Activity is needed, not optional
You’ve heard the saying: A tired dog is a good dog. While that’s usually true of canines, it’s also true that a tired dog makes for a happy owner as well.
Anyone who’s ever had a dog can tell you that bored dogs tend to make trouble — all that unused physical and mental energy needs an outlet, and a daily walk sometimes isn’t enough. Dog trainers JC Calvert and Kyoko Furukawa of Zoom Room — Top Dog Award winner for Agility/Sports — say that finding activities that use your dog’s brain and body can actually be much more beneficial and rewarding for you both.
“Taking a pup for a walk is invaluable,” says Calvert. “But that only provides ‘pee and poop’ time as well as reading the Dogegonian Daily News, like ‘Who peed here, A squirrel was there,’ etcetera. But a walk has the absence of mental stimulation.”
Calvert believes more is needed — exercises and games that strengthen confidence and offer opportunities for a dog to learn and be praised. “Dogs and humans are immensely more the same species in mind, if not body, than most people realize,” he says.
Agility, one of the fastest-growing dog sports in the country, is a great option. Dogs sprint through an obstacle course, launch themselves over jumps, dive through tunnels, weave through poles, and more. The sport offers exercise for both dog and human, as well as requiring teamwork, quick reflexes, and best of all (for the dog) lots of opportunities to learn and be rewarded.
What constitutes a reward? Calvert and Furukawa say it can be many things, and since Zoom Room’s methods are based on positive reinforcement, they’re expert at helping dog owners determine what is most rewarding for their dogs. It can be anything from treats to belly and jaw rubs to a favorite toy — whatever works is the name of the game, and the goal is for everyone to have fun.
Along with agility, tricks training, obedience and a private gym are the most popular activities at Zoom Room, and those who go see a change for the better in their companions. “Their focus, their bond, and the rapport between a pup and its owner grows even stronger,” Calvert says.
That, of course, is the best reward of all.
ZOOM ROOM 1210 NW 10th Ave, Portland OR • 971-277-3739 • ZoomRoom.me/pdx
Kennedy Morgan works in the construction industry by day and enjoys coming home to her Great Dane Vegas, and Pomeranian, Leo. Her household is also indentured to a 14-year-old tortoiseshell diva cat named Capri. Kennedy and her canines enjoy walks, beach trips, agility, and learning new things.Catch them out and about on Portland’s west side, and at dog sporting events.