Expert dog trainer begs owners to stop taking their dogs on daily walks

Daily walks with your dog isn’t the best thing for their health, experts suggest, and should in fact be stopped where possible in order to keep your pet in top shape.

Niki French, dog expert and author of STOP Walking Your Dog is urging people to ditch the daily walk and replace it with something more stimulating for the pooch.

Alternative activities are encouraged, including training games in the garden might be better.

The 53-year-old dog trainer claims that all dogs are different and that not every companion thrives on daily walks around your local area, reports the Daily Record.

She told the Mirror : “It might come as a surprise, but traditional walks are a human invention and aren’t helpful for many of our dogs.

“Replacing walk time with training games at home can give the dogs the skills they’re missing to live calm and happy lives.”

Niki will launching her first ‘Don’t Walk Your Dog Day’ tomorrow, in a bid to move owners away from the traditions.

“Contrary to popular belief, dogs with behaviour struggles can get more reactive or more excitable when we try to exhaust them through too much exercise”, she added.

Niki claims that her two-year-old rescue named Brodie has become ‘noticeably calmer’ with fewer walks and more enrichment games.

“Skipping some walks can help both dogs and owners alike destress”, she said.

“When more than half of walks are stressful (for the dog or you), it’s time to do something different.”

There are many reasons owners might benefit from skipping a walk. For example, if the weather is too hot or cold, it can be dangerous to the dog.

For new puppies that aren't vaccinated, bitches that are in season, and dogs who are unwell, a walk might not be best.

"Playing games at home is a great way to build skills our dogs need and boost our relationship with them," Niki said.

Niki has been an animal lover her entire life, and became a dog trainer three years ago.

She focuses on positive reward and enrichment games like digging sandpits, playing with cardboard boxes, using lick mats and hide-and-seek activities.

"It's good to have other things in your toolkit. This applies to all dogs and surprisingly it can work best for breeds that need lots of exercise," Niki explained.

For dog owners who have reactive or anxious pets, it can be intimidating and stressful leaving the house for a simple walk.

"I want these people to know that they aren't alone, and we aren't judging them," Niki said.

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