How often should I walk my dog?
This question comes up a lot and the reason it comes up is because everyone wants to make sure they are doing the right thing for their dog and giving them the best life possible. This email will give you some information to consider, so you can make the best choice for you and your dog :)
A walk is a human concept, a dog would never think ‘oh let’s go for a nice walk’ the only reason a free living canine, would leave the safety of their den would be to find food - a hunt. An essential activity for survival. Stress free dogs actually spend most of their time relaxed and sleeping - in fact up to 20 hrs a day! Zzzzzzz
When you leave the safety of the den (your home) with your dog into areas where there are dangers and threats, someone needs to be the one to make the important decisions about the safety of the pack and Time, Pace and Direction of the hunt. If your dog feels they need to be the one to make these decisions then the walk (hunt) can be incredibly stressful for a dog as they are in a human world, they don't fully understand.
We often misread our dogs high energy on a walk or before a walk as excitement, when in fact it is adrenaline, stress and them being on high alert ready to face the threats out there, because they are making decisions for everyone survival, after all.
However when a dog sees us as the decision maker, the one responsible for everyone’s safety and survival then they can relax and look to us. Convincing your dog of this takes time and baby steps and is in no way a 'quick fix' but the long term results means a stress free dog and walks - just wonderful!
So in short you don’t ‘need’ to take your dog out for a ‘walk’ especially if it’s a really stressful experience and your dog is asking you questions about who makes the decisions. Take a step back get the foundations in the home (where they feel most safe) right first and slowly build up at a pace that is right for you and your dog.
These steps to a calmer stress free walks are taught as part of all my online courses and the students have seen loads of progress and much calmer walks that are enjoyable for everyone. This is only one small part of the bigger picture of having a chilled out happy dog in and outside of the house.
Want to discover more? lets have a chat, set up a call with me HERE!