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90% of Behavior Problems are Caused by Lack of Exercise 

(see YouTube video by Zac George

Is your dog aggressive, disobedient, noisy,  trouble-seeking, destructive, or neurotic? Exercise is probably the solution. 

Real exercise is not just a walk around the block.
Your dog needs rigorous exertion through activities such as playing a game of fetch, running around a dog park, or running alongside you as you jog, bike, or roller skate.  Think about it. If you were cooped up as a child and not allowed to run off your energy, you would probably be acting out in all sorts of ways. A slow walk down the block can actually be frustrating for a dog that needs real exercise. Exercise is usually the magical gateway to a happy, obedient dog.


"Fetch" Makes Exercise Easy!

A 10-minute game of fetch in the morning and at night can give your dog rigorous exercise without making you work too hard. (See Zac George's video on "How to Teach Fetch.")


Puppies need to be exercised before a training session

so they can get their energy out.  A 10-minute game of fetch can do the trick. Other kinds of exercise can be jogging, biking, or rollerskating with your dog. 

Be careful exercising puppies and small dogs
What might be a good rigorous jogging pace for one dog might be too much for another. Be careful not to over-exert puppies and small dogs. They will try to keep up in order to please you, but over-exertion can cause dogs to have aversions to those forms of exercise. A game of "fetch" allows dogs to create their own pace.


When Exercise Is Not Enough

Then, there's the 10% of cases that are the exception. Let's say your dog is getting plenty of exercise but still has issues with aggression, disobedience, barking, destructive behavior, or trouble-making. Plenty of YouTube videos provide training information for behavior problems. If the problem persists, you might need to hire a professional trainer.  And some dogs simply don't have the temperament for service dog work. If this is the case, consider getting a second dog with a more suitable temperament for service work or consulting an exceptionally talented dog whisperer (see Ceasar 911 on Netflix).

My dog Jesse was attacked by another dog, as a puppy. While she passed my trainer's service dog temperament test with flying colors, she had issues with aggression toward other dogs. One trainer session for $100 solved the problem (with daily follow-up on my part until she was conditioned out of it). But I still have to watch her. Some cases take more time and expertise. If you have experienced your own trauma related to PTSD, then you know patience can be key. But remember, your service dog should be assisting you, rather than you assisting it.

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