We put a LOT of pressure on our dogs, even in the positive training world. It’s easy to expect them to be “on” all the time — to respond when we want them to, to perform behaviors when we ask them to, to not perform behaviors when we don’t ask them to.
And while taking the time to teach our dogs is important, it’s also imperative that we are allowing them enough opportunities to just do their thing. To walk or run at their own pace, to lay down in the grass, to track a scent, to dig in the sand. We owe it to our dogs to give them this time to decompress without any of our human expectations getting in the way.
Decompression walks are a fantastic way to meet your dog’s physical and psychological needs. During a decompression walk, your dog is simply allowed to “be a dog.” They can move at their own pace, and be free to sniff, dig, and play. The opportunity to do this regularly has an incredibly positive effect on your dog’s physical and mental health. Your role is simply to monitor the environment for safety, check in with your dog or hold the leash close when necessary, and keep the leash from getting caught on anything.
TIPS & BEST PRACTICES