Actually, quite the opposite is recommended if you happen to have a “wild” or rambunctious little companion. A walk may be the best cure to curb their enthusiasm.
Those of you who have been fortunate enough to learn from Cesar Millan’s new DVD, or his episodes currently airing on the National Geographic Channel, will already have a clear understanding of how important a daily walk is for dogs. According to Cesar’s hierarchy of parenting your dog, you start with exercise, then discipline, then affection. The exercise element is very important for releasing a dog’s energy making them calm, and therefore more submissive and attentive to your instructions. Letting your dog loose in the backyard is not a substitute for walking them.
The amount of time spent walking each day depends on the energy level and size of your dog. High energy dogs and larger dogs may need longer walks of up to an hour. If taking a dog for a walk is new to you or them, be patient, be calm, but be assertive as this will show them who should be the leader. Soon you will have a very well trained companion on a short leash walking beside and a little behind you. You should be the one in control and decide which direction to walk and when they are allowed to stop and smell the “roses.” This education teaches them who is the “alpha dog”, and it best be you!
After a nice walk you’ll notice how much calmer your dog is. This is the submissive state of mind necessary to properly introduce further training or discipline, especially if you are targeting a particular problem behavior. As soon as they respond favorably, then it is time to share your affection, and lots of it, as this will reinforce their positive actions.
The benefits of walking your dog daily go beyond creating a calm state of mind. Not only is it a great exercise for you, but it also helps activate your dog’s digestive system and helps them eliminate waste. If they ever show signs of constipation, get out the leash and start walking! Happy tails will soon follow, and don’t forget your poop bags.
You can learn much more about walking with your dog and how to better bond with them by watching Cesar Millan’s DVD “People Training for Dogs.”