Dog walking provides three important things for your dog.

First is exercise. Just like it is important for us to exercise every day, the same goes for our dogs. It helps to burn calories that they eat throughout the day. Exercise uses up excess energy that your dog may have at different times of the day. If you are unable to walk your dogs, hiring a dog walker can help fill in with exercising your dog when you are working or have to go to work early or work late. It also helps to keep their muscles toned including their heart.

The second is training. Even a short 5-minute walk can be used as a time to practice training. With all the distractions outside, including squirrels, other dogs, and even all the different types of people, can all be ways to train your dog to pay attention to you when you are out walking. You can practice sitting and staying at any corner of the sidewalks. You can practice getting your dog to lie down and relax if you happen to run into a neighbor and start having a conversation. You can also practice going at different paces, fast, slow, and backward. You can also practice recall or come especially with puppies.

Third is mental stimulation. Getting outside and smelling all the smells takes a lot of energy. They have to navigate to smells that interest them, figure out where the smell is coming from, see if it is a new smell or a smell they have encountered before, and decide what to do with that information. For most dogs, it is just making a catalog of those smells all around your house and their environment, but they will know when something new enters their territory. Also, look at everything they see on the walk and decide whether it might be a “threat” to themselves or you. Listening to sounds in their environment…if you have a dog that is sensitive to sounds, walking them to expose them to different sounds may help them understand sounds that you think are no big deal and others that they should be worried about. Taste…some dogs and most puppies investigate their environment by tasting everything, but they are also “tasting” when they smell because the sinuses run right over the mouth. And of course, feel as well…dogs learn about hot and cold, and different surfaces present different challenges to dogs.

These three activities accomplished by walking your dog, will wear your dog out and allow for better, less destructive behavior in the house.