Even when you know something has to be done, it doesn’t mean you’re always ecstatic to do it. Hopefully, we have some tips and advice to make walking your dog a bit less stressful.
I Hate Walking My Dog
Being annoyed or stressed when you have to walk your dog regularly is perfectly understandable sometimes, but thinking that this is unfortunately what you sign up for when you own one, does not help at all! There are simple things like exploring a new area or listing to new music, that can be changed to make it enjoyable for both you and your pup!
Why Have I Grown To Hate Walking My Dog Even Though I Love Walking (and love my dog!)?
Frustrating as it is to have something you have to do but don’t want to do, you’re not alone. The reasons behind it can actually be quite simple though.
One reason is that while yes, you may love walking, you only like walking when you decide for yourself that you want to go for a walk, not when you’re dog decides for you.
This sounds incredibly silly but no one is lying when they say mindset is everything, everybody hates things being decided for them.
If you think this may be a problem for you, try changing the words you use surrounding the walk and you may start to find your attitude towards them improving.
For example, if you usually say or think “ugh, I have to take my dog for a walk.” try saying or thinking “I get to take my dog for a walk.”. Try it for yourself and watch your feelings shift.
Is It Normal That I Don’t Enjoy Walking My Dog?
It is completely normal to not love every second of walking your dog, every dog owner I know complains about it once and a while.
This is a commitment that we all take on when we get a dog and unfortunately, there isn’t really a way around it.
If you find that the reason that you don’t really enjoy the walk is pure boredom, try listening to an audiobook or podcast when you walk your dog, or maybe make a really good playlist.
I Hate Walking My Dog Because He Pulls/Barks/Sniffs/Reacts The Entire Walk?
This is one of the things that can really put a damper on what could be a fun activity with your dog, the constant pulling and barking at every smell or other animal.
If your dog is still just a puppy this is very normal behaviour as they don’t really know what everything is yet but as they get older, it gets more frustrating to deal with.
The best solution for this kind of issue, especially with an adult dog is to hire a trainer to help your dog out of some of these bad habits.
You may find yourself enjoying walks a lot more when your dog walks by your heel instead of running around like a headless chicken.
Why Doesn’t My Dog Want To Walk?
It is very strange to think of a dog not wanting to walk, as usually, they are very active creatures who beg you to go outside with them.
If your dog goes from being the active sort to not wanting to do anything the most obvious answer is that they are in pain.
Dogs are very good at hiding their pain so it is absolutely possible that they have hurt themselves without you knowing.
They could also be emotional pain. Dogs can get depressed just like us, especially if one of their family members passes away.
If neither of those seems like the reason it would be best to take them to the vet, they could have an underlying condition causing their lack of energy that needs to be addressed.
Walking My Dog Is Stressful, She Doesn’t Listen
Walking a dog that doesn’t listen to you is like trying to teach a fish to ride a bike, it just doesn’t work at all.
Your dog needs to be trained to listen at home before they can even think about listening with all the exciting smells and sounds they see and hear going on a walk.
The best way to achieve this is to put your dog on their leash in your yard (or house, if you don’t have a yard) and do some positive reinforcement training with them.
Positive reinforcement training is where you train by rewarding dogs for doing the right thing instead of punishing them for doing the wrong thing.
This method of training is much more effective in my experience as well as very good for building your trust and bond with your dog.
An example of how to do this in regards to walking would be to walk with them and stop every time they tug, only continuing when they are not tugging.
Then, you can give them a treat whenever they walk at your heel, no matter how brief of a period they may do it.
My Dog Is Too Strong For Me To Walk
If a dog is properly trained, a toddler could walk them no matter how strong (although toddlers should obviously not be walking dogs).
The problem is that walking a big strong dog can be very scary, even if they are very well trained.
If you feel that this may be the case for you, unfortunately, you may have to rehome the dog in order for them to have a better life even though it would be devastating.
If fear is not your problem and training definitely is, with a very strong dog I would highly advise hiring a professional trainer as opposed to training them yourself.
How To Walk A Difficult Dog
Purposely difficult dogs are usually that way because they don’t have any trust in their owner.
Getting a difficult dog to be more well behaved is really about building more trust and building a bond between dog and owner.
If you think about it, would you do what someone was asking you to do all the time if you didn’t have any trust or a strong relationship with them?
The best way to build your relationship and trust with your dog is just to play with them!
Preferably playing a home you know they enjoy with them will let them know that you love them and want to spend time with them, and help build that relationship.
How To Calm A Dog Down After A Walk
This is another great reason why owners become frustrated about walking their dogs.
You go for the walk and expel a ton of energy, only to come home to a dog that is even more hyper than they were before you left!
Dogs are very emotionally intelligent and really feed off of the energy of the people they look up to.
If you want your dog to calm down is to just stand motionless until they notice you aren’t playing with them, and then when they stop running around give them a treat.
This will teach them that when you get back from a walk there needs to be a quiet time for everyone, and they will become prepared for this before you get home.
How To Get People To Stop Bothering Me While I’m Walking My Dog’
People coming up and trying to pet your dog, while nice can become extremely frustrating, especially if you are in a rush and don’t have the time.
The most effective way to get people to stop trying to come up to your dog is to walk them on a harness or with a vest that has “DO NOT PET” very clearly written on it.
That way if someone walks up to you to try and pet them you can just politely point to the sign and continue on your way.
How Can I Make Dog Walking A Fun Experience For Both Of Us?
As far as your dog goes, the walk is probably the most fun part of their day! All the new sights and smells and getting to spend time with their owner, what could be better?
How to make the walk more fun for yourself though is a different question, as going for a walk for us is most of the time, downright boring.
This doesn’t have to be the case though, there are a multitude of things you can do to make your dogs walk more fun for yourself, such as:
- Listening to music or an audiobook.
- Switching up where and when you walk so the walk is more interesting for you.
- Add the walk to your workout routine, so go for a jog or add some circuits into your routine.
- Inviting your friends and fellow dog owners along for the walk, the company makes everything more fun.
What Are The Effects Of Not Walking Your Dog?
Not walking your dog is bad for them both physically and mentally, as they need exercise and mental stimulation.
Walking your dog is also important for training purposes as it allows for lots of teachable moments that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
It also creates a lot of bonding moments between you and your dog because they do appreciate you taking them out and spending time with them.
Overall, dogs need to be walked. If you can not commit to walking a dog maybe you should reconsider such a high maintenance pet.
What Happens If Dogs Don’t Get Enough Exercise?
The most obvious thing that will start to happen is your dog will gain weight which comes with its own set of health issues like joint pain and heart disease.
However, there are also behavioural aspects to be considered when it comes to lack of exercise.
If a dog is not physically and mentally stimulated it can cause bad behaviour as that is just their way of keeping themselves entertained.
How Often Should A Dog Be Walked?
This depends on a variety of factors such as breed, age, health ect. There are lots of high energy dogs that need long hikes and couch potatoes who just need to be taken out to pee.
In general, your dog should be taken out for 3-4 walks per day for at least 15 minutes each.
If you have an obese, sick or very old dog they may not be able to keep up with this schedule but otherwise, this would be the bare minimum.
If you have a few busy days every once and a while where this just isn’t feasible, that is okay, just try your best to keep up with it as much as possible.
Is It Bad That I Don’t Walk My Dog Every Day?
This depends on your particular situation. If you have more than one dog who constantly have access to a large open outdoor space then you shouldn’t have to worry too much.
The dogs will play with each other and exercise a lot outside which should make it fine to have a walk every other day or few days.
If they do not have this though, they do need to be walked every day.
How Long Can A Dog Go Without A Walk?
If we are talking in terms of pure survival a dog could live their normal life without ever going for a walk, this would be incredibly cruel though.
Dogs need the physical activity mental stimulation as well as bonding time with their owners that walks provide.
To be happy and healthy unless under very particular circumstances dogs need to be walked every day.
How Do You Exercise A Dog Without Walking/A Dog That Can’t Walk?
If walking isn’t an option for you there are things you can do to make sure they get the exercise they need.
The easiest way is simply just to play with them, throw a ball around or set up little obstacle courses for them.
If your dog can’t walk due to illness or injury then the only way to exercise them is to exercise their mind. Give them puzzles and brain toys to make sure they get mental stimulation.
Do I Need To Walk My Dog Even Though We Have A Big Yard?
If you have a big enough yard you don’t have to bring your dog off of your property for exercise (even though it is very good to do that as well).
You still do have to ensure that they are getting enough time outside and exercise though.
A lot of dogs won’t exercise enough if left to themselves so you have to help and encourage them to do so either by playing games with them or exercising with them yourself.