Why take your dog for a... structured walk?

When you ask most people if they walk their dogs, most do and most understand why physical exercise is so important for the wellbeing of the dog. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that although the physical act of walking is good… it’s not good enough. Dogs need to participate in a daily ‘structured walk’. And what I mean by this is that your dog should be walking in the heel position taking complete direction from you. Not pulling ahead, not sniffing the ground, and not peeing on every fire hydrant or lamp post… whew! Now that’s a tall order😉. But with some practice it will become second nature. So here is the how-to breakdown: on the structured walk you will preplan a specific potty time, and this should be no more that 25% of your entire walk. So, if 75% of the time your dog is heeling as a respectful companion walking comfortably by your side then 25% of the time (and only after you give the command ‘go potty’ or whatever you use) your dog is free to sniff and potty. So to put some numbers to this, if you go for a 20 minute structured walk this means that 15 minutes must be polite heeling and 5 minutes can be sniffing/potty/roaming. Some of the greatest benefits of the structured walk are to exercise your dog’s mind, work on impulse control, and to enjoy their companionship. And you will likely find that your dog will be much more tired, content and well behaved after the mental exercise of a structured walk than if you were to allow him to pull you down the street every day for 20 minutes. ❤️Happy training my friends!❤️

Kristen Cameron