Being a dog walker I am well aware of the benefits a good one hour a day group walk has on dogs, especially dogs that are confined to an apartment or the same backyard or house day after day. What I am most surprised about since starting Yuppy Puppy Club in Australia a few weeks ago is the transformation it has had on my own dog Lola.
Prior to the opening of Yuppy Puppy Club Lola was walked every day, and would love her walks. She would always come home from a walk happier than before she went and would rest after and I believed she was content. However since Lola has joined one of our walking groups, I have a new dog on my hands. Lola is so excited when Leni, one of the Yuppy Puppy Club chaperones comes to collect her each day. She is jumping up on her back legs, barking with excitement with her tail wagging uncontrollably. Off she trots each day tail wagging to Leni’s car where you can tell she clearly cannot wait to see her walking gang and begin the day’s adventure.
When she returns after her daily adventure she grabs some water a treat and then rests and I can see her dreaming about the walk she has just been on with the other dogs. Whether it is the stimulation of new walking paths, the company of the others dogs, the consistency of the walks or a combination of all of the above, Lola has a new energy for life. Her general behaviour has also improved and my normally quite independent schnauzer is all of a sudden a lot more loving and affectionate to all members of my family. She has also rediscovered her passion for playing fetch with my children which I am delighted about and brings me so much joy to watch.
So the lesson of the week for me, even with my own dog is to never underestimate the difference in stimulation and enrichment a one hour walk with other dogs can make to the general mental and physical wellbeing of your four legged friends for the entire day.
A great quote which comes to mind when I think about the above. “Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”
― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog