Living with a pet, particularly a dog, is an enrichment for everyone who loves animals. But, as with all kinds of pets, the most important thing before taking a dog into your home, is making sure that you will be able to satisfy all the new family member’s needs. Dogs are very sensitive and social individuals. One of the most important you need to provide is enough exercise by taking it out on walks. Some people may think that a dog is satisfied with playing in the yard or dog park but walks are not only crucial for its physical health, they also allow them to see new things, discover all kinds of distractions, get used to regularly seeing foreign people, socialize with other dogs, get used to traffic and noises of daily life.
A healthy, adult dog needs at least 2 hours of walking per day. For puppies, it is a little different. Their bones and joints are still fragile and soft. For them, the average is 1 minute of walking per week of age. This means an 11 week-old puppy should not be walked more than 11-15 minutes at once. There are wonderful places in and around Germany where dogs can run freely and off the leash. And your dog is not the only one who will benefit from the walks: going out into nature, breathing fresh air, exercising and meeting new people is just as healthy for us humans. A lot of German citizens speak English and encountering fellow dog owners often leads to new friendships.
Taking your dog on walks means that your furry friend needs to be well-trained: it should not pull on the leash, bark at people or other dogs. Those are very important skills, which your dog should learn quickly. Otherwise walks can be more than frustrating for the both of you. Once your dog has learned to behave outside, you will see how refreshing and relaxing a dog walk can be. It will come home, exhausted and satisfied, happy to simply lie down and take a nap for the next 2 or 3 hours, dreaming of all the exiting things he has just encountered. And believe me, you will feel the same. Nothing better than a good walk in fresh air!