Reading Your Dog's Needs
Humans take words for granted. If any of us need to take a break at the office or at home we can simply say “I need to stretch my legs for a few minutes.” Unfortunately, dogs don’t have the same luxury. Here are a few tips to help you know when your dog needs to be walked:
Is it time for them to be walked? Dogs form habits very easily, so your dog will get excited around their usual walk time. Try not to walk your dog early if they’re acting up around walk time: your dog may start exaggerating their behavior regularly because you’ve rewarded them for being dramatic. If your dog seems uncomfortable or hyper after you’ve tried to phase out a walk time, you should bring the walk back. Dogs can become anxious if their schedules are altered.
If your dog makes a beeline straight to you when you get home, it means they’re feeling very emphatic about telling you something. It probably means your dog needs to go for a walk. Dogs are tense when the walk in direct, straight lines and relaxed when taking curving paths towards their goal.
If your dog has recently put on weight, extending the length of their walk or adding a walk to their schedule is a great way to help your dog lose weight.
Has your dog been having accidents? Your dog may have Cushings disease, or another issue with their elimination system.
If your dog is displaying anxious posture and looking at you with whale eye (large, circular shaped eyes with their whites exposed) this means your dog is very tense. If your dog is standing near the door, or alternating their gaze between you and the door, your dog is most likely telling you they feel tense because they desperately want to go outside.
Conversely, your dog may try to show you they need to go out by getting very excited. If your dog trembles, keeps going into “play bow” posture, or becomes extremely rowdy, your dog is probably trying to tell you they need to get out of the house and burn off some energy.
Puppies often touch their noses, or touch their paws to their mothers when they need something. If your dog keeps putting his paw on your knee or keeps touching you with his nose, your dog is trying to tell you they need something. That thing they need? It may be a walk.
Those are some simple ways to tell if your dog needs your attention. Remember that your dog will be less anxious and behave well if they’re walked and getting enough exercise. However, never let your dog order you to take them on a walk with frantic or disruptive behavior. It’s equally important that your dog know that you’re the boss at all times.