Secret to a well behaved dog

RX For Canines- Would you like to know the secret to a well-behaved and healthy dog? There IS a relatively simple solution but it’s one which sometimes seems tooobvious, and too much work to be true … adequate exercise.
I know that’s not what you really wanted to hear because it requires a huge commitment of time and effort and it is NOT easy to push ourselves out the door in the dark on early winter mornings to walk our dogs. However, the price to pay when dogs receive inadequate exercise, both mental and physical, is not really worth considering. 
Often, dog owners offer a million reasons why they are unable to exercise their pooch regularly … long work hours, their own ill health, poor weather conditions etc. etc. etc. Many of the excuses … or reasons … are quite legitimate. However, when I counter with the possible consequences of an underexercised dog, many re-think their positions. The following is a list of ten reasons to provide our dogs with sufficient exercise:
1. the cost of repairing the three foot hole in the living room wall.

  1. the expense of replacing the couch.
  2. the mess of hiring a landscaper to fill the crater-like holes in the backyard.
  3. the time and effort needed to install new laminate flooring where it has been frantically scratched.
  4. the vet bills for allergy testing when your dog is gnawing her paws … out of boredom.
  5. the operation to remove the cell phone, the stuffed toy, the couch stuffing etc. from Ruff’s stomach, eaten to fill the hours before your return from work.
  6. the confusion and derision from your family and friends when you inform them that you’ve hired an animal communicator and/or animal behaviorist to explain why Ruff circles endlessly in pursuit of her tail.

8. the price of litigation when your dog exuberantly grabs the pant leg of the hydro meter reader who enters your back yard … as a result of pent up energy rather than aggression.
9. the cost of moving to a new apartment building due to neighbour complaints when your dog races frantically, from corner to corner to corner to corner of the livingroom to bark at each and every noise she hears all day long while you’re at work.
10.   the expense of ligament or hip replacement surgery for your canine pal who has not seen her waistline in years due to excess fat.
Although some of these may be more the outlet for larger, bored dogs, the Havanese, though small, can still do considerable damage such as ripping strips of wallpaper from the wall, tipping over garbage cans and distributing their contents throughout the house, and chewing electrical cords. 
The list could go on and on because a lack of exercise contributes to ill health, mental health issues and behavioral problems in otherwise healthy dogs.
Noel Hynds ( Previously published in Hav News & Views WInter 2009)