Massive benefits of a dog walk in the wilderness of MelbourneThese kinds of walks are not for dogs that are not social or dogs that don't have recall. You can't do them safely in summer and you have to find places without burrs - or potential prey that the dogs might chase after and forget to come home.
Why would you walk in the wild with your dog?For anyone who knows about dog behaviour and making a dog happy, this is like a trick question. Yes, you need a dog to be settled with recall, but every now and then, it is vital to let a dog get back in touch with their roots. It is lovely and fine to walk a dog on nice manicured grass and have them see all their old doggy friends, but a dogs real passion (well 98% of them) is to let them simulate a hunt by having a wild dog walk.
This doesn't mean going somewhere where they will have a chance to chase wild animals. It doesn't mean an actual hunt where they will kill something. It means where they can experience real nature and get in touch with the earth, with how the other dogs deal with the wilderness. If your dog has any kind of unnatural phobia, here is where you will most likely find out. But of course the real purpose of this is to let your dog have a great time. For it to be motivated to run and sniff, to learn about its environment, in a non sanitised dog park.
A lot of people would not trust their dog to do this safely. and the shame is that is exactly what they should be trying to work towards their dogs doing. As long as the wilderness is not near any busy roads or large predator animals, this is the best medicine to any dog neurosis. A social dog, a healthy dog will really relish the chance to explore natural smells.
Limitations of a wild dog walkThe only reason I don't do this more often in winter is easy access to the areas and the number of dogs I have in a pack. Oh that as well as the owner concerns about their dogs. But the responsible dog walker will know if a dog is ready to be off lead in a dog park or in a semi wild area. A dog that is walked regularly off lead in a dog park and is social and has good recall will handle this situation so well, it will be the highlight of their year.
People forget that dogs come from wild animals (wolves) and a lot of their needs just cant be satisfied by a stroll around the urban block, on lead. This is simulated, safe freedom. This is clearing the dog walker and the dogs head. This is a dog being all that a dog can be.
Doing this once a month and not taking out a dog regularly throughout the week is not the solution, this is just an extra special time for a dog.