The Importance of Walking Your Dog for Good Behaviour
When most people think of walking their dog, they usually think of their dog or puppy “doing their business,” or simply getting some exercise. But there are many other, very important reasons to walk your dog, and you may be surprised at the behavioral benefits! Thorough socialization is one of the most important aspects in preventing or alleviating behavior problems.
Having regular leash walks around your neighborhood can help your dog to be properly socialized with people, other dogs, children, rubbish trucks, bicycles, and many other things. This can help prevent fearful, skittish, or overly territorial behavior, as well as many other problems. Excessive barking also usually stems from dogs thinking that every little sound is a threat. Learning to recognize normal daily occurrences such as neighbors unloading groceries and children walking from the bus stop are significant in solving barking problems.
Running away or bolting out the door are other issues that regular walks can really help with. Dogs are social animals and they enjoy having lots of sensory stimuli in their lives. If your dog spends most of his time in the house and yard, he may be yearning to get out front where he can experience more of the world. By walking your dog on a regular basis and spending some time with him out front, it can seem like less of a novelty to him, therefore being less of a temptation when the opportunity to escape arises.
“A tired dog is a good dog” can go a long way toward calming down a hyper or energetic dog or puppy. But keep in mind, walking your dog is not just for physical exercise… it’s a mental too! There’s no need to walk your dog for miles and miles (unless you want to). Even just a few blocks of walking and sniffing, seeing sights and hearing sounds, can give your dog’s senses a workout, resulting in a calmer, better behaved pet. If you live in a more rural area, it’s also a good idea to take your dog to parks, shopping centers, and other more populated areas on a regular basis, to experience the socialization and sensory encounters that are not as easily found near your home. With a little effort on your part, walking your dog can be healthy and fun for both of you… for exercise and good behaviour!