Today I’m here to tell you, to give you permission, to not walk your dog. Wait, what? Don’t all dogs need walks? I’m here to say, no. We’ve been taught to believe that dogs need walks but many dogs don’t enjoy walks. And, for a lot of dogs, walking just isn’t the exercise burn that it is for humans. For active, young dogs, we don’t really walk fast enough or cover enough distance for dogs to get the exercise they actually need. The best thing dogs get from walks is the enrichment from sniffing. For small dogs, seniors or those with health issues, maybe a nice stroll is the right amount of exercise, but not for most of the dogs I see being walked.
If your dog is afraid of outside or doesn’t enjoy walks, then don’t do them! Forcing your dog to go on a walk if they’re afraid will not make them less afraid and could actually make them worse. When we force a dog into a situation they think is scary, hoping they’ll just “learn to deal with it”, that’s called flooding and that can make a dog’s fear issues worse.
And, in many parts of the world, it’s HOT. Walking at the height of summer may not be enjoyable for you or your dog and could be potentially dangerous. Hot asphalt, concrete, rocks and sand can all burn dog pads so sometimes there’s not a lot of places outside that may be safe for extended time outside. So what can you do instead if your dog is afraid or if it’s just not great weather to be outside?
8 Summer Activities To Do Instead Of Walks:
- Take an online tricks, nosework or other class. It’s convenient, safe for fearful dogs since it’s done from the comfort of home and these classes are more economical than one-on-one training
- Set up a kiddie pool or gentle sprinklers in your yard
- Create an indoor scavenger hunt
- Practice cooperative training skills for nail trims, vet visits or grooming
- Host a doggy party and invite your dog’s friends over for pupcakes and doggy ice cream
- Blow dog safe bubbles with a bubble maker and let your dog chase them
- Play hide and seek, heavily rewarding your dog with high value treats when he finds you
- Set up an indoor agility course using chairs or other furniture, pillows, boxes, pots/pans and household items
Also, my free guide, 6 Quick Activities For A Busy Or Rainy Day has some of my favorite indoor enrichment to help your dog get some brainwork, give you some bonding time and build a stronger relationship. DOWNLOAD HERE.
If your dog is afraid of outside, my self-paced course, Conquering The Urban Jungle: Helping Dogs With Their Fear Of Outside, is just for you! This course is packed with quality content. The core course contains 9 self-paced modules with videos and my narration explaining the concepts we’re working on. The course highlights 3 different dogs in a sort of case study, so you can see their progress from where they started to what success looks like for each of them. There are also downloadable resources that pair with the information in the modules. And there’s bonuses, additional resources and graduates are welcome to join a private Facebook support group exclusively for my online course participants and graduates.
What do you get in this course? Check out the course page for full details. Naturally, a self paced course isn’t a replacement for one on one training but, for clients who want to get started on their own before investing in one on one training, who might be a little more DIY, who are budget conscious or who want to get a taste of what training entails, this is a great course to help you on your way. Ready to join? Access the Conquering The Urban Jungle course today!