If you are a dog parent, you probably take your canine companion on daily walks, because, well, it’s what dogs like to do. But, a seasoned dog trainer says this could have a negative impact on the health of your pup.
‘Don’t walk your dog day’
53-year-old dog trainer, Nikki French, has been championing a campaign to get dog owners thinking about other heathy alternatives to daily walks.
According to the author of the book, ‘Stop walking your dog’, contrary to the popular notion out there, you may not be helping your pooch by walking them everyday. She explained to The Mirror:
Replacing walk time with training games at home can give the dogs the skills they’re missing to live calm and happy lives. Contrary to popular belief, dogs with behaviour struggles can get more reactive or more excitable when we try to exhaust them through too much exercise
Other things in your toolkit
French, who owns a two-year-old rescue named Brodie, said he became calmer when she reduced the amount of daily walks he was getting. In place of that, she set out to introduce enrichment games which have helped build his skills.
It's good to have other things in your toolkit. This applies to all dogs and surprisingly it can work best for breeds that need lots of exercise. Playing games at home is a great way to build skills our dogs need and boost our relationship with them.
Just as walking in very hot or cold weather may be unpleasant for most humans, dogs might not enjoy being out in those conditions either. For owners of yet-to-be vaccinated pups, or dogs who are feeling unwell, a walk may not be a good idea, French said.