What is it that makes dogs like walks? You're probably asking yourself that question right now because no matter how extreme the weather, be it a blazing hot summer day or a cold snap with sub-zero temperatures, your dog is there, sitting at the door waiting to go out for his walk. True or not? Some dogs can get very insistent when they're wanting to get out of the house. Often if they think you're not getting the message they're trying to give, which is it's walk time, they'll even go and fetch their lead themselves or press their nose against the door and whine until you take notice. Does your dog love to go for a walk that much? It's not surprising if he does.
The Root of the Behavior
Dogs have a natural enthusiasm for the great outdoors. It's the environment which the majority of dogs are most comfortable in and it's where they love to spend as much time as possible. Yes, they do like to be by your side and curled up in front of a blazing fire, but say walkies and they'll have forgotten that snug cosy spot in less than a second. Dog's find walks mentally stimulating. For them it's the human equivalent of reading a good Dan Brown novel or watching the latest Marvel movie release and we would all indulge in either of those three times a day if given half a chance, wouldn’t we? Dogs like walks because they're not naturally lazy. Their genetic make-up demands physical exercise. Their old survival instincts may be well buried by domestication, but they're still have them even though they may not be readily apparent. Many eons ago, a dog would need to leave its shelter to search for food. It was never going to find it just appearing in its bed of it's own free will. Dogs love walks because, in some way which even he may not understand, he's fulfilling that old, inbuilt survival instinct to go out and forage for food. Dogs are not by nature solitary creatures. They're pack animals. In a way, not much different to us really when we need to seek out company of our own kind, they enjoy being around other dogs or in places where other dogs have been. They need the interaction of other canines to be able to practice and develop their social skills. The house and the backyard might be their own personal territory, but it is somewhat limited. Dogs like to know what's going on further afield, to have a chance to expand their personal space and to sniff out the neighbourly competition. Going for a walk gives them the opportunity to do just that.
Encouraging the Behavior
A dog can never have enough walks and so if your dog loves to go for a walk, you should take him as often as you possibly can. He'll be the happiest dog on the street if not in the whole town. The exercise will not only keep him in tip top condition, it will also help prevent many health issues later in his life. Dogs need a change of scene. Being in the same surroundings day in day out for hour after hour can be frustrating and well, down right boring. Every walk, for your dog, is exciting. It's a new adventure and we're all happy when we're having some of those. Some dogs don't enjoy going out, especially when they're puppies, no matter how gently you try to persuade them. After all, to them, it's a big wide world full of strange things which they've never seen or heard before. That and the scent of other dogs along the walk route can make them nervous and afraid. Sometimes a dog's natural exuberance can make walking him difficult if not downright impossible. He will want to run ahead at the speed of light and pull continuously on the lead which makes taking your dog for a walk a very uncomfortable experience.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If your dog is not loving his walks or is reluctant to participate in an activity which should have him basically jumping for joy, you really do need to find out the reason why. If he's a young puppy he just might not have had enough time to adjust to all that's going on in the places where you walk him. If he's not a puppy, has he had some frightening experience which has put him off his walks? Or when he's on the leash, is he just too much to handle? Why not consider a few sessions with a professional dog trainer? They'll show you the right way to deal with either problem by teaching you some good dog walking techniques so you and your dog can both begin to enjoy this very important activity.
Dogs love nothing better than to go for a walk and the more often they can go the better. Walk your dog frequently every day and you'll have a wonderfully contented pet who won't be shy at demonstrating his affection for the owner who cares and understands his needs so well. You just have to say that magic word, walkies, guaranteed he'll be ready to go before you are.