Why every dog walk is different and needs a lot of attentionWhile I mostly walk my dog in the same few parks and suburbs around where I live I have been noticing lately that a lot of new people and dogs are using the parks. Not an increase in numbers, but just random new people.
New people and dogs would be good if they became regulars but the issue is that the overall number of dogs is not increasing, just varying types.
Should this make a positive or negative different to your dog walking pleasure? It is true that if you walk the same dog, in the same park , at the same time, and see exactly the same dogs, that unless they have an extraordinary connection to the dog they see, they are likely to get bored and have a diminished experience. It is vastly easier for the owners to have no surprises so walk in the same situations, but generally for social dogs, new smells and new dogs add exactly the excitement that they crave.
Typically people don't walk their dogs 10 km each day on wonderful nature trails. Most urban areas and work schedules don't allow for this. But even the most simple of dog parks, of sufficient size can allow dogs some great new rewarding experiences of dogs to meet.
As a dog walker, meeting new dogs and owners with your pack, that varies by the day, can be a little bit stressful at times, but that is what the job is for. Its not about playing life so safe that the dog is bored on the walk also. Dog parks are mostly frequented by social dogs, so just that we don't know them yet is not the issue.
Why are dog walks off lead 45 minutes?Given the time and right temperament and age, a dog would ideally love to walk for hours with its master, as long as the weather is right. However most dogs don't walk daily and they don't have 100% social ability. The walks increase their social awareness, but since they aren't walked socially they will often feel protection from the pack they ride with to the park, and have some comfort in knowing this temporary pack has their back.
The reason that 45 minutes is most dogs sweet-spot, is that anything under 20 or 30 minutes means most dogs still haven't worked off all the pent up nervous energy of hearing dogs around their neighbourhood but not being able to visit them. They get to the park and they run around, the work out who is who in the pack and the dogs status that is approaching them, and by about lap two or so, they begin relaxing.
A 100% social dog does this in about the first 5 minutes, as their stress levels, anxiety of the meet is almost zero.
However after 45 minutes to an hour, many dogs begin to become bored on the walk and can listen less to the owner recalling them. This is not true of all dogs, but if you have a pack of dogs that don't walk every day together, this is the time that they will start. You may also find that the original anxious dogs, that got over their stress from the start of the walk, are again building up resistance to being outside. They need outside (park) exposure, but not all day, just yet.