A topic which has become rather pertinent, more so since adopting Sas, has been the conundrum of the question – how long should I walk my dog for? And the usual response is… it depends on the breed. Well. Yes. It does. However…….
Sasukes breed does not feature in ANY of the recommendations for the length of time for walks depending on breed. In fact. When researching Hokkaido breeds, Shiba or Akita there is nothing of note. Literature, of any kind is whittled to such banality of “they are loyal dogs”, “they are intelligent dogs”, that it is practically cliche and is for pure breeds. Of which Sasuke is not – he is a mix. He is neither large, medium or small which is relative anyway (unless you are a miniature poodle, Chihuahua, Dachshund, etc) he is both hyper energetic and excessively lazy when the mood suits him as well as being startlingly intelligent and remarkably ridiculous (door + wide space + cone = crash. every. time). In short he is a dog. My dog.
I have a friend who has a mastiff mix and she is larrrrrge! Gorgeous, intelligent and guidelines state she should be walked for about an hour and a half. My friend takes her out for hours and I mean literally hours, so she can run around wear herself out and settle at night. Thats after a couple of hours walk morning and evening. I remember her saying that they both went on a three hour walk and then had to walk it back. Her dog was none the worse for wear by the end of it, just a little more tired than usual!
I’m certainly not suggesting we all do that for our dogs, but what it highlights is that we should not walk our dogs based on their breed and what is on a guideline based on breed but what we know of our own dogs. Sas enjoys long walks as much as short walks. Sometimes it’s 30mins for the whole day and other times it’s two hours twice a day – recently as he is recovering from his convalescence he has been making me run along side him. Cheeky sod. He knows I hate running but I do it anyway because he wants to burn energy and have fun.
So long as you have enough poop bags why not spend time out doors (absurd weather notwithstanding – although I have another friend who used to walk her dog during typhoons because her dog loved the rain), watch and play with your dog. You know when they get tired and want to go home – it’s not all about us humans.
The guidelines are only useful when you conform to specific breeds and types of dog which are popular. I say screw it. If your little Chihuahua mix likes long distance walks or being outside on short distance walks – do it. If your Dane mix hates walks but runs crazy around a field for 20 mins each time – let them. They know what is best, you just help facilitate it. If you cant find your dogs breed on guidelines or pertinent websites, ask someone who has a similar dog, about what to expect. If you have adopted your dog – ask the shelter about it.
But you know what really works?!!
Spending time, quality time with your dog. Walking your dog. Teaching your dog. Have fun with your dog. Sas and I never stop laughing, having fun and playing around. I’m glad he doesn’t fit guidelines, he is unique. He is mine.
Quick note: It’s my legs next to Sas. He has developed a habit of stealing my bed and covers. I’m permanently squished to the side. Cheeky sod. 🙂
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