A Guide to Dog Walking...& the Importance of

The best way to keep your dog, fit, happy & healthy is to provide a regular outdoor exercise routine. Regardless of age, breed or size, all dogs will benefit from daily walks.

Walking your puppy or dog not only has physical health benefits, there are plenty of psychological benefits too. With so many smells, sights & sounds in the great outdoors, a dog is mentally stimulated every time they go outside. So even if you have a garden, which is a nice bonus, daily walks are still important.

Adolescent & adult dogs require at least a 30-60 minute walk twice a day & puppies around 15-30 minutes. Usually one long walk & one shorter. Ideally an early morning walk & one in the afternoon or evening.

Walks provide great socialisation opportunities & allows dogs to 'be in the nose'. Dogs have around 200-300 million nose receptors & the part of their brain devoted to analysing smells is a lot larger than ours. Dogs gain a great sense of environmental context through sniffing & get tons of information about other dogs from their scent.

Dog walks also provide great outdoor training opportunities for impulse control, like sit, lead walking practice & recall. Use high value 'smelly' treats to keep them focused & interested. Staying engaged with your dog on walks will prove super helpful throughout their life for safety & obedience.

If possible, letting your dog off lead for a good run around to burn off steam can be hugely rewarding mentally & physically. If still a puppy or poor recall, invest in a long line (training lead not a retractable). You can buy these at different lengths, 10ft, 15ft & walk your dog a quieter times to allow for an off lead experience. Long leads should always be used for puppies learning recall.

Try and vary the walks if possible, doing the exact same walk every day can become a bit boring for your dog & you of course! Even if this means just walking round the park in a different direction or doing some zig zags. Also promote a few calm times on the walks by sitting on a bench or just hanging out for a few moments here & there.

Be your dog's eyes and ears when outdoors. If you spot a 'tricky' situation in the distance, like an extremely hyperactive dog, or lots of noisy young children, you can always do a 180° turn and go the other way in order to avoid any potential negative outcome for your puppy or dog.

Most dogs will arrive home after their walk in a calm and relaxed state of mind & a tired dog is usually a happy dog. Dogs are extremely active creatures & if they do not get regular exercise, this can lead to anxiety & other potential behavioural problems, like hyperactivity, barking & excessive chewing.

When a regular walking schedule is in place for your dog, you will start to notice the long-term impact this has on their behaviour generally. And another lovely bonus is the pure adoration your dog gives you in return. As well as amazing rewards for your dog, you can also enjoy & reap the health benefits of being active outdoors!

Puppies can be a bit daunted by the new world outdoors to begin with, so offer lots of encouragement & it won't be long before the walks become the highlight of your dog's day! Establishing a walking schedule as soon as possible is key to your puppy's early learning & toilet training habits.

And if it's raining, remember there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothes!

If it is not possible to walk your dog every day due to time constraints, Pandapetservices provides a valued dog walking services which is available so your dog can have a fun time on our friendly small group dog walks.

Please contact Faith at www.pandapetservices.com for dog or puppy walking, behaviour training or 121 puppy training or call 07941 640348. As pet professionals, we are happy to discuss our services anytime. Thank you & good luck with your lovely pet.

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Cambridge Institute
of Dog Behaviour & Training

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