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Breaking Bad Behavior

What to do if your retriever won’t stop whining or can’t sit still
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The Benefits of Regular Exercise

Neighborhood children always let me know when Nick, my old German shorthair pointer, was up to his slightly off-kilter tricks. The howls of laughter emanating from our basement were the tip-off.

The cause of the commotion was quite exasperating. Nick, my partner for 12 years, had the disturbing habit of chasing his tail. The kids who gathered to watch thought that his act was hilarious. But to me, this curious behavior was nothing to laugh about.

So I went to the trainer from whom I purchased Nick as a pup. He had a kennel full of shorthairs, Labs, and springer spaniels. “What can I do to get Nick to stop chasing his tail?” I asked.

The trainer did not have to think twice. “He’s bored,” he responded. “The dog needs more exercise. Take him for a good walk or a run every day. I think you’ll see a difference.”

Sure enough. While the walks and long runs did not completely cure the problem, there is no question they helped control Nick’s circle-spinning urges. Dog owners who suffer through similar experiences—including having a dog that digs holes or chews everything in sight—may be well advised to simply provide their dog more opportunities to exercise.
 

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