Is my crazy dog normal?By Laura Herbert
November 28, 2008
I have a nine-year-old West Highland terrier. She loves her walks and we often go for several hours – she chases squirrels and generally runs around like a mad thing!
But, far from being tired when we get home, she will grab her favourite toys and dash around the house in a frenzied manner before eating and then falling asleep.
Is this normal?
Your dog clearly loves her exercise and it is important that she goes out on walks, both for the physical and mental stimulation that this provides.
It is, however, possible to over-exercise a dog, especially as their instinct to chase wildlife and keep up with their owners will override their tiredness and any discomfort that may otherwise stop them.
The amount of exercise a dog needs varies and will depend on age, fitness, breed and your dog’s health. As she is nine years old, it would be well worth taking her to your vet for a check up and to get specific advice for her.
Meanwhile, make sure you carry a supply of water on longer walks and watch out for signs of fatigue.
To prevent the ‘mad’ behaviour on your return home, walk her on the lead for the final ten minutes and use some training techniques before you enter the house.
Stand with her outside the door and ask her to sit and wait until she is calm, then enter the house and make sure her toys are out of sight. A dog should never be fed directly after exercise, give her time to calm down.
Visit www.castle-vets.co.uk for more pet advice or call the surgery on (0118) 957 4488.