Taking Your Dog for a Walk With Your Phone

Is It Fine to Walk Your Dog While Checking Social Media?

The highlight of the day for your dog is the dog walk with you. Many dogs are so excited that they can no longer stay in their seats when their master puts on their shoes and grabs the leash. The clear sign that it’s time to go outside and start an adventure. As soon as the leash is attached to the collar and the door opened a crack, the dog pushes outside and sprints off. The owner stumbles behind, only just manages to close the door behind him, because the dog is already heading for the first tree, determined to put his first mark there. As soon as the tree is reached, there is intense sniffing before the leg is stretched gracefully in the air to place the business card as high as possible. A short breather for the owner before the endurance run through the neighborhood continues.

For many people, this is the day-to-day madness they love to share with their dog. But there are people who spend more time with their smartphones on a walk than quality time with their dog! After a walk, they can report more about the new posts on social media than what their dog experienced on the walk. So it can be true that in both cases the owner and dog are going for walks but in one case it is not beneficial for owners and dogs.

Our Human Expectations and Desires

What does walking our dog mean to you? Does today’s walk match the expectations and ideas you had when you decided to have a dog in your life? 

  • Is it a time of the day that you enjoy or rather an item on your to-do list that needs to be worked through? 
  • Do you like to use the walk to meet other people and have a chat? 
  • Or do you maybe even always go dog walking with a neighbor? 
  • What role does your dog play on the daily round, the main role or rather a supporting role? 
  • Perhaps one or the other behavior of your dog has crept in, which stresses you out and the daily walk is like running the gauntlet? 

There are many different ways and motivations why and how people walk their dogs. A lot of bad behaviors can creep in unnoticed and unconsciously over time. We might even want to consciously change some behavior, and we could also be completely blind to other things because they are too close to us. We often forget why we go for a walk and that it has changed from what it was in the beginning. But the desire for an obedient dog that follows you freely, faithfully, and easily, understands every word, is never up to mischief, and is just happy because it can be there, unites almost every dog owner.

That's What The Dog Wants

If we were to ask our dog what is most important to him on a walk, then I’m pretty sure the ranking would look like this:

  1. Time with my lovely owner
  2. Sniffing and toilet activities
  3. Communication with other dogs
  4. Physical movement

Accordingly, time with humans is most important to the dog and physical exercise is the least important. This is partly because we, as dog owners, play a very central role in the dog’s life and walking is one of the few times of the day that we spend intensively with our dog. We owners on the other hand, often put the physical exercise and utilization of the dog as the most important point of walking with the dog. As a result, unconsciously quality time with our dogs slips into a supporting. What is very important for dogs when it comes to quality time during a walk that is calm and serenity. Hand on heart, don’t we all want that?

Structured For More Quality Time

Now we have two key characteristics that affect the quality of a walk, togetherness and serenity and tranquility. Surprisingly, these characteristics are equally decisive for humans and dogs when it comes to “quality time”. But how do we integrate this common denominator into our everyday lives?

My absolute insider tip for this is to structure your walk and choose smaller laps or nearby destinations, such as a meadow or open space, which you can use for mutual interaction. Every walk should have the following three contents:

Take a Deep Breath

Breaks are incredibly important to integrate rest and serenity. If you have an excited dog, take a break. Stay in a place that allows you to rest. Sit down on a park bench with your dog and both take a deep breath. Do nothing together for a moment and enjoy the surroundings, the smell in the air, and the wind on your skin or fur. If your dog is already excited and jittery when you start walking, you can start with a break. Try it out, step outside the door or in the hallway or sit on the stairs in front of the house and start your time together doing nothing. Be curious what changes, doing nothing together can be incredibly bonding.

For Some Balance, We Need Some Action!

So when there is calm, there can also be some action. What is important is the joint action, what does your dog enjoy? If he likes to dig, dig a hole with him. If he likes to sniff, look for hidden things together or set him a task. If he likes to run, then race him. If he likes to tug, you can yank a stick together, dissect a tree stump together, or balance over a fallen tree together. Nature offers us so many possibilities, we just have to use them. Try it out and see what changes, joint actions can be incredibly connecting.

Exercises and Assignments

Exercises and tasks are primarily used for mental exercise and have the positive side effect that you grow together as a team. Always start with simple things that you slowly increase. Practice commands, tricks or lets your dog find an object you have hidden, maybe a glove. Focus together on one goal and praise your dog for every small step in the right direction. Honest praise and shared joy are one of the greatest things you can give your dog. Try it out and be curious what changes, because mutual successes can be incredibly bonding.

A structured walk has many benefits.

On the one hand, it brings us humans more into the here and now, which is necessary if we want to truly enjoy some quality time with our dog during walks. On the other hand, we automatically assume our natural role as leaders. By considering in advance what we want to integrate when and where we create a plan. By implementing this, we automatically guide and offer our dog not only a good time but also orientation and commitment. This has a very positive effect on trust between the dog and you. You should always be fair, friendly, and benevolent towards your dog.

Ultimately, we must never forget that money comes and goes in life, people in your life come and go but the time that goes and doesn’t come back. And our dogs usually have much less time than we do. A good reason to fill the time we have together with as much quality as possible.

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