We know Dobermans need more exercise and mental stimulation than the average dog. They were originally bred to be working dogs. And we know a tired dog is a good dog.
Walking is a great activity for dogs and as well as humans. Not only is walking good for fitness, but it’s also good for mental stimulation. Dogs want to experience new smells and sounds or they get bored just like humans. But some people need dog walking alternatives. And your dog might actually prefer some of these alternative activities.
What to do if you can’t walk your dog
Sometimes for various reasons, walking a dog might not be the best option for you and your dog. Maybe you live in an area where the climate is extremely cold. Dobermans have short fur and lean bodies that aren’t optimal in freezing temperatures. Dobermans need sweaters for the winter.
Or maybe the owner has health issues, a handicap, or they’re older and find it hard to properly handle a large strong dog. Other obstacles to walks might include: a dog who is aggressive toward other dogs, you live in an area that’s unsafe or high in crime, you have a leash pulling dog, a dog with an injury, or you just don’t have the time.
I love allowing dogs to run leash-free, but it’s sometimes not an option if you don’t have a fenced yard, country property, or dog park. In many areas, dogs must always be on a leash or you risk getting fined. Also, if you come across a small animal like a squirrel, you risk your dog running after it and maybe even running into traffic. Another risk that I have experienced with my Dobermans, is dangerous land. While running they may fall into a groundhog hole giving them a permanent leg injury. And lastly, while you may have a friendly dog, some people have a fear of dogs. Imagine how they would feel if they saw a Doberman running towards them.
How To Tire Out A Doberman
Whatever the reason for why you can’t walk your dog, you need help, not judgment. So to help Doberman owners, here are some alternatives to dog walks. I would suggest you try a couple of different activities to see which one your dog likes best.
Dog Walking Alternatives To Try:
- Play together with a dog flirt pole. You can easily make a pole or buy one. This is my dog’s favorite game. I’ve written about playing with flirt poles before.
- Blow bubbles at your dog to get him moving around. You can now buy Bacon Bubbles!
- Play indoors, running up and down the stairs.
- Take a car trip for mental stimulation. New smells are exciting for your dog.
- If you can only do a short slow walk, strap a weighted dog backpack on your dog. This should tire him out sooner. Get your dog to carry a couple of water bottles or just fill the pockets with heavy items. Not only will it tire him out faster but it will help him get more muscle.
- Play tug of war. Not only is it fun for dogs, but it encourages bonding between you and your Doberman. But he should be trained to drop the object if you ask. Let him win some of the time. And watch your hands, Dobermans are quick!
- Play fetch or hide and seek indoors, or outdoors in a fenced yard.
- Practice obedience or trick training. Again mental stimulation is important for dogs. Dobermans are one of the smartest dog breeds and want to learn. So do some BRAIN TRAINING with them!
- Train your dog to walk on a treadmill for exercise.
- Give him dog puzzles or food dispensers. There are lots of treat-dispensing toys on the market, try a couple of different ones. Depending on your dog’s intelligence, he may need an easier toy or a more challenging toy.
- Take your dog with you when you go bike riding with a safe bike leash attachment.
- Let your Dobermans chase an RC car.
There you go, 12 activities for when you can’t walk your dog. I hope this list helps you and if you have any other activity suggestions please share it in the comments below.