This wasn’t meant to be a mini series on walking however throughout the previous week, I figured it was best to explain the different types of walking that Sas and I do each day. What! I hear you say – different types of walking? Walking is walking! Well – yes and no.
It all started from an innocuous you tube video about something completely unrelated to dog welfare however the premise can be taken and used in this context. So what are these three walks that we do and how has it helped our walking?
Perfunctory walking is simply taking Sas out so he can poop and pee. There is no other reason for us going out. This occurs when the heat is excessive and we cant walk very far because he will burn his paws, or when the rain and weather is such that getting drenched is not worth it – even Sas would hate the walk and he loves the rain.
Once he has pooped and peed we go home.
Walking with a goal in mind. A-B-A
This is the one we use the most for exercise and weight loss. Sasuke’s breed can be prone (just like other dogs – looking at you here Labs!) to put on weight if left unchecked regarding food. One way Sasuke and I have curtailed this is management of his food and the lengthy 4hour walks we do.
This is what I call the A-B-A walking where A=Home and B=walking destination. We have a goal in mind and I time roughly how long we get there on a slow walk. Then we consistently repeat the walk shortening the time it takes for us to reach B. The result of this has been that Sasuke has lost, over the course of seven months, over 2kgs while maintaining a healthy diet which has included the occasional treat. 🙂
The weight loss has been incremental and we have visited the vet to help us monitor it. If Sas lost too much too soon it could be the result of a disease, infection, parasite etc. If he wasn’t losing any weight why? What disease could he potentially have incurred and how do we manage it.
Enrichment walks are where Sas and I go out with no particular goal in mind. Sometimes we visit the river, stroll down by the houses or simply walk around Yoshida.
The whole point of this is for Sas to spend the time exploring and smelling and peeing on whatever he can find. These walks are not about exercise but can include it (walking up hill in the woods for example) and can be considered perfunctory (pooping and peeing).
The sole aim of this is for Sas to enjoy being outside, experience new sights, sounds and smells to engage his brain and to simply enjoy being away from the apartment.
The Enrichment walk is one of the key factors which has helped strengthen our walking and our bond. Sasuke looks to me for guidance regarding other dogs and or people who approach unexpectedly and to simply have the ability to enjoy his surroundings. It is this walk which we both enjoy the most and I limit it to my days off and only in the evening. Sas has become so comfortable that he now rolls around on the river embankment, often falling down it because – you know – gravity!
Having a goal for walking has helped us keep our routine while wearing us both out in the evening. We know what we are doing, where we are going and for how long. The inspiration of the enrichment walk came from LionWhisperer TV where a big cat specialist in South Africa allows the lions in his care to explore away from their enclosure and to just let them simply be big cats. I can tell you from first hand experience that Sasuke has improved and is all the better for this.
Hope this helps … Happy Walking!
Post Script:This is a video of our walk using a GoPro. It’s a little rough around the edges and is still a work in progress regarding editing. If you like this and would like to see more, or not, please do let me know!
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