Dogs Need Grooming and Exercise

This 1923 DogWorld article sets dog owners straight on how a dog should be properly groomed and exercised.

Dog World Feb 1923From the Archives of Dog World: Enjoy this all-access pass to dog history from the pages of the longest published dog magazine. This content remains in its original form and reflects the language and views of its time. Health and behavior information evolves and only the most current advice should be followed.

Grooming your dog is one of the details of kennel management which is often overlooked, though it should form a part of the daily routine. Not only does grooming tend to keep at bay the numerous external parasites of the dog, but it also produces a healthy action of the skin. As to the appliance used this will depend upon the breed of dog kept. Smooth dogs need only rubbing with a bit of rough toweling or a swab of straw; rougher coated dog breeds need brushing, and long coated dog breeds require a comb and a brush.

Remove Old Hair

Old hair, which in such as Collies and St. Bernards, sticks in dead locks among the new, should be carefully removed. How to groom a dog does not seem to be generally understood. It is usual to start with the dog’s shoulder and fore legs, and gradually extend to loins and back, finishing with the thighs, stifles, etc. By way of imparting a finishing touch to hounds and the like a wash-leather or a heavy glove may be may be used. Washing is not often needed – many housedogs are washed too often and with improper soap – a mild soap should be used, and care taken to dry thoroughly.

Exercise Your Dog

Exercise has an important bearing on the dog’s health. There are few more naturally active animals than the dog, and it is barbarous to chain or shut him up in a kennel for weeks together. Never chain a puppy if you wish him to grow into symmetrical form; he will pull himself out of all true shape. The chaining of watch dogs is sometimes a necessity, but even these should be allowed freedom several times a day. Dogs which are required to be conditioned for either show or work will necessarily need more exercise than the average house or yard dog. Again, the kind of exercise will vary considerably with the dog breed, for what would be health-giving to active dogs like collies, terriers, and the like, would be most distressing, say, to the average Bulldog or Pug kept purely as companions. For all that, every dog should, if possible, receive daily exercise; and if such were the case the obese monstrositics one so frequently sees would be less often met with.

Special Exercise for Special Work

Greyhounds, sporting field dogs, and Whippets should have a special exercise to fit them for the particular work required of them. Toy dogs are invariably under-exercised and over-fed, and these, combined with in-and-in-breeding, are doubtless largely responsible for the high rate of mortality which prevails among certain dog breeds. To sum up: Injudicious exercise is even more harmful than insufficient exercise, and is often responsible for digestive troubles, to say nothing apoplectic fits, etc,.

No Exercise After Eating

No dog, for instance, should be exercised just after a full meal. He sould in fact be treated on much the same lines as a human being in that respect. No sane person would think of running a race or taking any violent exercise after a good dinner, yet there are many owners who are inconsiderate enough to think that there is no harm in giving such exercise to their canine charges. The dog should be allowed ample time for a meal to digest, and two hours would be none too long an interval to elapse between a full meal and active exercise. At all times the exercise should be regular and suited to the age, constitution and condition of the dog .


Excerpted from Dog World magazine, February 1923, Vol. 8, No. 2. For back issues of Dog World, click here.

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