A tired dog is a happy dog – we all know this saying. But what many dog owners might not know is that physical exercise alone will not tire their dog out…it will simply condition it for more exercise. Adopting a Husky, I knew I’m signing up for a LOT of work, but I also knew that I will need to find ways of tiring him out physically and mentally. After all I can’t be running a marathon everyday! One of the best ways to get a dog mentally engaged is training, of course. But giving your dog a purpose, a task to perform will keep their mind engaged and fill them with a sense of purpose – a must for working dog breeds.
There are many benefits of a dog backpack:
– It’s great exercise. Start with an empty backpack, based on your dogs health and age, you can slowly add weight. Dogs can carry up to 10-20% of their body weight. A healthy, conditioned Husky can carry even up to 35%!! After the summer break (too hot for a backpack) Rocco is working at 5% and we are aiming to get him up to 25% by the end of spring. We’re using water bottles for weight, but beans or rice in a zip lock bag will work just as well.
– Makes your dog more focused. As your dog is working, they are less distracted, more focused and attuned to you. With a backpack Rocco is less interested in chasing squirrels and more focused on heeling.
– It gives them a sense of purpose and a job to do.
– Makes your dog more visible. This is especially important during hunting season. With a backpack it’s less likely a hunter will take your dog for a wolf or a coyote (something a Husky owner always has to keep in mind!)