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Dictating Walks


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Another thread reminded me of something that's been on my mind. I always dictated where our walks would go in the past, and was pretty strict about maintaining a quick pace except for a few select times when I would slow down and let the dogs sniff and mark (and of course initial potty time when we first get outside). But with Neyla's osteo dx, I've had to rethink things and I decided to start letting Neyla dictate our walks. I don't know that I necessarily thought it was possible, but over the last 3 months we've developed a few routine walks of varying lengths and there are "decision points" along the way at which I will watch whether Neyla wants to continue or head home. I have found that she seems to really understand and be able to indicate what she wants to do. This week, for the first time she actually led us in a totally different direction. I again let her guide us the whole way and we ended up doing a walk we haven't done in ages.

 

I just find it all fascinating. It still sort of boggles my mind - I wouldn't think a dog would be capable of making decisions that require thinking that far into the future, but there is no doubt that Neyla has enough understanding of the situation to dictate what she's up for each day.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest barkdogs

I think dogs (and a host of other non-human animals) are FAR more intelligent than we give them credit for. We tend to measure them according to our own standards--i.e. intelligent as a two year old human, 10 year old etc. I suspect if we lose that human arrogance and start to try to better comprehend that intelligence manifests in multiple ways, we might be amazed..... just a thought!

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I have always let my dogs dictate where they want to go for their walks. It is their walk after all. Since Future was my first he decided the walk route even after the others same along. To the left of our drive way is toward the nuclear site. That is long walkies off leash. To the right is a leash walk toward the road and is shorter. Without exception Future alternated the route every day. Short one day, long the next. If we walked twice in a day which we generally did on the weekends, he would still alternate routes. That behavior always fascinated me too. I waited 11 years for it to change. Never did.

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Guest Jubilee251

If I let Molly dictate our walks, we would end up in the middle of Nowheresville. Or up a tree with squirrels.

 

If I let Jet dictate our walks, it would be to his potty bush and then back into the condo.

 

:huh

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If I let Rocket dictate the walk, it would always be the route under all of the shade trees.lol.gif

 

The only problem with that route is that there are less places for him to take care of business because everyone on that route has very nice lawns and flower beds (we are compulsive about picking it up, but if I put that kind of care into my own lawn I'd be out there chasing dogs awaylol.gif ).

 

Every so often, and especially on killer hot days, he won't take no for an answer and takes the shady route.

 

Good girl Neyla - since mom is letting you call the shots, I would ask for ice cream. lol.gif

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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It is fascinating isn't it? When I started limiting Jack's walks to shorter and shorter routes he was pretty accepting of that. One day he more or less got the bit between his teeth so to speak and said, no mum, we are going to my park and that's that. Well okay then bud! :lol It was certainly farther than we had been going by then but he knew he was up to it that day and he was determined.

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Susan, Jessie and Jordy NORTHERN SKY GREYHOUND ADOPTION ASSOCIATION

Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

" You will never need to be alone again. I promise this. As your dog, I will sing this promise to you, and whisper it to you at night, every night, with my breath." Stanley Coren

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Guest BlingDogs

I was reading this animal book once, and this story went a little like this;

 

'I was walking one day with my Newfoundland. We came to a fork in the road. I began to turn right, like we always did to go home, but she started to pull me the other way. It's pretty hard to fight a willed Newfie, so I let her walk me the rest of the way. She took me right down to the road where the vet's office was! Confused, I took her inside, and explained what she had done to her doctor. "Well, she came all this way, so just check her out anyway," I said. After a full examination, we found that she had a UTI!!!! The pain must have been hurting her and she knew the vets would fix it.'

 

Dogs like these boggle my mind!

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Guest BooBooMama

When I had my old corporate job I only had certain times when I was able to walk the dogs so I had different routes, each varying in length, that we would take. When I became a freelancer I began to ‘loosen-up’ and did the same thing you are doing- allowing them to choose the direction they want and the speed. When BooBoo was in pain after her osteo dx I began driving her to other parts of my city to let her experience walking in new neighborhoods and new smells. She LOVED it! Give that a try.

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I let Turbo dictate much of his walks. He's such a little dictator, after all :<_< Sometimes he gets it, other times he doesn't. A week or two ago in Frederick, I got us to the park and waited for him to make a move into whatever direction he wanted to go. He stood there waiting on me :lol OTOH, when he knows we're about to circle back, he'll park his little legs and not move unless we are going forward. He did that on the AT last weekend (when we had those nice cool mornings). He was totally not done with his hike and let me know it :lol Unfortunately, I had to be elsewhere so I had to dictate that we go back to the car.

 

I have always let my dogs dictate where they want to go for their walks. It is their walk after all. ...

 

That's my thinking. I'm out and about all day long, he's mostly home all the time, so I try to let him do what he wants when we're out walking.


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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I have always let my dogs dictate where they want to go for their walks. It is their walk after all. ...

 

That's my thinking. I'm out and about all day long, he's mostly home all the time, so I try to let him do what he wants when we're out walking.

I never did because I need to send myself on a circuit walk in order to ensure I don't duck out early, and I used to much prefer the fast paced walks - doing it that way ensured I and the dogs got more exercise and my dogs didn't seem to mind. The types of walks we have been taking, well Neyla is loving life b/c I left her sniff to her heart's content, but Zuri, he's getting the shaft a bit. I do try to take him out separately sometimes - took him for a nice off leash hike on Saturday - but it's easier said than done when doing it involves leaving your cancer dog at home alone. :(

 

I was reading this animal book once, and this story went a little like this;

 

'I was walking one day with my Newfoundland. We came to a fork in the road. I began to turn right, like we always did to go home, but she started to pull me the other way. It's pretty hard to fight a willed Newfie, so I let her walk me the rest of the way. She took me right down to the road where the vet's office was! Confused, I took her inside, and explained what she had done to her doctor. "Well, she came all this way, so just check her out anyway," I said. After a full examination, we found that she had a UTI!!!! The pain must have been hurting her and she knew the vets would fix it.'

 

Dogs like these boggle my mind!

Now see, if you had told me this story a few months ago, I never would have believed it, but now I do. :)

 

Good girl Neyla - since mom is letting you call the shots, I would ask for ice cream. lol.gif

Oh don't worry, she's gotten plenty of that lately too. Mostly just licking my bowl when I'm done, but I decided tomorrow she will get her own (celebrating 3 months post dx). :)

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I let my dogs chose where they want to walk to a certain extent. I chose the initial direction but if one seems to want to go one way in particular I usually give in. They both seem to have favorite spots and parks that they like to visit along the way. What is kind of amazing is that I've only lived here around 6 weeks now and they both already seem to have a good understanding of where everything is.

Hobbes-Ricard Hatch09/23/99-12/21/09 Always loved, never forgotten. Wally TNJ Boy Howdy, GLS Genuinerisk Corinna

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Guest Parsniptoast

I often wonder what would happen if I allowed Reggie to dictate the walks - he does have very strong opinions and will be quite insistent that he knows where he wants to go... I'm going to try this. I think it will be so funny to see where he takes us. The girls will just have to put up with it but in any case they are not at all fussy - they just love being out but for Reggie, well he doesn't go loopy when the leash comes out so I guess for him it's even more important that he gets to walk where he wants to...

 

what a great post! Thank you, this is going to make our walks even more fun!!

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We have several different routes that we can take and they branch off from other routes, if that makes sense. This way, the walk can be longer or shorter. I tend to allow them to make decisions regarding which route they want to take. It is not uncommon for Zoe to want to make a certain turn and then a different dog will make the next decision. I like it, too, because it varies our route without a pattern, which is safer, and keeps things interesting for everyone. I do dictate when I have time constraints or a storm is approaching or Indy, the old guy, just doesn't have it that morning. He almost never has issues with the after work walk, just first thing in the morning. However, my dogs do NOT like to take walks after dark. If we start in the light, it is okay, but to start after dark? They won't go far before turning around to go home. In the morning, we can start when it is dark, but it must be getting light quickly or I have the same problem. Makes winter walks a challenge!

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Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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Guest GreyFan09

We have several different routs through our subdivision to take, depending on the amount of time we have for a walk. I usually choose the rout and Comet falls right in and goes with it. If I would let him choose his rout, it would, of course, be the one with the most trees on it, and he would stop and sniff/pee on each and every one of them! lol.gif

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I try to vary our route every day so we don't get bored, however it's been over a year with Capri now and I think we're both bored with our neighborhood. We do take drive her to a park sometimes, but usually on weekends when we have time. Whenever I let her pick the route, she invariably wants to go to the bike trail, which is the longer route. It is more fun but I'm not always up for the long walks. Plus she doesn't have any concept of "save some for the trip back" (energy), so she'll go happily as far as she can and then be too tired to walk home again. :lol

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

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If our senior girl goes on a walk with us then our walk is fairly short, She has an old racing injury so she does not like to walk too much anymore. Our walks are usually just Chauncey and I and depending on the weather I will allow her to pick the route.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest jenznaz

I let Xilo sniff, but he'll usually go where I want to go.

 

Weird story though - a couple of weeks ago Xilo and I went to a new state forest park. He was fine until about a half a mile down the trail, he completely stopped and refused to go. He was very alert and stared ahead up the path. Then he just turns completely around and starts pulling me back towards where we parked.

 

Gave me the heebie jeebies! I listened to him, and we just left at that point. Who knows what might have been waiting for us up the way. :eek

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I let Jeffy (and did with Stella too) pick which direction we go, short walk or long and I also completely let him stop and sniff and mark at will. We have a fenced yard for 'purpose pottying' and we go to my inlaws fenced in acre for 'opening it up' so the routine walk is purely for his enjoyment so if he wants to sniff every tree en route, eh who cares.

 

That being said I did have to convince him that he cannot pee on the neighbours basketball net stand nor on the lawns/gardens we pass by, has to stick to the city curb area and hydrants and utility boxes :lol

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Take the time to stop and smell the flowers - appreciate your everyday ordinary miracles

Carolyn, Faith, Jeff Gordon (aka Jeffy) and Oscar the chilla. Desperately missing our Stella, we'll see you later sweet girl.

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