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Put a stop into your walk

The weather is picking up-take in the sights, sounds and smells of the world as it changes from dark to light and the sun starts to spread its warmth

One of the things people get a dog is for companionship, this means sharing quiet times in environments that both dogs and humans enjoy together

Take a chew or a few nice treats with you on your walk and find a spot to sit and enjoy being with your dog-not only is this of value to your dog but it is of immense value to our own mental health

The focus for many people when they take their dogs out is on exercise-but if your dog could speak he he would likely tell you there are other things he would enjoy more.

He/she might tell you they enjoy being with you, but also that every season brings irresistible changes and to be able to take time to enjoy them is as important as running around

We are led to believe that walks need to be about constant motion, and this is incorrect.

If you teach your dog to run after balls and rush around this becomes “normal” and creates a dog that is filled with adrenaline and this causes us to believe a dog will never pause on a walk.

The method is to find an area on a walk where you just stop, and allow your dog to look around and start to respond to the environment which will reduce the feelings of frustration that are coursing around the body if walks only consist of constant movement

The focus here is to persist. Don’t try it once or twice and give in to the pressure to rush-you don’t need extra time, and walks do not need to be longer-they will just include a pause which will extend with practice.

The result will be a dog that is more relaxed when he returns home and the connection between you will become stronger

The benefits for


· Puppies become overwhelmed and overstimulated very easily so a dog stop will allow them to learn about their world and allow them to think about finding a place to toilet-this is one of the biggest gripes I have heard from many puppy guardians. They take their puppies out but that they toilet as soon as they get home. While this is common it is out fault that this happens

· Short adventures where the focus is on integrating the puppy into his new world are far more beneficial than trying to rush a puppy to walk at a required speed. It is your puppy that should guide and inform you

· A puppy stop will allow your puppy to “smell the flowers”

· Helps to teach loose lead walking and REALLY helps with recall as your puppy is far more likely to connect with you

Adult dogs

Once again, I will comment on the idea that dogs are primarily with us as our companions, stopping to chew the fat is with your dog is very underrated. Exercise is positive if you allow your dog to choose the speed- but dog stops can help with

· Stress reduction

· Encourage dogs to take in the scents of the area-dogs are perfectly able to air scent as they relax

· Give dogs time to themselves when they are out with us

· Putting halts into walks helps you to observe your dog outside your home-and this is of immense value. Watching your dogs movement will allow you to track any changes in gait and movement

· If you walk with other dogs in a social group putting a halt in to do some treat searches is a great group activity

Senior dogs

We often forget that older dogs can’t always walk as far as they used to.

· Putting a stop into walk helps with tired muscles and aching joints

· If you take a chew or some favourite food and present it to your dog as you stop this provides a brilliant proprioceptive activity -which is just as useful as walking and movement

· Watch as your dog gets up as this will give you a guide as to how he is coping with walks

· Do take something for your older dog to sit on so he is not forced to sit on damp grass

If you like this post you may want to check out my book "A Dog For All Seasons" all details can be found on Amazon


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