Woman walking her dog who is carrying a stick he found while playing in the park. Original photo courtesy Pixabay. Watercolor treatment Kathy LaFollett.

3 Points to Remember When Walking Your Dog

3 Points to Remember When Walking Your Dog

Humans think in a straight line.

Walking a dog has the purpose of allowing our dog to exercise and go to the bathroom. Once a human gets on that straight line, we rarely look left or right. Purpose, results. Then we can get back to the human business we interrupted for the dog business. There's more to a walk than wearing out a dog's energy and bathroom needs. To a dog, going for a walk means mental health, stress reduction, and being with their best friend. They also have three important parts that NEED to be exercised.

  1. Their Nose. Taking your dog walking allows them to revisit perimeters to smell who's been by, and when. Call it checking in on their neighborhood. Allowing your dog the time to investigate and identify species scents is necessary. For hunting dogs, it's downright mental health or illness. Build in the walking time to let your dog pause on interesting spots and consider the scents. Let their nose and brain have that dog brain-nose conversation. It's important. A walk isn't supposed to be work. A walk should be enjoyable, expanding, and interesting. For both of you.
  2. Their Eyes. Dogs do enjoy taking in their surroundings when walking. For hunting dogs, it's a mental health supplement. Give your dog time to take in sites that pass in front of them, or things that changed. Keen consideration to changes and what those changes brought to their world is important in creating a confident dog. New things aren't anything but interesting things. Therefore, it's a good thing. Build in time for your dog to pause in stride and consider a new object. He may need to sniff the wind for more information. Eyes lead to nose for more information. A walk should be refreshing, edifying, and inspiring. For both of you.
  3. Their Ears. Sounds carry from further away for our dogs. They will hear things we may not or may catch after our dog has stopped to attention. Ears can lead eyes that lead noses to gather information. Build in time on your walk to allow your dog pause to gather sound information. Let him spool through his other senses to define what he's caught further. A confident calm dog is allowed to exercise his brain and body on walks. A walk should reveal ideas, clarify thinking, and relax muscles. For both of you.

Dog walking isn't a chore. It's part of the lifestyle choice of dogs. Walking with our dog is a mental health supplement for us as well. A dog's needs can throw a speed bump into our straight lines of thoughts allowing the important things to interrupt the less important. Take advantage of such a gift in the dog lifestyle. A walk doesn't have to go a distance. Most walks aren't about distance, they are about quality to a dog. A sight full, sense full one mile is as valuable or better than a rushed, forced two miles. Comfort and security start at the leash and end with a super comfortable halter. Collars are for tags and contact information. Give your dog the gift of mental health with a good quality immersive walk. The favor will be returned in kind.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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