Dogs Exercise… With Ropes

There are a lot of ways you can get exercise for dogs and we’ve talked about several of them here. 

Another option is to use long ropes as a “leash” and go somewhere where we won’t bug people too much.  You can do this just about anywhere.

Using long ropes is an awesome way to get exercise for your dogs. the one showing in the picture is a long leash, but you can also use any kind of a long rope or nylon rope.

You can play fetch or just let them wander.  My favorite thing (I’m a 10 year old yellow lab) is to go to a park or a sports complex and get attached to a long rope.  That way I’m mostly free to chase bugs, smell everything and just generally have a whole lot of fun.

A few notes about using a long rope… surprisingly, there is a learning curve.

Rope burns hurt. We could write a whole book on avoiding rope burns, but it probably won’t sink in until it happens.  The boss got really ugly scars around her ankles and said really bad words several times before she finally figured it out.

Here are a few hints to hopefully ease you into the learning curve:

  • Really work on the “come here” command before doing this.  This can prevent problems because you can get the dogs attention before they see the rabbit, etc.  You don’t want the dogs exercise to come from chasing stuff they’re not supposed to chase.
  • Always, always, always know where the rope is.   This is for both your safety and your dogs.   If the rope gets wrapped around your ankle and the dog runs to chase a ball… it’s going to hurt… a lot.
  • The other thing that can happen is the rope can get wrapped around something that you won’t know about until the dog is jerked to a stop.  This hurts the dog… a lot.
  • Keep the rope wrapped around your hand.   If you just hold it loosely and they run… you won’t be able to grab it firmly to stop them… and it will hurt if you try.
  • Always, always, always be aware of your surroundings.   You need to see the things that will make your dog want to run BEFORE they see it.    Sometimes you can prevent them from running with a quick “no” or “come here”.   Other times you will be able to “brace for impact” and ease into stopping the dog.
  • It’s not fair (or nice) to jerk the dog to a stop when they come to the end of the rope.   Be prepared to take a couple steps in the direction the dog is running to reduce the impact (to both of you).

Other Things To Know

Watch the rope for weathering, chewing, etc.  replace the rope BEFORE it breaks.   You don’t want to find out that the rope needs to be replaced after it breaks and your dog chases a rabbit across the street.

Stay in an isolated area until everyone gets a little more comfortable with this process.   That gives both you and the dog a chance to “learn the ropes” without the additional distractions of other people and animals.

Find additional ways to get exercise for dogs here.

How bad were your rope burns when you first tried to do this?

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