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Hey, how’s it going.  Did you walk your dog today? More than just for potty purposes?  No? Well, make it happen! It’s National Walk Your Dog Day, and to be honest, every day should be ‘walk your dog day.’

I know, we are all busy and don’t always have the time or energy. It’s easier to let them out in the backyard. I get it. I, too, am guilty of it more often than I care to admit. But the truth is, my dogs are so much happier (as am I), after we have shared a good walk together.  I used to wear my headphones and listen to books, podcasts or music while walking. Now I simply focus on the dogs, on my surroundings, and it is great. Not only is it a fantastic bonding experience, it is like a cure-all for many dog behavior concerns.

A tired dog is a happy and well behaved dog!

I’m sure you’ve read/heard how great walking is for us humans — it is equally beneficial to our dogs, too, for many of the same reasons. 

The walk is both mentally and physically stimulating for dogs. Our dogs want to experience the world around us. If they are confined to the house for too long, they get bored, and boredom can lead to destructive behavior. Dogs are dependent on us to take them out to explore all the sights, sounds and smells in our worlds. Mix it up and vary the places you take them to provide even more opportunity to discover.

Walking is good for you too!

Have you been cooped up in your office all day, stressed out, unable to focus?  Get out for a walk, and by all means, take your dog with you because EVERYTHING is better with a dog!

Pet MD lists these as top 10 benefits walking provides your dog:

#10 Keeps pets healthy
#9 Helps with weight control
#8 Helps the digestive system
#7 Reduces destructive behavior
#6 Alleviates extra energy
#5 No more unruliness
#4 No more attention seeking behavior (barking/whining)
#3 Bonding
#2 Builds trust
#1 It’s good for you too

What’s that?  Your dog pulls on the leash?

Dogs aren’t born knowing how to walk on a leash, silly.  You have to teach your dog to walk on a leash.

Josh Donahue from Atlanta’s Argos DogWorks will show you how to stop your dog from pulling on the leash in this free training video. Josh has helped my Great Pyrenees rescue, Sam, and me work through some tough stuff together over the last many weeks and I highly recommend him.

Work your way through his “Basics” playlist and it’s like free puppy training school.

Herm Sprenger Prong training collar

Here’s a the Herm Sprenger Prong training collar he recommends. I had never used one before. I was skeptical, but wow, it is the most effective and humane thing I’ve ever used. They catch on fast, too.  And it’s not forever either, which he explains in one of his basic training videos (see the Basics list).

Don’t have a dog of your own to walk? 

Check with local shelters for volunteer opportunities to walk a shelter dog and make both his/her and your day!

Are you still here?  Go walk your dog! 🙂

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