Why Your Dog Loves National Walk Your Dog Month
If your dog dances at the sight of the leash, here’s why. Walking with you is fun for your pet. Think about it, they get to go outside with their favorite person (you) and enjoy an adventure.
For many dogs, even a quick trip around the block in cold weather is a pleasant break from the sameness of hanging around the house all day. It provides mental stimulation.
The Nose Knows
When dogs stroll down the sidewalk and stop to sniff the bushes, they get an olfactory “payoff” that can tell them sagas of all the dogs (and people) that have gone before. Scientists tell us that dogs can smell up to 10,000 MORE times the scent than we can which means that scents of all types tell a significant story to our pets.
As you know, other animals and people have strolled the same path as you and left their scents behind. Those scents are a STORY to your dog as you can tell by the way your pet eagerly sniffs that questionable spot at the corner.
And while none of us REALLY knows what your dog thinks, there’s no question that the opportunity to sniff up and down the street gives him a mental boost.
Then there’s the bonding ability.
Walking Together Offers a Bonding Opportunity
See, dog trainers have long known that walking your dog is more than an opportunity to get a little exercise and take care of business, it’s also chance to bond.
When you have a strong bond with your dog, your dog respects you and will listen no matter what. Take Jake, a lab mix that belonged to a friend. Jake came to her as a normal high energy puppy. He jumped on people and chewed furniture and did the things that puppies do.
But she took the time to train him while on their walks. She’d give him treats when he walked well on the leash and when he sat for pets. Over time, they worked on recall in the backyard. Strong recall is like a superpower.
Imagine that your dog is off lead happily sniffing the trail ahead and then your dog hears something and turns, you immediately call your dog’s name and your dog looks at YOU. And, responds to your command of “come” ignoring the instinct to chase the deer in the clearing. THAT’S powerful, and potentially life-saving.
Where will you walk this month?