Growing up I always viewed walking the dog as a chore. It wasn’t something I enjoyed and only did it because my parents made me. With that being said, our dog didn’t get walked nearly as much as he should’ve. Ironically as I got a little older I became the neighborhood dog walker. But I was only doing that so I could save up money for a TV. So why should walking your dog become a daily habit? Well, there are a couple reasons.
One huge reason is socialization. Keeping a dog well socialized will make your life a whole lot easier. The goal with socialization is to get your dog well versed with anything and everything that it will come across in life. The idea is that you want to pair those things that he comes across with something good like a tasty treat. I know unfortunately one thing that happens is that a dog acts a little on the wild side, the human doesn’t want to deal with it, or physically can’t control it anymore and the walks stop. When the walks stop then it is way worse the next random time a walk happens. The more frequently the dog gets walked the less of a big deal it is and the less crazy he will act.
Also, all the smells and sights are a big part of the walk. They fall into the socialization category but also into the mental stimulation category. Mental stimulation is something that also makes the human’s life much easier. It is said that 10 minutes of mental exercise/stimulation is equivalent to about 30 minutes of physical exercise. This happens on the walk because the dog is taking in all this new information in the form of sights and smells.
Walking your dog also falls into the physical exercise category. While just a leisure walk may not be sufficient for most dogs, it certainly helps the cause. But as I mentioned above it has built in mental stimulation/exercise. By combining mental and physical exercise it will tire your dog out quicker. This is just another reason why making walking a daily habit will help.
Finally, you should make walking your dog a daily habit because it’s good for your health. A decently paced walk is good for the heart. It is also good for all the muscles involved in making the walk happen.
If walking your dog is currently a challenge I recommend investing in a good harness. (e.g. Freedom Harness, Easy Walk Harness) I also recommend doing some training.
The video below shows how I do it:
Kevin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT.org) and is a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club. He currently resides in Ohio with his dog, V, a six-year-old Shepherd/Lab mix, where he operates All Dogs Go To Kevin, LLC, specializing in helping build positive relationships between humans and their canine companions using clear communication, not pain and fear. For more training tips and tricks, and to meet his amazing dog, V, follow him on Facebook by clicking here.