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The importance of Dog Walking

Posted on Jan 01 2014
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All dogs need some form of stimulation, whether large or small, puppy, adult or senior. This stimulation can be in many forms, physical or mental games, walks or just company of a human or another dog to cuddle up to, thus using all their senses. If we manage to get the right amount of stimulation every day, we will make our four legged friends happy and contented, and therefore well behaved, calm and acceptable as house guests.  ‘A tired dog is a good dog’.

Going back to their roots, dogs were pack animals. Packs of dogs in the wild (and stray dogs) wake up in the morning and go searching for food or for a place to do their business. It is natural for your dog to want to do the same. During a walk a dog sees, smells, hears and experiences new things. This is the ultimate entertainment for a dog:  A dog can be more mentally stimulated if the location of the walk and even the company, human or dog, changes often. This stimulation will prevent a dog from being bored. Being bored can lead to anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, hyperactivity and possibly destructive behaviour.

Sometimes, when we have to work long hours, or just want to socialize, we cannot find the time to give our dogs this essential stimulation. This is when we need to find either a helpful neighbour or friend or pay for professional help. This professional help could be in the form of someone to walk your dog or just to visit your home and give your dog company in the form of mental exercises and cuddles and also to allow it to go in your garden.    

Walking your dog is not just physical exercise, but it’s mental too. This can be either as a pack or individually, on lead or free to run. All types of walk or exercise is fun for the dog and will stimulate it, leaving a calm, contented pet. It is always important to have the appropriate length of time and intensity for your individual dog. As dogs age, their requirements change, if this is not taken into consideration, it could get injured or having bone or joint problems now or even in the future. This is where a personal dog walker can assess individual needs. Even just an on lead walk with sniffing, seeing sights and hearing sounds, can give your dog’s senses a workout, resulting in a calmer, better behaved pet.

I do not do ‘pack walks’, I am a ‘personal dog walker’ and will only take one or two dogs at any one time. I feel this is a more responsible way of exercising your dog, than pack walking. Although dogs as mentioned earlier were originally pack animals, if under-supervised, they could behave like a wild pack, with the dominant dogs fighting to stay top dog, and any timid, underdog being bullied and possibly hurt. Your dog will get personal attention, with some games during the walk, to give extra mental stimulation. It will return home feeling physically and mentally tired as well as happy to have had special time with a human.