One of the great things about living in Florida is having wonderful weather to take my dogs for nice long walks.
On the flip side of that, one of the worst things about living in Florida is having horrible humidity during the summer months which wrecks havoc on our walks.
To counteract the humidity, I had been waiting until 10:00 at night to take Lucy and Duke for walks. While Lucy has no problem tolerating either the heat or the humidity, it doesn't agree with Duke.
But even my late night plan wasn't working out so well. One night last week, we all waited for the humidity to calm down as long as we could. It didn't seem like it was that bad, but about 10 minutes into our walk, I realized that I had been dead wrong about the humidity levels. And if I was suffering, my poor boxers were too, although Lucy showed no signs of suffering... there were frogs all over the place, and lots of great things to sniff.
It was no surprise to me when Duke laid down in the middle of the street and refused to take another step. I felt horrible, and I had no idea what I was going to do, because even if I had been able to pick up Duke and carry him home, what was I going to do with Lucy? I could have tied them to a tree and ran back to the house and got the car, but there is no way I would ever leave my dogs unattended like that even for 5 minutes. So, I plopped down and waited....
Twice more on the way home that evening, my poor boy laid down in the street and refused to move. So, I made the decision that I was going to have to find some other way to "entertain" my children until this darn humidity breaks, because there is no way that I'm putting Duke through that again.
Plan B involves the other form of exercise: MENTAL EXERCISE! As you may well know that form of exercise can be quite tiring and requires a ton of concentration on the part of the dog, and tons of creativity on the part of the human! But never fear, I've got it covered! After 1 week of this routine, Lucy and Duke will now sit, pause, and then lay down just with hand motions. We also worked on "Wait". Lucy's version of "Wait" needs a ton of work as she has no idea what her mother wants her to do as you can see by the third picture. Duke on the other hand, knows exactly what "Wait" means and I've got proof.
I am positive that this form of exercise is not only good for my boxers, but that it does a great job of wearing them out. I should admit, that it takes a lot of thought for their human to try to figure out how to challenge them and tire them out without leaving the house in the humidity. All I know is that this Mental Exercise tires us all out!