The Christmas and cafe walked dog in Melbourne
This then further isolates them from being social and condemns them to the back yard forever.
Like humans, dogs need to be around their own kind to be healthy.
The reason that we walk them off lead is that they get more exercise and they learn to make their own sensible social choices of how they approach and sniff and other dog or try and engage in play.
Many dogs in middle age or older choose not to engage in a lot of play, because not only are they physically older, they are also experienced. And an experienced dog knows that play is really code for who is better at being higher in the pack. If you play and lose, your status is demoted. Some dogs don't mind this, but many absolutely hate the implications, so they end up fighting rather than playing - particularly if they are not social.
Anyone who tells you their dog doesn't like being off lead, just hasn't gotten their dog to a point where the dog is comfortable, They will also most likely experience a dog with higher anxiety or aggression than other dogs of its similar breed and age and are more likely to get health issues - just like humans who suffer from clinical depression.
Anyone who tells you dogs don't need to be off lead in dog parks, or dont like being off lead, dont understand dogs or dog behaviour/ dog psychology. They often haven't been to a good off lead dog park to see how much joy and satisfaction the off lead dogs get. Even the old ones, just going about their business not engaging a great deal are getting an incredible amount out of the sensory experience just by being there. Just because humans cant easily tell what is going on inside a dogs head, doesn't mean that its not happening.
So why " Christmas and cafe walked dog in Melbourne" ? Because just like the vast majority of dogs in Melbourne and the world are fed an inappropriate grain diet, so are the majority of dogs not walked off lead.
I get that there are other commitments, budget constraints many numerous competing things. But I make a stand for all dogs to have the right to be social, the opportunity to be social for themselves and the community.
If you want to do two things that will make up 97% of what a dog needs in life, its feeding them more meat in their diet and walking them every day off lead ! Perhaps that is a great NY commitment for 2017 ?