When I do a consultation, the first thing I want is for the pet parent to tell me what issues his dog is exhibiting and what is it that they want to accomplish. Once they do that, usually my first question is: how many times a day do you walk your dog and for how long? Some pet parents look at me a little funny, but what they don’t know is that providing a dog with physical and mental stimulation makes a difference between having a balanced dog or a nightmare of a dog.
A walk, as I tell all my clients, is to be a structured walk. What do I mean by that? Your dog needs to be on your right or left side, not ahead of you and not smelling every single thing on his/her path. In the above picture, I am walking 3 dogs, from left to right: Dozer, a Doberman Pinscher mix; Sarris, a Weimaraner; and my Alex, a pit bull mix. All of them are walking beside me not ahead of me. Walking is draining them physically, and walking while paying attention to what I am doing and I want is draining them mentally. When we got home, they were all out like a light. Well, to be quite honest, I took a nap too.
I’ve written a few times about the importance of walking your dog, and do you know why? Because some, if not a lot, of the behavioral problems exhibited by dogs are the result of a lack of physical and mental exercise. In the above picture, they are all alert but calm. That you’ll get from your dog if you take the time to walk him/her. Before I forget; walking is an excellent exercise for us pet parents. So go out and walk your dog:-)