Excerpt: 'The Well-Adjusted Dog'

Herding breeds (Old English sheepdog, briard, German shepherd)

Terrier breeds (Scottish terrier, soft-coated wheaten terrier)

The strollers (low exercise requirements)

Working breeds (Bernese mountain dog, Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees, German pinscher)

Toy breeds (affenpinscher, Chihuahua, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, English toy spaniel)

Hounds (basset hound, Scottish deerhound, dachshund)

Nonsporting (bulldog, French bulldog, Lhasa apso, Shiba inu, bichon frisé)

Psychological Benefits of Exercise

While exercise is beneficial to dogs' physical well-being, my main interest has always been in its psychological effects. Exercise has both calming and mood-stabilizing effects, of that there is no doubt. Anyone who has engaged in regular, sustained exercise, or been actively involved in sports, already knows that exercise can produce a night-and-day difference in a person's mood. During my early days at Tufts, I sometimes finished work feeling stressed out, with what seemed like all the troubles of the world on my mind. Then, for health reasons, I would head for the gym. An hour and a half later, after a workout and a shower, I would emerge de-stressed, reinvigorated, and ready for anything the world might throw at me. This is the way exercise seems to work for dogs, too, and yet many owners and some veterinarians haven't made the connection. As basic a benefit as exercising a dog would appear to be, the science underlying the psychological benefits of exercise has not been appreciated until relatively recently. Even in the mid-'80s, medical reports stated that theories concerning the psychological benefits of exercise, though widely touted, had not been adequately tested. It was not until the mid- to late '90s and into the twenty-first century that the psychological benefits of exercise in humans saw sufficient study;and there is next to nothing on the subject with respect to dogs even now.

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