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The Power of the Walk

Gang, we've all heard it a thousand times, a tired dog is a happy dog (and a happy owner). So why is this the case and what is it about a walk that can do so much good for you and your dog? Let's explore:

1) It's great exercise for you both. Unlike running, it's easier on your knees and joints just as it is with your dog. It allows you both to remain in control while increasing your heart rate and blood flow.

2) It's a wonderful way to establish that you're the alpha in your home and outside; you control the pace, the scenery, and the reward spots (where they get to linger, sniff, snarl, and sample). By using a fixed leash versus the longer, corded retractable leash you can maintain more control over your dog without the risk of rope burn when they tend to lurch forward or want to check out what's going on at their 3 o'clock.

3) Dogs like routine. I know for me, there's nothing better than winding down the night than with a nice brisk walk after dinner with Jake and Kona. We have the same route on our evening walks which is 1.3 miles (i just had to google map it). We pass a great bed & breakfast with amazing gardens, past a stacked stone wall where Jake must always pee and Kona must always climb to the top, and finally to a wild patch of bamboo where Kona loves to climb in a pee. I think she likes the reeds rubbing against her belly. It's routine and each of us looks forward to it as a way to cap off our evening and a way to settle our stomachs before bed.

4) Walks are good for the brain. While I didn't have to consult the New England Journal of Medicine for this one, I simply know that it works for me and I think it stimulates my dog's brain as well. There is nothing like a walk, without the phone, without a computer, without an agenda. Here's a time to clear your head of the clutter and try to fill it with what you intend and what you desire versus your concerns. There is something about exercise, being outdoors, and inhaling fresh air that allows you to think more clearly and open up to fresh ideas. And who better to be your muse than your dog.

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