Saturday, November 22, 2008

Training Tools - The Walk

Wanted to put in a word about walking your dog. Walking is important, but PLEASE use your common sense! We wouldn't want you to get tasered ... read this article to learn what not to do and how to prevent being tasered while walking your dog. Here is another article about the same guy that is a little more ... well, you'll see.

Please look into the laws of the area you live in. If you are not allowed by law to walk around nude, than chances are good that walking your dog nude is not a good idea. There may be ones you aren't even aware of, such as walking your dog in cemetaries. Check out this article for an example of this and what could happen if the laws of your area dictate that you should not have your dog in a cemetary.

That being said, we all have to remember that walking with your dog is good for them. It provides mental and physical stimulation. They take everything in - people, places, dogs, squirrels, cats, cars, sirens - whatever they see and hear. Walking is as important to their physical health as mental health.

The length of the required walk is, of course, dependent upon the individual animal as well as the goals you have set. If you are walking simply to relieve your dog, than perhaps 15 - 30 minutes will suffice, though I don't recommend that that be all the walking your do that day! If you are walking to provide stimulation and exercise for your dog, then longer will likely be required (probably more than an hour depending on the dog).

The physical state of your dog should not be ignored. If your dog is overweight, underweight or has medical conditions, you will have to adjust your walks and exercise to accommodate.

Walking is an important training tool. If your dog is reactive or has other leash issues, then why don't you go somewhere that you can be pretty sure you can walk without too many distractions? What about a quiet parking lot in an industrial area?

Not all dogs can simply put on a leash and walk down the street. That does take training (though not everyone is aware of that). However, that does not mean that you should neglect this basic tool simply because you have to teach your dog how to use it. It is important.


Lacy said...

w00f's, rite now me has to settle fur a walk in our yard...they try to take me out ever 4 hrs..fur 15mins...mamas asthma has really been bad last few weeks sooo noo dog park fur me...hopefully her will git better soon and me can go back..

b safe,

Dog_geek said...

Since we don't live in an actual neighborhood, we mostly "walk" our dogs offleash through the woods and farmland, or take them trail running in the nearby national forest. L is the first dog we've gotten since moving to the farm, and it didn't occur to me that he was missing something important. But the first time we visited my folks and I took him for an on-leash walk through their neighborhood, he kept spooking at trash cans and mailboxes and firehydrants - it must have all looked so different and strange to him! So for a while after that, I would actually drive him into town and walk him through various parts of town so he would be exposed to all that stuff. I felt stupid for not thinking of it earlier, but he adjusted quickly. My next puppy will get all that from the start!

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Rocky/Lacy - I heard that allergies were really bad this year. I would assume that Asthma would be bad too as they often come hand in hand :(

Dog_geek - We too live on a farm and mostly walk off leash in the fields around our house. We are lucky enough to have a natural pond on our property too, so get to indulge in regular swims. We even have groups of people that we will meet in forests that we hike off leash with to allow for the dogs to interact with large groups of other dogs and people. We ran into the same thing as you a while back with the dogs - they were great up until they came across things that were unusual ... pavement, mailboxes, big trucks, etc.

That was when I truly understood that even though the dogs were getting more than enough exercise, the on-leash, in town Walk actually offers more than simply that.