Every dog needs to be taken on daily walks . Having a walk every single day is absolutely necessary for maintaining your dog’s mental health . This is because dogs are ‘travellers’ driven by Mother Nature . In the wild, dogs walk great distances – it’s what they’re programmed for as a daily ritual . You could think of walking as the dog’s actual purpose in life – it’s what they are here for . So, it is actually not very kind of you not to take your dog out and about on a leash every single day . If we are serious about being dog-lovers , we owe it to them to deliver on their daily need for a good, long dog walk . Deprive them of the walks they need , and they soon start having personality problems .
It’s not so much of an issue what method you are using to walk your dog every day . Many dog owners like to exercise themselves more strenuously by jogging next to their dog, pedalling on cycles , or even roller-blading if your dog is fit enough to cope with the pace .
What is really important however is how you go about walking your dog . You should be walking your dog, not letting your dog take you for a walk. Your dog wants to feel that you are in control here . Don’t let your dog charge ahead of you , but keep alongside you or bring up the rear . Dogs are much happier when they know you are in in the charge of the walking situation . If your dog is trying to charge ahead and you are dragging along behind , it’s time to rethink the way you go about dog walking.
The decision to walk in front of your dog is all it takes to communicate to your dog that you are in full control now. When your dog knows that you are the one in control , it can relax and get on with enjoying the walk. Having no ‘leader’ causes your dog to feel stressed. This stress is often mistaken for excitement. Dogs should not be overly-excited about going for a walk. Dogs should feel relaxed about going out for a walk , as it is the most normal thing in the whole world for a dog to do .
If your dog becomes hyperactive about starting out on a walk , begin calming him down before you leave home . Many dog owners make the mistake of announcing to the dog that they are going for a walk as if it’s a very exciting or special occurrence . This hyping-up in advance of what’s about to happen actually puts your dog in an inappropriate mood to begin with . Get your dog’s mind into the right frame by treating the walking routine as something very mundane . Make your dog sit perfectly still while you put on his collar and lead or harness .
Don’t allow your dog bolt through the front door once you are ready to go . Make him remain inside , until you are outside first . Only then allow your dog to come forward to you on the leash . Once you set off on your walk , keep the dog reined in effectively to make sure that he walks at your side or walks well back . It takes a while for new habits to develop properly , but soon you and your dog will become accustomed to the idea of you being ‘top dog’ when it comes to walking , and this will do wonders for relaxing your dog’s demeanour .
Many dog owners have neither the time or energy to take their dog walking every single day of the week . For those who are too busy with their jobs or are unable to get out of the house for some reason , a professional dog walker is a wonderful measure to ensure your dog’s healthy state of mind and physical fitness . In most cities and towns you’ll find dog walking services available to help keep up the daily dog walking regime .
If you can’t find a dog walking service in your area , you may have someone who would offer to take your dog for outings on a voluntary basis . If this is a possibility for you, be sure to explain to the volunteer how to be the ‘boss’ of the dog during their time outdoors together . Remember they must under no circumstances let the dog get in front of them during the walk, but always keep the dog alongside or behind .
Daily dog walking is essential for your dog to stay fit, calm and non-neurotic. Remember these tips and your daily dog walks will improve your health and your dog’s health mentally and physically , and keep your dog’s view of your relationship in the right perspective .