The daily hustle and bustle do not allow us to have enough time for relaxation and contemplation. Few people can afford to take a good walk a day: children, work, and housework eat up all our time. However, when we refer to taking the dog for a walk, the expression should not be “taking the dog out”, but accompanying him in one of his most important daily phases: the relationship with his environment and the exercise of his social and physical skills.
What should the ride consist of?
On the one hand, dogs have an infinitely simpler life than humans, but let’s not be fooled, some issues are much more complex and vital for them. The daily walk (or rather: the daily walks) are the fundamental pieces of the physical and “mental” world of the animal.
When a dog goes for a walk, the first thing it does is recognize the environment, and all its complex systems of perception, analysis, and sociality are activated there. First, he sniffs the environment. The environment is radically different if it is a dry day or if it is raining. You will notice that on rainy days it becomes much more active because the smells are enhanced. For dogs, smell is their main sense, as for us sight, when it rains is as if they put on glasses that amplify colors and textures.
The second of the phases that the dog must go through when going outside is to do physical exercise, a capital needs in domestic dogs that increasingly develop obesity or cardiovascular problems, the result of an extremely sedentary lifestyle. You must walk, but walking well means walking for a minimum of 20 minutes, long enough to change scenery, leave behind the characteristic sounds and smells of the area near the home, and reach new places with their personality. Walking, running, and playing is essential.
The third link in a walk is the one that has to do with the social face of your pet. Let your dog approach other dogs, bark at each other, smell each other and play. He must integrate into his small canine society. Not only is it fun, but playing also shapes his character and completes him.
The game is not only a way to recreate but to enhance the maturation of their personality and behavior. A poorly socialized dog is clumsy when it comes to communicating with other dogs, tends to bark furiously (just to get attention and say hello), develops fears of being around other dogs and doesn’t end up understanding when others want to play, and misunderstands that they may pose a threat.
The best time: attention to circadian rhythms
Dogs strictly follow the patterns of behavior and behavior that you instill in them, not only do they follow them but they also need them because they are quite squared when it comes to customs. Dogs have their biological clock, which stipulates the circadian rhythms of each dog and is also capable of integrating it with your habits. The only important indication is that, when it comes to walks, try not to be chaotic, and always look for uniformity in the schedules.
Going outside with your dog only when you have free space, and generating a random rhythm of walks is the worst thing you could do to your dog. The dog appreciates that certain customs are immovable, but also that you know how to match them to the environment: the dog may want to go outside from the first rays of light, and will tend to refuse to go out when it gets dark.
In total, the number of ideal outings for walks is three. One in the morning, the earlier the better, because that way there are fewer people, the smells are more prominent, the street is fresh and this walk helps to clear the dog, to start its metabolism and internal rhythms. In the early afternoon, the walk can be shorter, rather than walking we can look for it to greet other dogs and play. And finally, in the late afternoon, the walk can be longer and calmer.
The perfect hours are, in the morning, between 8:00 and 10:00 . In the afternoon it depends on the time of year because in summer it is necessary to take into account possible heat strokes, but in general the afternoon walk should be rather around 5:00 p.m., keep in mind that this can be the shortest. And finally, the last walk of the day can be at 20:00.
Consequences of walking little and badly
Dogs can develop something similar to obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) in humans, in their case they are called stereotypes, with repetitive behaviors that can cause damage in the long run. If he scratches compulsively, barks continuously and for no apparent reason, or licks himself excessively, it may be caused by poor socialization and by spending a lot of time at home. Dogs deprived of sufficient contact with the environment develop anxiety, which translates into a nervous and repetitive state.
A dog that does not walk enough ends up needing to dump its energy in some way. The bad behavior of many dogs in the home is caused precisely because they have not been able to exercise outside. If your dog destroys objects, he is stubborn and does not seem to comply with the education you are trying to give him, the hidden motive for this bad behavior may be the need to walk more and do it with better quality.