If you thought companionship was the only thing your dog can give you, think again. Studies have shown that dog owners who regularly play with and walk their dogs lose more weight than people who attempt to manage their weight loss through fad diets. The reason why dog walkers have more weight loss success is simple; the emotional attachment between dog and human makes dog owners want to walk their dogs, thus increasing their daily activity and resulting in more weight loss.
Closer bonds, better weight loss
Unlike those people relying on fad diets to lose weight, pet owners who regularly walk their dogs do so because they want to, not because they are trying to lose weight. By having fun with their dogs, they are building closer bonds with their pets and enjoying the benefit of a trimmer waistline without making any extra efforts to lose weight.
When walking is a struggle
Some dog owners may struggle with regular walks, not because they don't want to walk their dog, but because their dog may simply overpower them on the journey. Getting, and keeping, control of your dog while you walk her may seem difficult, but it doesn't have to be. The secret to a pleasant walk lies in understanding the dog's pack mentality and communicating in a language they understand.
As pack animals, dogs are happiest when they have clear and concise leadership and can understand exactly what the rules are. Dogs need an effective leader, and if they feel it’s necessary, they'll take charge and lead you.
Being a good leash-leader
Getting control of your dog is all about communication and focus. Keep your dog's attention on you, and not the distractions all around. Communicate by growling and quickly flicking the leash BEFORE she gets ahead of you to get her attention. When she looks to you, reward her with praise. Eventually, you'll both settle into a comfortable routine when you walk, and your dog will look to you for direction. Don't be afraid to change up the pace and direction every now and then, because your dog will enjoy this new “game.”
Build a strong connection with your dog, and whittle your waistline, by enjoying regular walks with your four-legged friend. You'll both enjoy the rewards that a brisk walk can bring, and your bond with your dog will strengthen immensely.
When out on a walk, your dog experiences his pack moving into foreign territory. The leader of the pack is responsible for the safety of its members, keeps an eye out for potential 'threats', and deals with them if it’s deemed necessary. If you do not take on this critical role, your dog will. This could result in him pulling you to every dog and person on the street, marking every tree, barking at squirrels or lunging at bikers and skateboarders, such is his need to deal with threats to his pack. Walks are an amazing opportunity to develop and assert your leadership status, instill a feeling of safety and security in your dog, and get some great exercise as well.