Hagar, here with a real conundrum, Mary, you know my human mom, her daughter, from a different litter the human one, has gone away. Her two dogs Lacey and Piglet are staying with Sophie and me ‘til she gets back.
I like having them visit because we go for more walks! I don’t know why, but we do, and I am all over going for walks. They need to know that my stuffed fish is off limits, but otherwise, I am tickled pink to go for more walks no matter the reason.
I think Piglet asked is how I got to thinking about this. If Mary is my human mom, her daughter is my sister from a different litter like I said before, right? That makes Piglet and Lacey Mary’s grand dogs, right? There is no doubt they are grand dogs.
Hmmm, what I’m trying to work out is, does that make Lacey and Piglet my cousins or my nephew and niece? Should they be addressing me as Uncle Hagar and Sophie as Aunt Sophie? Or is it cousin Hagar and Sophie? The thing is Piglet just says, “hey you, long legs” when he speaks to me. Do you think he should be calling me Uncle Long Legs?
These titles and relationships can be very confusing to a dog, especially to a dog who likes to get things right. I feel I have a duty to perform as a dog with a blog. Sophie tells me to get over myself. She says, “It doesn’t make any difference what they call you. The only thing that counts is, when they come over we go for more W-A-L-K-S! You can put up with that short four-legged snorter calling you whatever when there are more walks at stake.”
That got me to thinking why walks are so important? We play out in the yard whenever we want so why are we so nutso about walks. I decided to look it up and here is what I found.
Walking for dogs is like sniffing poo, it is an instinct! Fish gotta fly, birds gotta swim, wait is that right? You get the idea dogs gotta walk because back in the day wild dogs in packs used to get up in the morning and walk looking for food following the Alpha dog, that’s me. Just like those loud mouthed coyotes, we dogs migrated back when we were king of the wild.
It’s not just for exercise, either. We can get that in the yard or a dog park; I don’t know what that is, but you might. Walking helps us dogs check out our territory find out the scoop along our usual routes. We need the mental stimulation.
The following are some suggestion I discover for the “proper” ways to walk you dog. I am putting it in here NOT because I am down with them, but as a community service. Dogs gotta do what dogs gotta do.
There are those that believe that a walk is an opportunity to practice obedience skills with your dog and reinforce your bond with him. When you encounter another dog or person on your route, you can help him practice social skills. Behaviorists believe dogs that go for daily walks are better behaved and are less likely to be destructive, obsessive, or have separation/dominance issues. I agree with that but the obedience stuff, no way!
According to my research, there are “proper” ways to walk dogs. Well duh, no leash, no rules. One article actually says, Your pooch should either walk beside you or behind you, never in front of you. In other words, you should walk your dog, not the other way around. This may seem trivial, but it means a lot in your dog’s world. When you let a dog walk in front of you, you’re communicating that he’s the one who is in charge of the walk. Hello!!!
The long and short of it is take your dogs for walks. Forget about what’s proper, just go for a walk with Fido. He’ll love you for it.