“Max is just a little dog, so he doesn’t need to go on walks.”
“We have a big backyard, so Isabelle gets plenty of exercise running around by herself.”
“Lulu doesn’t have any behavior or aggression problems. She is perfectly happy lounging around the house.”
“I take Rocky out to potty several times a day. That is the same as a walk.”
NO! NO! NO!! I hear this all the time. There are so many reasons why all the above statements are completely wrong. Your dog needs to be walked every single day. People assume when I say that, I am promoting my own business. This is not the case – your dog NEEDS to be walked.
Dogs, before we domesticated them, were pack animals. All day, every day, they walked. They walked to find shelter. They walked to find food. They walked…that is what they did. When working and living with dogs, you must remember….they are animals. Though we think of them as members of our family (which they are!) biologically speaking, they are still animals. Evolution has not erased their need to move around and travel. Now, think of little Fifi staring out the window. Her body is telling her to walk, to explore, to see the world! The two minutes you let her out back to do her business is not fulfilling her most basic need.
I would venture to say 95% (no scientific studies, folks, this is just my best guess) of behavior problems in dogs are caused by boredom. What would you do if you couldn’t leave your house? Maybe not chew the leg of the table, but some human equivalent to it. (eating an insane amount of iced animal cookies? Maybe that’s just me….) Jumping on guests when they come in? Hell, ya! Your pup hasn’t had that much excitement in days. Whining in the middle of the night? Of course! Fido isn’t tired…he’s ready to roll. A nice long walk would have fixed these problems.
I think lots of people get dogs expecting the pups to adapt to their lives. You have to go to work, go to the gym, cook dinner, pay bills… and maybe have a social life once in a while. You just don’t have time to walk. Well, people, walking is as important as remembering to feed your pooch. You’re dog – quite simply – cannot adapt. The need to walk is literally in their. You just have to find the time. Maybe every day is unrealistic. (I tell myself I’m going to go to the gym everyday….and let me tell you, that is unrealistic!) Maybe the recommended hour per walk is just not doable. (Ahh, the things I could do with one extra hour in my day!) But you have to make an effort. You assumed a responsibility when you brought little Max, Isabelle, Lulu, or Rocky home. You have to keep them happy and healthy….and walking will keep you happy (sleepy puppy = happy human) and healthy (we all could use a little exercise) as well.
And if you just can’t find the time….you could always hire a dog walker! 😉