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Question about too much exercise

Jackie BeattyJackie Beatty Posts: 5Member
edited 18 August, 2015 in Behavior & Training
So my in-laws have a 3 year old 5lb "Shmorkie" (Shih Tzu, Maltese, Yorkie) and in the past few months when ever my father in law takes him out for exercise he is gone for at least an hour and I'm not entirely sure how far they walk but its a long ways. Before this I honestly never saw them walk the dog, I would walk him sometimes when I came over but we only went a short ways because he would tire out so fast. Anyways, as of lately he has been acting aggressive and this is the only thing that we can think of that has changed in his life. I keep telling my father in law to stop walking him so far for a few days and see if there is a difference, but he is so hard headed he ignores me and does it anyways. Everyone always says a tired dog is a happy dog, but if starting to think that for this little guy a tired dog is an angry dog. He never used to chase after my dogs and get in their face barking/growling/snapping whenever we came in a room where he is. He snaps at my dogs if they walk up to him with their tails wagging trying to say hi like they always have. If he is on the couch or in his "dads" lap and my little old scottie dog jumps up on the couch he tries to attack him. He has also become possessive over food/bones/treats he will try to bite any human or dog that goes near him while he has it, but this is not all the time which is weird. It just depends on the mood he is in I guess. So I was wondering if anyone has ever seen a dog get crabby with too much exercise or if it has to be something else. Also he has a clean bill of health from the vet. I have never thought of the possibility of too much exercise since I have hyperactive dogs that could run all day and ask for more. I just worry that one day my dogs will be like enough is enough and snap back and since there is such a size difference actually hurt him. They have seemed to not even care but until he gets back to his old self I don't want my dogs around him anymore, which is such a bummer because Ember grew up with him and Lucy and Zeus have known him his whole life.


  • DeaDea NHPosts: 7,176Member ✭✭✭
    edited 4 June, 2015
    Sounds like your FIL is spending more time with the dog than he did in the past. The behaviors you describe are "Guarding" behaviors. It's up to him to correct it. If the dog is guarding him on the couch, the dog should "never" be allowed on the couch, chair, bed or anyway he displays that behavior. Sometimes, dogs bond to a person and feel the need to try and control who comes near that person. As for the walking, 1 hour is probably not too much unless there's a health reason, or it's too hot. :)
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 4 June, 2015
    Going from no exercise to lots of exercise could be taking it's toll on the dog, especially if he's unfit which I imagine could be the case here if he's not received much exercise beforehand? Has your FIL had the dog recently checked at the vets? The increased exercise could be exacerbating a sore leg or hip etc so it's worth having a full health check.
  • Jackie BeattyJackie Beatty Posts: 5Member
    edited 9 June, 2015
    Thanks for your responses, I never thought about it being spending more time with him but that does make sense. Also he is not in very good shape since he never really left the house before this, but my FIL says he took him to the vet and he is healthy. Who knows though really if they even talked about the exercise situation since he does not think there is anything wrong. Thanks everyone i'll let you all know if he improves.
  • Toni DachToni Dach Posts: 12Member
    edited 18 August, 2015
    My dog is energetic and tolerates a good bit of exercise well, but, if he's tired, he can be a little put-off by dogs seeking to play. On Sunday, after I had him out in the yard running around and playing fetch for about 20 minutes, a neighbor came by with her dog. I invited her in to let the dogs play, and all was well for about another 20 minutes while we chatted and they chased and played tug with the leash. Then, Buddy growled at her dog as her dog was booping him on the head to try to initiate a chase. Buddy was laying down, and I think he was worn out and just telling her to get lost (it was just a growl, not a snap or anything really aggressive). She said "looks like it's time to go!" I said "yeah, it's not terribly hot but it's still not cool, and Buddy's been out here going hard for almost 45 minutes now...he's probably tired and wants some AC and a nap! A water bowl can only do so much." When I brought him in, he passed out HARD on the cool tile in the kitchen for a good hour. Basically, if your dad's dog is over-tired from the exercise and just wants to nap, it's possible it would snip at a dog that tried to disturb it. I agree with your idea to take the exercise down a notch and see if that helps. If it doesn't...check with a vet and see if it's an attention thing. If it does, tell him to slowly ramp the dog up to that much exercise (break the exercise into more manageable pieces and add a few minutes a week to the routine) and consider the temperature (dogs wear fur coats all the time!).
  • roberthasekroberthasek Posts: 22Member
    This issue is most likely not connected with the length of walks themselves. Per this article ( the walks are actually beneficial. 
    The issue is more likely to be the bonding process. I agree with Dea's answer :) 
  • kaylahudsonkaylahudson Posts: 25Member
    I agree I personally think it is both he hasn’t bonded with your FIL. Along with the exercise that isn’t a breed that requires so much exercise. I’ve felt like small breeds are luxury dogs and for those who seen not very active . 

    Has your FIL corrected his behaviors? I would not allow him on the furniture but teach him that’s his dog bed is his personal place. That way when he doesn’t want to be bothered he can go over to his area.
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