Migrating Is Magic™
Migrating is Magic™ – The Importance of Migrating As A Pack
Walking your dog is one of the primary characteristics of proper dog leadership and care. Walks provide your dog with exercise, but more importantly, walks pertain to instincts. Just as fish need to swim, dogs need to walk, and they need to walk with someone they view as their established leader — someone who they believe is leading their pack. In the wild, dogs travel in packs, following a migration instinct. While our dogs aren’t following a primitive instinct to find food, walking does fulfill their inherent need to migrate. Walking your dog cannot be substituted for playing around in the backyard or taking them to the park, even though those activities do provide good exercise. Taking your dog for a walk allows for the mental stimulation that your dogs need to gather information about you as the owner, as well as their environmental surroundings. To find out why walking your dog is a necessary activity, watch our Speak Dog™ video with Steven Lankfer and let him help you speak dog! And subscribe to Steve’s Dog Park today!
The Mentality Behind Walking (or Migrating)
Taking walks with Fido builds a human-animal dynamic and also illuminates animal action and intervention. Walking with your dog(s) is a highly complex activity that acts as a culturally important space for making sense of the relationship you have with your dog. It is a physical expression of the human-animal bond that will ultimately be negotiated through walking with one another. As leaders of our dogs, there is also a level of care that we have to give our dogs. Because their time outside is controlled by dog owners, you should be attentive to the location, length, and timing of the walk in regards to their health and well-being.
Walking, or Migrating, Helps Establish Good Behavior
As stated previously, walking your dog helps you practice dog leadership training, like leading your dog how to heel, sit, stay, come, and other necessary skills. Practicing these skills with your dog lets you build a relationship with them, reinforcing your bond with your dog. If you meet other dogs and people on the trail or route you are walking, it also provides a great opportunity for your dog to exercise stable social skills that come from trusting their established leader. After all, you are giving them the opportunity to explore outside while you keep a supportive and protective eye on them. Further, behaviorists believe that taking your dogs for a walk decreases their chance of being destructive and having separation issues.
How to Walk Your Dog
Walking allows your dog to recognize you as a leader, and if they do, then they will likely walk either beside you or behind you. This is the correct way to walk your dog, as a dog that walks in front of you and tugs on the leash likely feels confused and forced to be in control in the absence of an established leader. In the dog’s mind, if they are in front, it means they are supposed to take the leadership role which is opposite their natural state; their biological need to be led. In the wild, the one who leads the pack is the one who makes the decisions, usually lives the shortest, and carries the burden of being first. You may need to go through the necessary dog leadership training steps to fully establish your role effectively taking the burden and confusion off of them. When walking, dogs should either be walking next to you or behind you in support of your leadership.
You probably already know how fun walking your dog can be, and how beneficial it can be for the both of you! To better understand the concept of migration, listen to Steven Lankfer talk about why migration is so important by subscribing to Speak Dog™ and learn how to speak dog!
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