There are many reasons that we come up with for not walking our dog.
1. Too Hot or Too Cold
The weather is probably one of the most frequently used excuses.
- It is raining – I/my dog will get wet.
- It is snowing – I/my dog will be too cold.
- It is too hot – my dog will overheat.
- It is too cold – my dog will freeze.
We can’t walk the dog during Winter because it is snowing, raining, or too cold. We can’t walk the dog during the Summer because it is too hot. Spring is too wet so that leaves us with Autumn.
But wait – that is when the ticks are out so that is no good either. Besides, Autumn is a great time to sleep-in.
2. There are Vicious Dogs in My Neighborhood
I was talking to a dog owner today and she tells me that she doesn’t walk her dog because there are vicious pit-bulls that live a few houses away from her. They are always at the gate and barking at her, so she is protecting her dogs by keeping them in the house all day long.
I must admit that that is a pretty impressive excuse. No walking involved, and a protector at the same time.
There are also many dogs that charge the gate or bark in my neighborhood. Sometimes, they can be pretty intimidating.
Occasionally, there are also dogs that escape and run loose. These escapees usually avoid contact with people, but there are some who are friendly, and also others who are territorial or aggressive.
Dogs do these things because they are bored and frustrated out of their mind from being protected in the house all day.
A life lived in fear… is a life half lived ~~[Strictly Ballroom]
If we are afraid of neighborhood dogs, we can always drive to a nearby park, or to a more quiet neighborhood and walk our dogs there.
3. My Dog is Reactive or Aggressive with Other Dogs
Some dogs are more reactive to other dogs than others. Guard dogs, for example, are bred to be more territorial by nature, and may not like other dogs encroaching upon their space.
My Shiba Inu does not like dominant dogs, or dogs that come in to smell his butt without his permission.
Some dogs are protected in the house all day, every day, so they naturally have a lot of excited and frustrated energy when they finally get to go out.
I have found that the more I walk my dogs, the more confident we all become, and the walks get easier and more enjoyable. I can now anticipate their walk triggers (usually cats and squirrels), so we mostly have a nice and relaxed routine punctured by moments of Cat or Squirrel Pow.
My Sibe used to be afraid of the garbage truck, but she is better with them now because we see them once every week, and we are still here to tell the tale.
The way to deal with reactivity issues is not to totally avoid contact with others, but rather to train our dog and ourselves to better handle external interactions including dog-to-dog interactions.
4. My Dog Pulls
Most dogs, especially young dogs will pull because they are so excited to be outside where there are many interesting smells and sights. My Siberian is a 3-legged dog, but when she really wants to pull, she has mad skillz.
I use a combination of the red-light/green-light technique and the 180-turn-around technique while we are out on walks to control the pulling. Both are helpful, but there will be situations where she loses control and starts to go. Usually a cat or squirrel is involved! 😉
However, we are both improving in small steps, and enjoying ourselves along the way.
5. I am Too Tired
Sometimes, we get busy. Issues may arise at home or at work, and we get swallowed up by them.
Life happens. Skipping a few daily walks in a year will not have any adverse effects on our dogs.
However, I find that walking with my dogs actually helps to clear my head, and gives me a much needed break from my problems. When we get home, I am more energized, and end up making more progress on my projects than I would have otherwise.
What are you waiting for?
Time to strap on that iPod, and treat yourself to a nice walk with your dog.
It is a good day to be with dog.