, start small. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, buy a new toy and throw it around the yard, anything helps your lab! Invite a friend or neighbor to walk with you, have them bring their dog for fun socialization for everyone.
-Train for a 5k together! There are a variety of dog friendly races, so you can can train and race with your pup.
-Dog parks are great for helping your lab socialize as well as burn off that extra energy. Try checking out a new dog park to help your dog sniff out some new scenery and find some new friends.
-Dog friendly locations are becoming more popular, so you may be able to meet up with your friends and get your dog some exercise at the same time. Search your hometown and see if you can bring along your pooch for dinner!
-Get creative, find jobs and new tricks for your dog to complete while exercising! Simple household items like lawn furniture, cones, boxes, etc… can be arranged for an obstacle course right in your own backyard or living room.
-Fetch games and find games are good for indoors when the weather is bad. When our house was on the market, my husband had already moved to our new town and I was alone with our chocolate lab, Max. I made up a game to help train him come to just my voice, since my husband wasn’t there. I called it the “Where’s Max Game,” I would hide somewhere in the house (usually a closet since I was busy packing everything), and then Max would run around the house to find me. I would give him a treat and lots of love when he found me. Win-win, Max learned to listen to my voice a lot better and also got a good workout while I was packing up the house. Another game I made up is to fetch a particular toy. I taught Max the name of three of his favorite toys, “dragon,” “shark,” and “lambie,” then I would throw all three toys across the yard or room and tell him which one to bring me. Another win-win, Max got exercise, and I was able to keep packing!
-Take your dog hiking, it’s everything a dog loves! Extra bonus if there is a lake or river for your lab to cool off. Swimming is an excellent workout for your lab and one of their favorite things of all time!
Proper nutrition, consistent training and exercise are the three keys to raising good labs. Exercise makes it possible for your dog to listen and pay attention to what you’re requesting. Labs have an incredible amount of energy, help them use it for good instead of naughty!
Photo Credit: Elona Schreiner