Monday, September 15, 2008

5 Questions With That Mutt

Well, That Mutt is really a dog named Ace so he doesn't really talk. His person is actually today's guest. Lindsay Stordahl maintains the blog That Mutt, which covers all topics related to dogs from training, behavior, and adoption to personal stories about her mutt Ace. She owns the business Run That Mutt, a dog running service that promotes healthy dogs through exercise.

1. What sports have you played competitively through your life? What do you continue to be active in today? What are your sports-related and/or fitness goals in the future?

I played softball in middle school and was the kid always stuck in the outfield. I also played basketball for a few years and scored maybe four points total. In high school I finally found the sports I am good at, swimming and rugby. I swam on the varsity swim team in eighth grade and started playing rugby a year later. I picked up running to get in better shape for rugby, but now that I don't have a rugby team to play on, running has become my sport (at least for now). I have fitness goals all the time, like running a marathon, breaking a PR and completing an adventure race.

2. How important do you believe fitness and exercise to be for dogs? How do you incorporate quality time with your mutt that is active for both of you?

Exercise is just as important for dogs as it is for us. Unfortunately most people think their dog gets enough exercise by walking around the yard. A yard is just a big kennel to a dog. They need a workout to stay healthy and fit just like we do. I have a gym membership, but I spend more time running or biking outside so my dog can tag along. I mix up our routine and route because I get bored easily if we do the same thing all the time. Running with my dog is supposed to be fun, not something I dread.

3. How do you think people with dogs can keep life active and fresh for their mutts? What are the challenges to keeping your dog fit? How can people combat laziness to keep their dogs active? How important is activity?

I'd start by making a goal to walk your dog for 20 minutes five days a week. Then increase it to 30 minutes, and so on. I always recommend people buy a backpack for their dog so the dog is getting more of a workout even on a short walk. I know it's not easy to make exercise a habit, so starting small and committing to 30 days of exercise is a good way to start. I will never have an overweight pet because my dog's weight is one thing I'm able to control about his health.

4. You've posted about agility training a few times on your blog. How easy is it to get into agility training for dogs? What must someone know in order to be able to enjoy agility? What special considerations do you think there are?

Agility is a great physical and mental workout for a dog. We have agility practice once a week for an hour, and my mutt crashes for the night as soon as we get home. The best thing about agility is almost any healthy dog can participate. If you're considering becoming involved in agility, find a club near you and watch one of their practices. That'll give you a good idea of what it's like. The beginning levels will teach how to run the obstacles safely. Usually the only requirements are the dogs must be a year old so their joints are developed and they should come when called because agility is done off leash. It works well to bribe with treats! But really, dogs of all sizes enjoy agility, and you don't have to compete if you don't want to. My mutt Ace and I just do it for fun.

5. Of course, I have to ask about all of your favorite sports teams - who do you follow, for how long, and what are your favorites?

Since I'm from Minnesota, I follow all the Minnesota teams, even though they are usually not very good (smile). I hope for a day when the Timberwolves get their act together because I love watching basketball. Since moving to North Dakota, I catch a lot of college hockey, mostly the University of North Dakota. Other than that, I am obsessed with the Olympics and can't wait until the 2010 winter games. Plus, I'm always up for watching a soccer or rugby game no matter what teams or what level.


Lindsay said...

Thanks for the interview, Apryl!

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thank you! I really appreciate it.

credit cards surfer said...

Thanks for the important information! I really neeeded it as I have a dog and some problems with his bringing up! Fitness for dogs is necessary to keep form!

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks for stopping by!