Bad Fitness Advice: Get A Dog

By Laura Moncur @ 9:50 am — Filed under:

Every time I see a magazine or blog recommend to people to “get a dog” for motivation to exercise, I cringe. I did just that in 2001 when we adopted Sid. Now, Sid was a saint of a dog for many reasons, but he was NOT a good dog to keep me motivated to exercise. He was a high energy dog and needed a lot of exercise, but he was completely unleashable. Despite all the training Mike and I gave him, he never in his life learned how to take a walk with us. Every time I walked him, it was only an exercise in frustration, fear and embarrassment.

If you need motivation to exercise, adopting a dog is NOT the way to go. Dogs are each unique and every time you adopt one, it’s a crap shoot. I adopted Sid so I could have a walking and running partner. He was a good friend and I still miss him, but he was NEVER a motivator to exercise for me.

That being said, I find myself in a strange situation. Sid died six months ago, so Mike and I adopted a new dog about three weeks ago. Her name is Nina and everything I wanted from Sid, Nina has given me. I finally have my walking partner.

Nina has her own problems completely different from Sid. The REASON I’ve been walking her two miles a day is because she refuses to go potty in our backyard. We take her out there and she will NOT do it, even if she is bursting with pee and we offer her a treat to do it. She literally needs to walk about a half mile from the house before she will release.

Just like I said, every time you adopt a dog, it’s a crap shoot.

These last three weeks have been bliss for me. Every morning, I wake up and immediately put on my gym clothes to take the dog on a walk. I don’t ever think that it’s not an option. The poor puppy needs to go potty and she won’t be able to go unless I walk her. Exercising has never been so automatic and easy for me, and the backyard has never been so clean and fresh smelling.

So, after these three weeks of happy exercise, would I recommend to people to get a dog for motivation? No. Having a dog is a big responsibility and if the only reason you want one is for company on your daily walks or runs, then do not adopt. You might luck out and get a dog like Nina, but then again, you might end up with a dog like Sid, who you love, but will never be a motivation to exercise. Adopt a dog for the company and joy they bring to your life. If they happen to be a good workout buddy as well, then consider yourself lucky.


One Response to “Bad Fitness Advice: Get A Dog”

  1. ubru bey Says:

    Hey dogs are every man’s best buddy , no doubt about that, but i was just wondering how they will be able to help us to get fit?

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