Social walks are important of all dogs. They are one of the most important (and fun) things we can do with our dogs to enrich their lives and enhance their health and wellbeing.
Dogs are social beings. They love the company of other dogs, so it is important for them to be able to build friendships, hang out and explore their environment with other dogs.
Now a social walk with our dogs does not mean meeting up with a group of others, with dogs on short leads, trying to get them to interact with each other as we power walk around the neighbourhood.
A social walk with our dogs is a calm leisurely walk with all dogs on correct fitting harnesses and long loose leads, allowed to meander and sniff and explore their environment at their own pace and in their own space. Social walking allows dogs to develop their curiosity and confidence and learn good manners when around other dogs.
Dogs do not need to be face to face or walking side by side, nor do they need to be interacting or playing with each other if they don’t feel comfortable. Dogs are able to communicate and enjoy each other’s company from a distance.
This makes social walking great for those dogs that may not be comfortable around other dogs or haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to be around other dogs. Given the right environment, social walking can be great for anxious of fearful dogs and it can also be great for puppies or introducing new dogs to each other.
Social walking can benefit dogs of all ages and sizes. Dogs feel good after a social walk with friends.