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A dog's daily walk and things to consider

Updated on September 28, 2014
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How to walk a dog

Walking a dog can seem like a tiresome chore for pet owners, especially if they have only a tiny window of time to do so during a long day. Many pet owners thus shift walking their dogs to the lowest on their priority lists.

The truth is, dogs, as much as we do, need that regular walk and should not be deprived of it. In this article, this writer will address the reasons why dogs need their regular walks.

Owners might want to know the proper way of walking a dog, or walking a few dogs together.

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Why dogs need walks

This may seem a little trite, but dogs need their regular walks as much as we have the need for the toilet during the day. The walk is as important to them as a good coffee break or sleep is to us.

A dog needs his exercise!

A walk provides us with regular exercise, and does too for a dog. This is the one time during the day when he gets the chance for a proper romp and stretch.

The walk fulfills a dog’s need for space.

This is also the reason why some people are not really keen on keeping dogs in apartments. Dogs need a lot of stretching and running space, which a good walk can provide.

This is certainly true for my dog Cloudy. She loves her space and overcomes large amounts of it with her tiny legs every time we are on walks. So intense is her need for it that she looks out of her window everyday to remind me that she needs her regular run.

Dogs need to socialize.

Dogs are social animals and need furry friends of their kind. A walk will fulfill this need and provide the extra bonus of allowing him to get to know a few humans too.

A walk stimulates a dog’s sense of smell.

Most importantly, this is the time when a dog can get his smell fest. Smell is the way a dog gets to understand the world around him. Some experienced dog owners would even recommend a walk that focuses on allowing one’s dog to smell.

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The benefits of walking your dog

Your furkid is not the only one who will benefit from that walk. Walking a dog has a great number of benefits for owners as well. Here are ten of them.

Walking a dog gets you moving.

Walking a dog not only exercises him, it exercises his owner too. Everyone knows that exercise can only be good for you. While your pet exercises on his daily walk, take the chance to get your daily dose of fitness too.

This exercise also helps with weight management on the parts of yourself and your pet. An obese dog and owner are definitely not healthy!

Walking your dog facilitates the digestive system.

Walking a dog can be healthy for your pet's digestive system. It aids digestion and relieves constipation.

Walking your dog eliminates destructive tendencies.

Have you got a dog at home who simply loves destroying your slippers, digging in your garden, or biting anything in sight? Walking helps to lessen these problems.

I used to have a pair of Sammies named Romeo and Juliet (brother and sister, no irreverent thoughts there). They loved digging in my grandmother’s garden and sending her round the bend. Having free rein of the garden, his animal instincts sometimes kicked in, causing him to give in to his penchant for chasing birds.

All this was because this pair of dogs was seldom walked. My grandmother often just relied on the fact that the garden provided enough space for them to exercise.

A walked dog is less hyperactive.

A walked dog tends to be less active after its extra energy has been alleviated. This helps especially if your pet has a problem with nighttime activity. A walk relaxes your pet at keeps him less active at bedtime. They will also be less unruly, tending to jump less on people or knocking over things.

This is very true of my Westie, Cloudy. If she is not walked, she tends to stay awake and shuffle about the entire night, causing my husband to lose sleep.

Walking your dog eliminates attention seeking behaviors.

Barking and whining are signs that your dog is asking for some help from you to keep him occupied. Walking keeps him healthy and gives him something constructive to do.

Walking your dog gives you a chance to bond with your pet.

Sometimes, spending time with your dog in a way dogs love best is the best way to strengthen the bond between you. It develops better trust between a dog and his owner.

Regular walks help build confidence.

If your pet is timid or fearful, regular walks will develop his confidence in other people and animals. Walks expose your pet to other pets and humans, and with your presence and assurance, your pet will be comforted into socializing with them.

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How to walk your dog

If you walk your dog daily and you still notice destructive behaviors or hyperactivity after some time, you might want to rethink your strategy. Believe me, putting a little thought and planning into that little stroll helps both the walk and eases the dogs restlessness.

Get your dog ready properly.

When getting ready to walk your dog, get him to come to you. Do not approach the dog to leash him. Do not uses leashes but leads, as they give the handler less control.

Be the first out of the door.

Got out of the door before the dog,not the other way around. This signals to the dog who the leader of the pack actually is.

Set the correct mood.

When you put the leash on the dog in an excited state, it sets the mood for an excited walk where the dog will probably be doing all the leading. Watch your energy and ensure that the dog is calm before allowing him to wear the leash.

Position the collar at the lower neck area.

Place your dog’s collar at the lower neck area near his shoulders. This is because the upper part of a dog’s neck is its most sensitive area. Placing the collar there will also increase the propensity for choking.

Some owners may even choose to use a harness instead of a collar. I use one with my dog, Cloudy. This avoids the neck area altogether.

Watch the tightness and length of the leash.

Keeping the leash short but not tight is the most appropriate way to walk your dog. If you have to correct the dog’s behavior to say, prevent him from jumping on a passerby, make the correction quick and loosen the leash again.

Practice the dog walk.

Practice your walk with your dog, inculcating desired canine behaviors like not jumping on others along the way. You and your dog can only get better with practice.

Film the dog walk.

Getting someone to film the process of the dog walk helps you spot problems that you might encounter. Spot little mistakes you make when the dog misbehaves, or whether too much tension was put on the leash.

How often do you walk your dog?

See results

Walking your dogs in a pack/in pairs

A pack walk helps to socialize dogs. You get the chance to correct any unwanted reactions from one to the other and they will feel like members of the same pack.

Note that any dog which starts walking in front of you will start thinking that he or she is the leader of the pack. Make sure that your dog or dogs always walk beside you. While on the walk, keep the dogs walking and stay confident of yourself.

To curb dog aggression, ensure that other, more balance dogs are members of the pack. Mood is infectious and will spread to all the pack members.

When walking your dog with other owners and dogs which you have never met, make sure that your dog is accepting of strangers and new dogs to avoid any misunderstanding.

What can I do if my dog will not walk?

There may be times your dog simply refuses to budge no matter how hard you try, though on most accounts dogs live for their walks. However, what can we do when our dogs refuse to go on a walk?

Never force a dog to walk.

Never tug on a leash in an attempt to force them to walk as it only serves to make them withdraw further and resent the walk.

Bait them.

Help them out a little with a few treats, then wait for them to start moving. It may take some repetition and patience before the dog responds to the surroundings again.

Make your walk interesting.

Have a good supply of treats on you and make the walk interesting with a little play. Make him respond to commands as he is walking or distract him with something interesting.

Conclusion

A dog walk can be beneficial and a great chance for dog-owner time. Have fun walking your dog today!

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    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      An article on how to walk your dog and its benefits.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Great suggestions here and you really did this topic justice. Oh and hi Cloudy!! Love her and always enjoy seeing her in your articles!! Have of course voted way up and shared, too!! :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Though I don't have a dog ...just cats I know these little guys need to get out. I have a friend who never has time to walk the dogs and they have caused damage in the house and are basically unruly. Thanks for a great hub.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      This is an excellent hub Michelle, many people don't realize just how important a walk is to a dog. You've outlined and explained good reasons for that walk!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      I've been getting lazy and not taking Zeus out for a walk every day like I did the first year we had him. I am going to go back to letting him have his walk every day. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Luckily for Bev and I we have two grown kids living with us, so we ask them to take our three dogs for a walk. The dogs love it, the kids love it and Bev and I get to rest after a week of work.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Janine! Cloudy says hi right back at ya!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Carol! Yes, this should be forwarded to your friend. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary. It is as important to them as our daily shot of coffee is to us! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hello to Zeus, Sasha! Good call on getting him to walk everyday!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Good to share the load! Thanks for sharing, Bill!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Michelle,

      your pet is so cute.

      Thanks for sharing your expertise.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      My wife and I walk both our dogs several times a day. We have a labradoodle and a shi tzu/poodle mix and they are both high energy, extremely intelligent dogs. We can tell the difference if they don't get a walk. It's important for them and for us. Nice article. Nice message.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very nice article Michelle! I love the pictures of your dog! Really cute!

      For the survey...in my case, having cats my question would be ... How often does your cat make you walk ? My 17 year old cat nibble a little bit of food at a time but I have to hide it because of my 2 year old who cannot see any food without eating it...so I have to go often down the stairs to feed my 17 year old cat...and I get good exercice out of it :-)

      Have a great weekend!

      Joelle

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      My dog, Baby, expects her walk every day around 4 PM. She has her way of letting me know, too. I would walk her more often, but she has her nice big fenced in yard to run in.

      I prefer a harness on her cause sometimes she talkes off after a squirrel!

      Voted UP, and shared.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Great hub, totally to my taste!

      Since I hike with my dog for long distance every single day and twice on weekends, I completely agree with the suggestions made in this hub.

      I would like to add that hiking with my dog has also added two more dimensions to my life:

      1. I have started doing micro-exploration, i.e., observing minute details that the land and skies offer me,

      2. I have started taking more and more pictures.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Vinaya!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, there is a great difference when they don't get their walk. Thanks for sharing, PDX!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yup, good that you hide food from your two year old. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Aw, that squirrel sure is a distraction, Mary! Great that baby has a fenced yard. Please say hi to her for me.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hey, come to think of it, so have I, Suhail! Thanks for sharing!

    • jocent profile image

      jocent 4 years ago

      You really is a lover of animals, you understand their needs. We have five dogs and they are real good watch dogs but we don't walk them because we have big area and we don't tie or cage them so they play a lot. Nice hub thanks.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Good article on how important the daily walk is for both pets and their owners. My Old English Sheepdog has to be exercised, and we take her for a walk twice a day whenever possible. My husband and I are retired, and have plenty of time to do so. I really think that these walks are as beneficial to us as they are to the dog. Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      It's great that your dogs have a big play area, jocent.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      I always recommend walks, both for dogs and owners! Good to read the many benefits you have found. We walk ours twice a day, we go drop off and then go get our mail that is a 15 minute walk each time. I find that two briefer walks seem to benefit our dogs more than one longer one. Voted up!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Alexadry! Thanks for commenting. Walking is beneficial for us owners and doggies alike. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I think it's really in our own self-interest to walk our dogs on a regular basis. Regular walks can go a long way toward solving canine behavior problems.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Sherry,

      It also solves many human behaviour problems too ;-)

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      That's true, Sherry!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Couldn't agree more!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Just came back to reread and share again. BTW: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      My dog likes to go for 5-10 walks a day. Actually she just likes to hang out in the yard and bark at people :)

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      My husband and I walk our dog every day, and you're so right - it's not only good for the dog but for their humans as well. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Great info for dog owners. We are cat people but nevertheless we also love dogs. On this side of the world they really do bad for dogs. A good deal of them spend their lives chained and able to walk about in one area. Others do better they let their dogs run about their territory. Of course we live in the suburbs on the city side dogs live better I always see people out and about with dogs and the tiniest ones get even carried into stores and they are sooo cute. Passing this on. Your dogs are cute what are their names? My adopted cat Sid sends them a meow in greeting. Brave isn't he?

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Cute puppy, midget. This was well appreciated and because I have three pups to walk daily, more meaningful to me. Thanks for sharing this nice work. whonu

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary!!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Linda!!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, it is!!! Certainly very good for the dog and ourselves!! Thanks, MPerottet!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Who!! Glad to connect with another dog lover and poet!!

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