Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Importance of Pack Walking

Every now and then you might see us use the term “pack walk”, as in, “I took my dog for her pack walk this morning”. You might be wondering what exactly that means and how it differs from your typical outing with your dog. There are  many different forms of exercise that you can help your dog engage in: free play (like at the dog park), structured play (a game of fetch), and the all-important “pack walk” (*leashed or not).

{Pack walking: you're doing it wrong. Photo:}

Walking with your dog on a daily basis satisfies his animal need to migrate. From an evolutionary point of view, your dog is hardwired to move in order to survive. Dogs thrive on working, and that includes hunting for food with their pack. In modern times, the domesticated dog might have a very different “pack” than he did, say, 5000 years ago. Your dog’s pack means you and every other animal he lives with. But always remember: YOU, the humans, are the leaders. We went into detail with this concept in our last post (Dealing With Dominance), but now you can take that concept and apply it to the most important part of your dog’s day: the walk.

A lot of dog owners believe that taking their pet to the park to romp with other dogs is the only form of exercise they need. While socializing with others and running like a madman is certainly great for your dog, the leashed walk is so much more important for your dog’s mental well-being and his feeling of security within his pack. Think of the leashed pack walk as not only a physical workout, but a brain workout, too! If you’re thinking “How is his brain working? We’re just walking!”, you are not alone. Before hurdling into dog ownership, I thought the same way. But, during the pack walk, you will be asking a lot of your dog. And here’s how: ...

Read the rest of this post over at the Sault Dog Blog!

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