Walking is such a normal, mundane activity. It can quickly become just another item on the to-do list – walk the dog…check. Ho hum, no fun for anyone!
What makes the walk important? Well, many things (I’ll get into that later), but a different and more pressing question might be what can make the walk fun? Certainly walking a leash-pulling-kangaroo-hopping-lunging-barking canine is not fun. Attempting to leash up a leaping canine at the front door is not fun. And both scenarios are potentially risky. To be completely honest, I’ve been guilty in the past of not walking my dogs for those very reasons.
Walking the dog IS fun. Really. I look forward with great anticipation to my dog walks. Sometimes I take just one dog, or maybe two at a time. But the joy is back. What changed?
Perspective. My dogs always got excited about the walk. Every time. Why? Dogs were meant to walk, to wander, and to explore the world around them. Think about it. Most dogs pull to get to something – a place to pee or to sniff or someone to meet. I began observing people and their dogs on walks – my dogs, client dogs, shelter dogs, and strangers walking their dogs. Every dog seemed to be on a mission. They were going SOMEWHERE – some fast, some slow, some pulling.
The walk is important to the dog. Moving through space and time helps them meet their purpose in life. A fenced back yard is great, but it’s different than a walk. The walk feeds their senses and minds. It works their muscles. The walk gives a dog purpose.
My dogs (and the dogs that I am privileged to work with) have shown me different ways of experiencing the world we walk in. When we go trail walking each one of my dogs approaches the trail differently. Roadie is methodical, stopping at regular intervals for a sniff or a pee. Melody is heading for the goal (back to the car for a puppacinno in Starbuck’s drive through). She’s off like a shot, pulling up short when an aroma catches her attention. Muse ambles down the trail in no particular hurry. Melody and I power walk; Roadie and I explore; Muse and I wander aimlessly.
What if the walk was FUN for you and your pup? It can be!
At The Learning Dog Academy we just added a new service – dog walking. How does dog walking and dog training fit? Simple. If walking the dog becomes a chore having a dog walker step in can help. Especially if that dog walker is helping your pup improve leash manners. The Learning Dog Academy offers a variety of walks, including a training walk, to meet you and your pups needs.