How to Exercise a Dog in Heat

No Dog Parks, Please!

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When a female dog comes into heat, all obedience is off the table.  They are not to be trusted, ever.


A dog in heat is looking for a mate, and they may not find a suitable one - so they'll find an unsuitable one.  This is how small female dogs end up in trouble. A small dog should never be bred to one that is a lot bigger, but that's what can happen to dogs as size doesn't matter. Hormones rule.

Avoiding an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy is imperative for the health of a dog, and the puppies that could result.

Big puppies in a tiny female dog are a recipe for disaster. Caesarean sections are often the only way this type of puppy can be born alive, and the resulting anesthesia and trauma of surgery can leave long lasting results.

So what can you do to prevent an unwanted pregnancy in a young and untrained dog?  A border collie, for instance. 

Taking a dog out on leash every time they need to potty can create the perfect opportunity to teach superb loose leash walking.

A long line, say 25 or 30' is a better option than a regular six foot leash, as it gives them more room to roam while staying safe.

A dog that is used to being free to run around at top speed will find the confinement of a crate almost unbearable, but there are a few ways to make it easier on the dog, and on you.

One way to tire out a dog that tends to do everything at top speed is to do some parkour. 

This is like an agility course combined with obedience, and having to use that busy brain to think about the commands and fulfill them can really wear them out, making it possible for them to sleep for a while afterwards.

One parkour method is to use a log or other object in front of you, and toss a kibble on one side, then the other.

Jumping from one side to the other twenty or so times will give your dog a good workout that doesn't entail you doing any of the running, while also draining some of the dogs nervous energy. Do this several times a day to take the place of running free or long walks.

Notice in the video Mike made it harder to do what she wants to do but is not socially acceptable (jumping up) with the use of praise for an incompatible behaviour (sitting down).

Other ways to tire out your dog are those activities that use her brain - puzzle feeders, games and 'puppy push ups'. 

This is teaching 'sit', 'down' and 'stand', then giving the cues for these positions in quick succession - mix them up, don't do them in the same sequence  every time, just to keep them guessing.

Note; don't do these activities on the driveway where cars will be parked; driving around afterwards will create a scent trail leading right back to your door.

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