Published: June 30th, 2016 | Jeremy Feldman

One of the joys of owning a dog is that you never have to go for a walk on your own. However, sometimes your dog walk becomes a frantic race against the clock, because there are far more pressing things to do. Your dog has no sense of urgency, and can find a specific tree so interesting no amount of persuasion will get things moving again! If you have limited time at your disposal, how can you ensure that your four-pawed friend gets the best out of every dog walk and satisfies his natural canine instincts?

 

Even on a short pavement walk, vary your route and allow time for your dog to fully investigate lamp posts and tree trunks, and leave the necessary calling card at every opportunity. To a dog, a walk isn’t a walk unless the ‘3 Drips at Every Stop’ rule is applied. Season your walk with a few obedience exercises as you go to keep your dog thinking and working hard. Remember, it’s about teamwork.

 

Allow your dog to meet and greet other friendly animals. The mutual sniffing of both ends, and resulting wagging tails is the human equivalent of a hand shake. They’re only being polite, and everyone likes a well-mannered dog.

 

Take your pooch out for a long walk off the leash as often as possible. All dogs need to burn off excess energy and the freedom to choose which way to turn, when to run and when to walk. They need to forage and sniff the grass verges for as long as they want to, without any restraint. Many experts believe that four short and fast paced walks with some additional obedience work mixed in and spread evenly throughout the day is more beneficial then a one hour walk once a day.

 

Your dog deserves the opportunity to leisurely browse the neighborhood, in exactly the same way his owners likes to window shop, but a quick walk is better than no walk. If work or family commitments mean you have to prioritize the things on your ‘to do’ list, make sure a short outing is up there at the top.

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