How exercise can cause stress related issues in dogs

The following is a summary taken from Sara Reusche’s blog written in 2012, but still highly relevant today.

Sara cites that naturally physical exercise is necessary and healthy for all dogs, but that she sees a few common problems in client’s dogs that have not been exercised properly. One of the biggest issues is over arousal due to exercise, and the myth that you should exercise “crazy” dogs more.

Topics discussed are arousal and the signs to look out for, for example, how to know if your dog is suffering from negative stress. Also that stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing as positive stress can be good for both humans and animals.

The physical hormonal changes stress causes to your dog’s body can remain for hours or even weeks. If your dog gets highly excited every day through regular play dates, flyball, or other stimulating activities, they will struggle to calm down and control themselves. Sara’s experience shows her that it is most commonly seen with ball or Frisbee obsessed dogs, or those in regular day care where dogs are highly sociable.

Sara ends with her personal experiences with her own dogs and how she manages to balance highly arousal activities with other physical and mental exercise.

You can read the full article on Sara’s blog here. Sadly, unless you are visiting Minnesota with your pooch, you are not able to seek her advice on a personal basis.

The writer

Sara Reusche is based in southeastern Minnesota and owns Paws Abilities Dog Training. She became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in 2005, and a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2006. In addition to training, Sara has worked as a dog groomer, vet tech, doggy daycare attendant, and animal shelter caretaker and trainer. She currently spends the majority of her time working with serious behaviour cases and has a special fondness for reactive and anxious dogs.

Image by SC Studios

Further reading

Overstimulisation in Dogs
By Adrienne Janet Farricel

Read Tips from a Novice on how to raise a calm cockapoo here