Dog Walking in innerwest Melbourne for socialisation and fun
My dog gets two walks per day, off lead, but I recommend that any client consider at least one LONG off walk each day, and at least three LONG walks minimum off lead in an off lead dog park.
Unless your dog regularly gets to meet other dogs, they will quickly lose what it means to be social and can get into physical trouble (illness and fights). They will also mentally suffer the angst of not knowing what is appropriate behaviour when approaching a dog and in general will live a lot lower quality of life.
Some people think that dog walking is purely about exercise, but that is the tip of the benefits. Dogs need exercise to be healthy and function just like a human being, but they also need the social contact, maybe more than a human because they are true pack animals.
Anytime a dog walks with another set of dogs, they form a temporary pack. It simulates what they would be doing in the wild when going on a hunt. it may not look like much to the casual observer, but there is far more going on in a dogs mind about its status in the pack and what it should do to protect the pack and work for the pack than humans will ever know.
This dog blog is the first in the series and only really scratches the surface on why off lead daily dog walks are so vital for a dog in taking responsibility for its own actions, and growing and being fulfilled.
Why the dogs in this dogblog are the most social dogs on earthA good case in point is the pictures inside of this blog. One is my dog Archie the other is a friend's dog 'Dali' that Archie has not seen for maybe six months. Some of the dogs I had in my pack today tried to play with Dali a little bit, but they weren't really sure of how far either of them could go, it became 'awkward'.
A dog running into the middle of a pack and forcing dogs to play (unless it is a puppy that does not know better) is not the same as how these two dogs took their play cues. Around six years ago these two dogs met each other for the first time and forged a bond. Years later, because they are walked daily, they can pick up their play where they left off. They have grown in size and mental maturity but it is the off lead walking and socialisation that has them know that they can play hard with each other right up to the limit, have maximum fun and then walk away.
In the photo, the casual observer might think it looks like a fight, or one dog or the other is being overly aggressive, too big, too black, whatever. NONE of that was happening here. This is two dogs having the time of their lives, because they have known each other before, but mainly because they walk in the parks each day and can perfectly read the body language and state of mind of any approaching dog.
They don't need to be nervous with each other, they don't have to consider if they will have to have a fight or flight response like non social dogs often do. They are just having fun and learning to be more social by the second, because of it.
A dog walked off lead in an off lead dog park with many other dogs around is not a lucky dog, it is a dog that has the best chance of being normal and being the best dog that dog can be.
Every walk less than once a day off lead, just takes time off that dog's life, and decreases their social skills. Not always so much that the owner will even notice, but consider how often a 'normal' human being will enjoy being in a work office or their own home with NO human contact (physical or by electronic device) for a whole day, let alone a week. Added to that dogs live in the moment and every day is more like seven human days - because they long to be part of a functioning pack, exploring and enjoying other dogs and nature.
The two dogs in this dogblog are truly special, and the reasons are obvious, it's their owners commitment to making sure they get the right interaction, daily !