Get the dog’s point of view. This is what Professor Marc Bekoff suggests to dog owners to make walking more fun. The latter are the moments before the animal, lining up the specialist.
Dogs can’t do without their daily walk, even twice a day or maybe more for some. They need it in many ways; Going to the “toilets”, of course, but also and above all getting out, activating, playing, meeting people and arousing their senses.
Many owners forget this or are in a hurry. Outings are shortened, sometimes limited to walking around the block and simple urination, which can create a lot of frustration for the animal. These walks should be refocused on the dog, remember Marc Bekoff in an article published in Psychology Today May 29, 2022.
Professor emeritus, specialist in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, he is also the co-founder, along with Jane Goodallin the group Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). So he explored alternative visions of understanding the animal, especially the dog.
Recently, she has been thinking a lot about the different ways owners walk their dogs. He told himself that perhaps it was time to consider these outings in a different way, to refocus them on the canine, precisely, and to adopt his perspective during these walks.
Stand on the other side of the rope
If the teacher Bekoff encouraged, among other things, by the work of Jessica Pierce, recommending giving more leeway to dogs in various aspects of his life, a poster posted on the net and painted with humor caught his attention. It lists 7 principles to use during the walk and where tasks are reversed. The master finds himself on the other end of the rope:
1. Allow your man to attach you by the leash. This prevents him from questioning or running away.
2. Your person is likely to need breaks. Be thoughtful, stop often and sniff.
3. Skin regularly. People have only a short duration of attention.
4. When you have comforted yourself, go. If you educate your man properly, he will take over. It will give him exercise.
5. Occasionally pull your man as much as you can. This is called interval training.
6. Don’t let your man be short on walking. He is lazy. Sit down to protest if you have to.
7. Back home, allow your man to remove his tie, then rub his face several times. It is a form of positive reinforcement for a well-done job.
Once again, these “rules” have to be literal, but they have merit, according to Marc Bekoffto prioritize the dog’s needs, feelings and well -being.
The professor also conducted a small survey, observing and studying the behavior of 100 people as they walked their dogs down the street in stone (Colorado). He found that 78 of them were in full control of their animal, tightly pulling on the leash or reorienting its mouth, telling them to stop doing this or that. They didn’t let him sniff or find the source of a voice that aroused his interest.
The 10 handlers are more passive, allowing their dog to do whatever it wants every now and then. And the other 12 gave their 4-legged friend greater freedom, giving him time and time to smell the grass, sit and explore his surroundings.
“Let them lead the way”
Marc Bekoff was able to communicate with 20 of these people and presented them with the 7 principles mentioned above, encouraging them to imagine themselves on the other end of the line. They all told him it made them think a little about how their dog would walk in the future and about his well -being.
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For the teacher, it should be remembered that walks and games are made for the dog. These are HIS times, he insisted. The owner’s job is to make sure these outings are fun, rewarding and exciting for the animal.
” Let them lead the way, choose where to go (safety first) and how fast they want to walk (no faster than your comfortable walk or run) », Advises Marc Bekoff. It also makes it possible to better understand and learn the animal’s gait, and thus detect any changes that can be alert to the presence of musculoskeletal or neurological diseases. It’s about that too “knowledge and more about his dog as an individual […]about what he wants and needs when he needs to have fun “, He added.