Expert dog trainer urges pet owners to stop taking their dog on regular daily walks
An expert urges people to stop taking their dog on daily walks and replace it with something more stimulating for their pup.
Niki French, who is the bestselling author of STOP Walking Your Dog, encourages people to replace that regular walk around the block with an alternative activity.
The 53-year-old dog trainer says not all dogs thrive on daily walks.
She told the shimmer “It may come as a surprise, but traditional walks are a human invention and are of no use to many of our dogs.
“Replacing walk time with house training games can give dogs the skills they lack to live calm, happy lives.”
Niki will kick off her first ‘Do Not Walk Your Dog Day’ tomorrow, in a bid to steer owners away from tradition.
“Contrary to popular belief, dogs with behavioral issues may become more reactive or more excitable when we try to exhaust them with too much exercise,” she added.
Niki says her two-year-old rescue named Brodie has become “noticeably calmer” with fewer walks and more enrichment games.
“Skipping a few walks can help both dogs and owners relax,” she said.
“When more than half of the walks are stressful (for the dog or for you), it’s time to do something different.”
There are many reasons owners could benefit from skipping a walk. For example, if it is too hot or too cold, it can be dangerous for the dog.
For new unvaccinated puppies, female dogs in season, and sick dogs, a walk may not be the best solution.
Do you take your dog for regular daily walks? Let us know in the “Comments” section.
“Playing games at home is a great way to develop the skills our dogs need and strengthen our relationship with them,” Niki said.
Niki has been an animal lover all her life and became a dog trainer three years ago.
She focuses on positive reward and enrichment games like digging sandboxes, playing with cardboard boxes, using lick mats, and hide-and-seek activities.
“It’s good to have other things in your toolbox. This applies to all dogs, and surprisingly it can work best for breeds that need a lot of exercise,” Niki explained. .
For dog owners with reactive or anxious pets, leaving the house for a simple walk can be intimidating and stressful.
“I want these people to know that they are not alone and that we are not judging them,” Niki said.
If you want to get involved in National Don’t Walk Your Dog Tomorrow Day, share your experience online with the hashtag #don’twalkyourdog. For more information, visit https://go.puptalk.co.uk/awareness-day.
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