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The lesser known benefits of dog walks

By Natural Instinct 3 months ago 1492 Views

The lesser known benefits of dog walks

All owners know that walks are essential for a dog’s physical health, providing them with the exercise they need to keep fit. However, there’s not as much common knowledge about the psychological benefits of walks. Dogs are curious, sociable animals, and they, like humans, have a drive to explore and play. Here’s three things you might not know about how walks benefit your dog beyond exercise.

Socialising

Your dog can learn a lot from other dogs. For many dogs, meeting new dogs and playing with them is a positive experience that builds confidence. As long as you’re in a safe place with no roads in close proximity, letting your dog off the lead will enhance this experience for them, giving them a chance to express themselves and have fun.

Walking and meeting other dogs is also a way for you to get a sense of how your furry friend reacts to its peers. If your dog seems overly nervous and displays signs that he or she is uncomfortable (this can be expressed in fearfulness and also becoming aggressive), it might need a little bit of extra help with socialising. A training class with a professional and other like-minded dogs may provide a more controlled environment for your dog to learn how to make friends.

Dogs connecting with their instincts

Dogs have been human companions for thousands of years, and most dog breeds were developed with a specific job in mind. Today, most dogs are house pets, and are not fulfilling roles such as herding or hunting, but this doesn’t mean these jobs aren’t still in their DNA.

You can probably think of a time when your dog has stalked a pigeon in the park, or has tried to herd your children into a group. This behaviour usually comes across as funny and endearing, as with so many canine characteristics, but is in fact an important part of their sense of self. Walking gives our furry friends an important opportunity to connect with their ancient instincts.

Boredom = bad behaviour

When you think about how much of the day your dogs spend doing not much at all, you can understand why they might get a little bored. Without regular stimulation, dogs can become frustrated, and this frustration can lead to destructive behaviour. When your dog is naughty, they might just be looking for a way to entertain themselves.

Walks are a perfect antidote to this. You only have to watch your dog on a walk to see how excited they become - they love discovering the sights, smells and sounds of the outside world! It’s great therefore, to vary the places you walk your dog. If your paw-friend is given opportunities for discovery, they will be more stimulated by their environment, and are less likely to misbehave at home.

Posted in: General Advice
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