Walking Your Dog
The Perfect Dog Walk
Walking your dog is usually the best time of your day…or the most hurried…depending on whose point of view you see it from; yours or your dogs.
Sometimes we find that we are stressed out and hurried because we focus on the “human” part of the walk, instead of the “dog” part of the walk. We look at is as a chore, while our dog looks at it as the necessity that keeps the world going round!
Dog Walking – Our View vs The Dog’s View
As your dog sees it, a walk means time together and a much-needed chance to relieve themselves. As humans we need to see it the same way … with the added bonus of increased cardiovascular health as well as helping to build strong muscles.
But, this is only half of the perfect walk for your dog…
The other half is the mental stimulation.
To be truly happy and settled in both mind and body, your dog needs to be mentally stimulated on the walk as well. Dogs interpret the world through their incredible senses of scent, hearing and sight in ways that we can only imagine. When we go out for a hike we want to see things, take in the view, smell the air and listen to the birds sing. Walking down the sidewalk is boring. Dogs feel the same way. They can’t read a book or watch TV to keep them entertained. Boredom kicks in. So, unless we are providing them with daily stimulation they become antsy, cranky and quite often mischievous.
Preventing Bad Dog Behavior
A bored dog always looks for something to do and usually it’s something we do not want them to do…chewing, counter surfing, jumping on guests, eating your favorite sneakers to name a few.
When walking your dog, make sure that they have a chance to smell things, to explore their space “with the leash on”. Take different paths and allow them to interact with the things around them. 20 minutes of taking in the smells of your neighborhood and listening to the world around them are far more stimulating and satisfying than an hour walking in a straight line. Which would you rather do?
Make each walk fun for you both by enjoying your time together absorbing your world. Your dog will thank you … and sleep through the night so you can too.