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Walks are for dogs

Updated on December 13, 2011

Fellow dog owners - How often do you see something like this? Someone is out walking their dog. Instead of them happily keeping pace with one another, the poor dog (who is intent on smelling every passing tree, car, and bush) is being dragged behind by his/her owner, who is apparently in a rush to get somewhere.

As a dog owner myself, I cannot tell you how many times a week I see dogs being "walked" this way. I bet that a lot of dog trainers would tell you about how dogs pulling at the leash is a common problem faced by dog owners, but what about when it's the human doing the pulling? Is it fair to expect your dog to walk on his/her leash nicely without pulling, but then spend the majority of your daily walks dragging your dog down the street?

I think something a lot of owners need to stop and remind themselves of is that walks are for dogs. You are out there for your dog. A walk, to a dog, is so much more than just an opportunity to use the bathroom. Dogs receive mental and physical stimulation from walks. Having the opportunity to get out and stretch their legs and enjoy some fresh air, and to see new sights and smell new smells, is important for a dog.

After all, think about it. You have your family, your friends, your job, and countless numbers of places where you can go to enjoy yourself. Your dog has you. If he lives the type of life that most dogs do, it means he probably spends a majority of his time inside your home or in your yard. He is forced to look at the same things, smell the same smells, interact with the same people, eat the same food, etc, day in and day out. Your dog can't decide he's bored and go out to visit his friends, or take himself to the dog park or toy shopping. It's up to you to keep your dog happy and to make sure he/she is receiving enough exercise, both physical and mental.

Dogs love walks. It's an opportunity to see new things, meet new people. Walking your dog at least once a day can provide enough mental stimulation to help keep your dog calmer and easier to handle at home. It will help keep your dog happier and more well rounded. So let your dog smell the tree for a few extra minutes if that's what he wants to do, after all, you are out there for his benefit. Let him say hello to friendly passing neighbors, or spend a little extra time looking at something he's never seen before. There really shouldn't be a reason why you would need to rush and pull your dog through his daily walks. Walks should be enjoyable. Make the time to let your dog enjoy them. After all, you're the one who decided to take in a dog in the first place. The least you can do is let your pup enjoy his daily walk.


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    • Dragonrain profile image

      Dragonrain 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment! I agree, I don't like "training the dog out of the dog" either. I want my dogs to enjoy being what they are. :)

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I completely agree. There is a school of thought that says you should hustle along to show your dog that you're in charge, but I don't like the idea of training the dog out of my dog, so to speak. Vivi gets as much sniffing time as she wants, and I plan on keeping it that way!