Dog Walking Is Good for You. Provided You Do It.

Two new studies may offer novel ways to promote dog walking and its myriad benefits, even to people without a dog.

Comments: 112

  1. I've always been active but getting a dog about 18 months ago, ramped up my activity. Most days she and I go for at least a 30 minute walk, most of the time longer. She loves it and I get the benefits of more exercise. She's not so fond of the heat nor does she like excessive wind. Cold, below zero cold, is fine. At time it can be a chore but she is much mellower after a good walk as am I! Funny that!

  2. Walking with my dog Jojo for a good hour every day has brought so much joy into my life. For me, it’s a form of meditation. No looking at my phone. Instead, while he stops to sniff I may be looking at the first daffodil of spring, the orange and gold leaves of fall, feeling a gentle rain or the first snowflake of winter on my face. Along our way we have made new friends both with or without dogs. Jojo has taught me about truly being in the moment; about patience, observation, smiling at strangers, offering a kind word or gesture and being more open in all aspects of my life. As for the exercise part, our daily 2 mile walk keeps my 69 year old arthritic knees moving and my mind alert to all the possibilities that may be just around the corner.

  3. This may be true for younger dogs -- but not for older ones. My little pooch is now about 14-15 years old (he's a rescue dog), and he walks so slowly, stopping to sniff here and there and everywhere, that I call it "going on stops." Our walks have shortened in length; and what would take me about 5-10 min takes him about 30-45 min. But he adores his walks!!! So, I do it for him; it's also good for practicing patience, which I don't seem to have in abundance. Plus, I always like being outside.

  4. After my dogs have died, it's the memories of those last walks that I remember most. Even decades later I still feel the immense love and companionship that those old boys and girls showed me. At the time I thought I was doing them a favour but in reality it was me who received the most.
    In your case remember that the old boy is probably having the best days of his life. I commend you for rescuing this dog.

  5. Love the good news. Keep walking!

  6. Volunteer to walk dogs at your local shelter! The homeless dogs crave human contact and need to get out of the stressful, noisy environment of the kennels, if only for a little while.

    And, you'll feel good because you've been of service to a sentient being in need, not just because your requisite exercise in for yourself!

  7. @The Kenosha Kid

    Brilliant suggestion my dear!

  8. I was pursuing this idea for our local shelter and was told that it is a liability risk, even with governmental tort claims immunity. Dang it. Other communities obviously have figured this out. We should be able to, too. I am curious who determines which dogs are too dangerous to be walked, and whether the walks are inside a fenced area or what happens if a dog gets away from the walker and causes damage? I would like to adopt this kind of program.

  9. My dog was looking more and more round every day -- so much that his vet encouraged carrots and green beans over kibble. Our family reduced his food intake (though he really doesn't like veggies), and I started walking him a few miles a day. We both love these daily jaunts, and when I don't take him, boy does he give me a scolding! He's finally starting to look more like a dog and less like a sausage. Funny how that happens!

  10. Something I started doing about 9 years ago when I rescued Junie was going to Prospect Park every day for off leash time. I quickly realized that it improved my mental health, and at the time I chalked this up to the fact that it allowed me to get about 40 minutes of sun exposure at a critical time for maintaining the body's circadian rhythms. Another thing I realized early on is that it seemed like like the whole world outside the park switched OFF as soon as we set foot in Long Meadow. You spend a lot of time watching dogs in their element, which is the moment, seeing, sniffing and just being...When I'm stressed out, I close my eyes and I see myself there in the park with Junie next to me, just walking, sensing and not worried about anything. At this point, my dog is 10 and really would be fine with loafing all day, but we still do it almost daily. It's like she's trained me.

  11. Over the past 15 months, I have lost 50 pounds. Last week I hit my goal weight. Joining Weight Watchers and improving my diet certainly played an important role in my success. But I did not start losing weight consistently until a friend let me know that a neighbor of mine needed a dog walker. I got in touch and started walking a 13- year-old mutt (Lola) for 30 minutes twice per day, Monday through Friday.

    That was the jump start my weight loss needed. Because I was taking money for the walks, I felt committed show up for every walk and to stay out for the full 30 minutes. After I few weeks I came to enjoy the walks and spending time with Lola so much I would have continued for free. In a way I did.

    Our neighbor had to move to a place that doesn't allow dogs. So we adopted Lola. I no longer get paid in cash for our walks. But there are other compensations!

  12. @DJR

    Great comment and sincere congrats on the weight loss. 50 pounds is an exceptional achievement to howl about with Lola. I think it's a toss up who got the better end of the arrangement - you or Lola. Good luck and continued success with your weight loss and maintenance. Well done!!!

  13. Humans are the most dangerous species on earth to every other species. Humans kill far more humans than dogs ever will. Humans are the danger.

  14. After my dog Penny had to be put down at the age of 12 because of a deteriorating medical condition I tried for about a year to live without a dog as I am getting older. I found I didn't go for the walks I used to go on with Penny and it was affecting my health . Solution Ruby. We love our early morning walks. Dogs keep you healthy and active!

  15. Lucky Ruby!

  16. “There’s something very appealing about spending time with a dog who is so delighted to see you,” To be honest, I think it’s more like being emotionally rewarding when spending time with a dog who is so delighted to see you.

    While I did not learn anything earthshattering from this article, I read it regardless because articles about a dog or a cat always stops me in my tracks. There could have been more photographs but that’s okay, I kept reading. With the exception of dog owners who have physical issues which prevents them from walking their dogs, I never understood how someone could want a dog yet not take him or her out every day. It’s a win-win in my book. Even in the worst weather, my husband and I took our sweet Abby out for her hour AM/PM/Afternoon walks. Walking her was part of the deal we made with her from day one – she would protect us at night and we would cater to her during the day which included numerous walks. It was an agreed upon partnership which we all honored for 13 years and 2 days.

    After we said good bye to our sweet Abby, we continue to walk our neighbors’ dogs and often times have a dog stay at “Camp Keller” when their owners go on vacation. Walking with a dog not only makes the time go by faster, but we always have so much fun, just observing how happy and excited any dog is to be out in the fresh air, sniffing, rolling in the fresh grass and trying to steal a dropped rib bone on the ground before we can snatch it from their jaws.

  17. Obedience? Human obedience? Whether it is driving at the speed limit, eating just a few potato chips or even taking all of a physician’s prescription, people have a very bad record for obedience. Tricks have been invented for several thousand years to get them to “walk” the straight and narrow, but, most frequently they fall short. Does anyone with close friends or family they’ve tried to persuade believe any of these dog tricks imposed on humans will really have an impact? Humans have even caught up with the tricks of social media conglomerates who sold data to the highest bidder. Those bidders were trying to stealthily get people obedient but as noted they couldn’t be fooled. Reminder to the researchers: Dogs may be trainable in obedience school but humans just don’t seem to have that “Trick me I am ready attitude.”

  18. Dr. Becofsky gives us a perfect example of "JARKING" -- "justifying after results are known.". "Tricking" adults into walking dogs by fibbing to them about the purpose of the program somehow did not train the adult humans to walk their dogs more (maybe a few minutes a week ...) and did not increase the tricked adult humans exercise totals. She justifies with "It's the weather". But, but but -- the humans did feel closer to their dogs.

    This is how Bad Science communication results in misunderstandings about the real world.

    Dr. Becofsky also engages in similar naughty thing-- HARKING -- "hypothesizing after results are known." -- tricking humans into walking the dog didn't help the humans much, but plans to do it over again, this time "being open about the program’s intent to increase owners’ physical activity." Maybe that will work.

    This is not how science experimentation should be done.

  19. I walk my friends' dogs twice a day on weekdays and usually once or twice on the weekends. No money is exchanged. The dogs are wonderful. I adore them. I've been doing this for nearly six years.

  20. As noted, I am a Rottweiler owner, and have been for nearly 40 years. Thankfully that represents only a total of 6 dogs as my Rotties have lived long lives, always as house dogs with regular access to a generous dog yard, however walking, on lead, at heel and with composure (mostly), has been important to my friendship, obedience training and companionship with my big guys as well as to keeping them socialized to strangers, other dogs and the sights and sounds of the their world...absolutely necessary to their mental health and to mine and weather days (ice, extreme heat, heavy rain) are not as pleasant as those with even a short walk.

    I cannot imagine my world without a good dog and I know many folks who feel the same, walks very much included! Interesting piece here...thanks.

  21. Dogs can literally save your life. Just walk them, and enjoy the oxytocin. I don’t know if my neighbors think I’m nuts, but I walk my dogs twice a day almost every single day. Rain, snow, hot or cold.

  22. The neighbor or two who I see walking dogs stroll so slowly there is no strain on them or their pet. There is value in the "walk" as a social outing perhaps but it's only the dogs' noses which get a workout.

  23. my late big dog was a botanist -- stopping to sniff every living plant. there was little exercise but there was much joy

  24. My previous dog used to love plants too, or so I thought for a while. She'd dive head first into flower beds or rub up against bushes. Then I discovered that she was actually wallowing in the signatures all the males dogs in the neighborhood had left for her.

    The hussy.

  25. The wonderful thing about walking dogs is that they make great conversation starters. People seem to be more approachable and friendly when you are in the company of a dog; even more so when they encounter an excessively friendly dog like mine.
    I am now on first name terms with many of my near neighbours, who usually say hello to the dog first and sometimes offer her a treat. Naturally, this means that I have to extend the length of the walk even further - but it certainly pay dividends for both our waistlines.

  26. Karina, you are 100% on target. Indeed I can tell you that about 20 years ago, I would stop to talk with a woman walking her dog. At that time, my son was in a wagon and he would visit with the dog.

    Ultimately, I set that woman up on a blind date. She's been married now about 18 years.

  27. One of my favorite parts of my day is when I get home from work and my teenage son joins me to walk the dog. We both benefit from the exercise, and he actually talks to me!

  28. One of my great moments was getting home and having a chorus of barks greet me. We had two great mutts. Rescue dogs who
    filled our days.
    Sadly the last one, 16 years old,passed away three weeks ago.
    Both my wife and I still walk the paths these two lead us on.
    The house is quieter now, great fun and strangers we met through them will be remembered.

  29. @The Chief from Cali

    Deepest condolences on the passing of your "two great mutts", especially the second one three weeks ago. Every time my husband and I said our final good bye to everyone of our perfect, loving, best-canine-that-ever-lived dogs, it was the silence in the house when we returned that brought instant tears to our eyes. We always thought that until the arrival of a dog (or dogs) and cats with their barking, running, meowing, purring, tails tapping and hitting the floor, the door, the end tables and the occasional Sunday edition of the NYT ending up on the floor that magically transformed our house into a warm and inviting home.

    I understand and empathize with your pain and loss. I hope your lifetime of memories will provide some sweet comfort in the coming weeks and months. So very sorry for your loss.

  30. My dog, Bayou, died June 7, six weeks shy of his 13th birthday. I no longer know what time to set my alarm on workdays. It is odd being able to wend my way home after work instead of rushing to get home to him. Walking my dog shaped my life. I feel adrift without the structure - and rewards - a dog provides.

  31. For some reason, a person walking alone seems odd to me while a person walking with a dog seems perfectly normal.

  32. One day Reynolds is going to give us the skinny in 25 words or less. Only then will I eat my hat.

  33. When I was a child, I wanted a dog. My father said, "No, dogs need to be walked and you probably won't do that." When I bought my first house (in my 30s), the first thing I did was to get two dogs. They were rambunctious Lab pups and I learned a lot from them. But, 8 dogs and many years later I still walk/ hike with my dog everyday. We meet people, explore new places and stay in good shape.
    There is nothing better than walking a dog!

  34. You take your dog to a walk, even before you are out just see expressions his body language etc. he is really happy it is a pleasure for both of is like taking your baby/child to a park- see mere excitement on his face that you are taking him with you.I have seen some dogs walked by hired servants. It won't develop that bond between you and your dog.

  35. If there was anytime I wish my dog could talk, it’s if he could tell me what he smells on our walks. Somewhere I read a dog’s sense of smell is like 400 times that of a human. We can’t even imagine.

    I know how to have a dog “heel” and all that proper stuff, but at 14 years old, I let him take his time on either side, and stop, and smell the roses...or whatever....the equivalent of dog roses. And you know what that probably is. :)

    I hate to think of the day when he’s not with us. But I will always be grateful for our sniffing expeditions.

  36. I have lived with dogs for almost 20 years. Before that, I lived with cats who made it plain that a dog was not to step foot in their house. Finally, a cat came along who not only tolerated the year old Lurcher who came to live with us, but the two became fast friends.

    I tell people that my dogs are my "mandatory exercise program." A 1/2 mile walk in the morning, an hour walk in the off-leash area in the afternoon, and a 1/5 bathroom break walk just before bed--unless I am ill and cannot walk them (and then friends do it) are as much a part of my routine as showering, breakfast, dinner and sleep. Plus just about everyone within a mile of my house knows me because I am out walking my Lurcher(s) no matter what the weather (unless they refuse to go out--like skipping the bathroom break walk on 7/4 until the explosions stopped...around 3 AM) every day. I get stopped at the food co-op, the supermarket, Costco, when I am volunteering at the symphony, opera, ballet, and the theaters by people who recognize me from either my neighborhood or the off-leash area ("You're the lady with the two black dogs, aren't you?"). It's amazing how big this informal network is.

    I can't believe that dog caretakers don't walk their dogs! Unless someone is physically unable to do so, it seems absurd. Put down the smartphone, get off the couch, leash up your buddy (or have them jump in the car and take them to the dog park or off-leash area) and everybody walk. It will help your mind and body.

  37. Weather is no excuse for skipping a dog walk. I live in Massachusetts, not known for its pleasant weather. My dogs want their two daily walks regardless of the weather. I've learned to enjoy those walks, too, regardless of weather.

    The key is to deal with the weather sensibly. Buy a decent rainsuit and rubber boots, with pull-on traction devices for icy surfaces. Wear a hat and gloves and extra layers when it's cold. Have towels ready near the door to dry off the dogs when they return from a wet walk. On very hot days, spray the dogs with a hose before the walk to keep them cool.

    Then the walk can go on as if it were 60 degrees and sunny. The dogs enjoy it, and you will enjoy it if you don't convince yourself that you hate the weather. There is beauty even in a snowstorm or rainstorm. It's good for you.

    The one exception to this approach is temperatures below about 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 C). Even with jackets, dogs can't handle that kind of cold for very long. In this case, I take them out for a faster-than-usual but short walk, drop them off at the house, and finish the walk on my own.

  38. More sales talk from the pet industry. Mark is right on. I have owned two dogs & I learned they were thoroughly miserable unless running free outside. Have you heard enough about ‘lost’ dogs or cats? They’re not lost, they ran away. I’m sure they share with humans the desire & the right to be free. We should be asking the question, Who pays the researchers to find that enslaving a pet is healthy?

  39. There are some mixed views here about dogs, pet product companies etc. Let me if you will relay the saga of our dog with whom we loved to WALK.

    My son was about eight. My wife had never owned a dog. They were together at a nursery that had a litter of American Eskimos. Both of them were just thrilled by those adorable pups.

    My spouse really wanted one of those little ones. My son with the artistic eye he’s had since his childhood picked the prince of the litter.

    I thought the dog of my youth was the sweetest dog I would ever know. She was a mixture of Dachshund and Beagle. This dog sure surprised me.

    I loved him but my wife was completely smitten. They would share long hugs daily. He was so beautiful he would stop traffic when we WALKED him. I learned to understand at a deeper level why dogs are so healthy for the rest of us creatures.

    Then at 15 years of age he began to chase his own tail, lose his hearing, develop benign little tumors all over his body and get very confused. He was but a tinge of his former self. We had the extremely unpleasant choice to put him down or allow him to continue in his painful state.

    We put him down and were with him as life left him in a final exhale that we will never forget. We haven’t purchased another dog in these few years since he’s died. My spouse and I realize how painful it would be to lose another FRIEND.

  40. American Eskimo dogs are amazing. Smart, active, loyal and loving.

    People remember my Abbey every time they see her. She loves her walks and so do I.

  41. @Mark: Human beings attack, maim, and murder each other all of the time. Does that mean we should just all commit collective suicide and get off the planet, so no human being will ever be hurt again by another one?

    Millions of people have dogs that have never attacked or injured anyone, but you are obsessed with the sad cases, and seem to want to lump all dogs into a single category. That's myopic. And your complaints only make you sound like a miserable grouch to all of the many people who love and cherish their dogs. May you develop a better attitude toward life soon.

  42. You know, I understand what you're saying. I remember Louis C.K. expressing that feeling too saying when you take on a pet you're inviting in a huge slice of heartache into your life someday. I've had time to think this over because two weeks ago I put to sleep a pet that had been with me for eighteen years. And now I think yes that really, really hurt, everything that led up to making the final decision and then, after, bringing her home for burial. But looking back, the pain I suffered is far outweighed by remembering the years of joy that our relationship had been.

  43. It would be nice if people would curb their dogs. I've seen people lift their dogs over protective fencing for trees and plants so they could do their business. Any patch of grass or dirt will do. Has anyone looked at the sides of buildings lately? Most are stained with dog urine. Brownstone homeowners post signs asking people to please don't allow their dogs to urinate on their property. Please walk your dog responsibly.

  44. Iris D - Stop pleading with dog owners to be responsible. Dogs don’t belong in New York City. They don’t belong in urban environments. They are animals. Just like horses. But, unless or until people like you speak out and defend your right to live in a clean environment, nothing will change. Demand that dogs be banned from New York City.

  45. Dog lovers want all of us to believe that they have a right to own a dog. Like it’s a constitutional right. These dog lovers have brought dogs into our communities where they disturb the peace, pollute our lands, and hurt our kids. They have no right to do this. These dog lovers have no right to push their lifestyle on us. I want dogs out of our neighborhoods. But, The Times is a “pro-dog” newspaper. The Times never writes about the dangers associated with dog ownership or the problems brought to our communities as a result of dogs. The Times only portrays dogs as wonderful animals. They won’t write about the kids who have been killed in dog attacks. They won’t write about the thousands of kids who have permanent scars on their bodies because they were attacked by a dog. The Times did an extensive study on concussions caused by playing football and questioned if parents should allow their boys to play the game, but they won’t question if a toddler should play with a dog that has the capacity to rip him/her to shreds. We all saw that YouTube video where a kid from California was attacked by a neighbor’s dog on his parent’s driveway and the cat came to his rescue. That boy needed stitches in his leg. Are we supposed to accept that this just happens? Our kids are having their blood spilled because this stupid dog lover society refuses to accept the truth about these animals.

  46. Are you serious or are you making a parody to the gun debate?

  47. Brought dogs into communities? I don't think so. Virtually all human communities have always had dogs They came over with your first settlers, they traveled west with your pioneers, they lived in your cities and out on your ranches. Native Americans had their own breeds of domesticated dogs as do native people across the world.

    Whatever complaints you may have about dogs they are not recent interlopers in your community. We might be considered as much evolved to live alongside then as they are to live alongside us.

  48. The first year that I had Nash, my Bloodhound, taking him to the Leroy St Dog Run almost every day, I lost 25 lbs.

  49. I love dogs (and other sentient beings). But I think animals belong in the wild - free. Pet "ownership" does not feel right to me... specially as so many other animals are cruelly confined & slaughtered to provide "healthy all-meat" pet food. How is that being an animal lover?

    Bravo to responsible pet owners. But unfortunately many are not. There is a lot of cruelty going on in the pet animal providing industry. There is nothing sadder than seeing birds with their wings clipped & confined to a small birdcage by people who claim to love birds. Many dogs are confined to crates (cages really) for hours. Even this article mentions that 40% (almost half!) the dog owners NEVER take their dogs for a walk. Dogs - a close cousin of wolves - that are meant to run free in the wild at all times.

    I know this is not a popular position to take in the US (definitely in the white US), but being some one who cares about animals, I do not think owning an animal is the right thing to do.

  50. I've seen what happens to dogs that are "free." They get in fights with other dogs, hit by cars, and if female are constantly pregnant. Male or female, they're usually sick. They're responsible for the majority of dog bites because they're not well socialized to humans. And their average life span is a fraction of that of dogs that are pets.

  51. Sorry, but my dogs own us.

  52. @oceanblue

    Dogs are not meant to run free. They are domesticated animals meant to live in close proximity to the humans who domesticated them.

  53. My dog is old and no longer wants to go more than a couple of blocks. Slowly. It doesn't make me care about her any less, or walk any less, but I miss her company. And she, waiting patiently by the door, misses mine.

  54. I agree. I walked my landlord's dog for many yrs. and it helped me, the landlord and the dog in many ways.

    I live in Greenpoint, Bklyn and it seems that all the new young people moving in have dogs.

    The only complaint I have is that they don't walk them properly. If they pass other people especially seniors or especially if they pass other dogs, they should have the dog on a short leash.

    They seem do the opposite, ie increase the length of the leash.

    I have seen so many people having to walk out of their way even into the street to avoid the dog worse dog fights, I can't count the number.

  55. We have the same experience here, though most fellow dog-walkers know their dogs and behave accordingly. It seems only sensible to pull your dog close when someone is walking toward you, or trying to pass, especially if they also have a dog. We can't know how others' dogs will behave, but we know our own.
    Also, wouldn't it be wonderful if joggers would call out "on your left' or 'own your right' before they reach you. I'm happy to pull my dog close, but if I don't know someone's coming up behind me, I let him walk where he will, and he might decide in a second to go to the other side of the sidewalk – and the jogger would possibly trip over him.

  56. My dog and I go for a walk twice a day every single
    day. Rain, sun, snow it makes no difference. Not only do we both get our exercise, she does at least one thing, during every walk, that makes me smile.

    We have met neighbors, fellow dog owners and given directions to countless strangers.

    If you own a dog it is your obligation to provide it with exercise, just as you do food and water. If you won’t, can’t or don’t have time - don’t get a dog.

  57. Kinda harsh. But true. Obligations can be that way. We inherited our dog when she was around 5 yrs old. My father-in-law found her wandering around the quiet North Woods of WI. She had a well deserved bad reputation with my wive's siblings & nobody wanted her. Goldie often would disappear for a week or more chasing down a deer, fox or some other unfortunate creature. Finally back home, usually smelling of skunk & one time with a face full of porcupine quills.
    Goldie (70 lbs German Shephard, Chow) went from that to walking on a leash in a suburb of Minneapolis, lots of cars, trucks with kids & dogs behind every fence. She wanted none of that. A twice a day challenge (nightmare) to walk. She wanted to kill everything on 4 legs from a great distance. My goal was to not be sued. My mantra was a tired dog was a good dog. Having just retired, I thought we could improve together. So we walked and walked and walked. Like you, we walked every (sometimes stinkin') day. Started 4 years ago, logged over a bit over 10,000 miles and I lost 30 lbs of fat. Goldie is 9 or 10 now but an absolute dream. So rewarding to see her happy in her new life even if the neighbors think I'm nuts! Have a good day/walk. 8>)

  58. "If I skip our usual morning jog, my dogs flop onto the floor, disconsolate and reproachful."

    I can attest to the truth of that statement. Max, my faithful companion of 11 years notices what shoes I put on in the morning.

    If my Asics are the choice, he will perk up, get the paper and wait patiently for the sounds of a leash coming it.

    If I am golfing early, and just put on some slip on shoes he know that the walk is not happening.

    He ignores me, head on floor. Occasionally the eyes flicker upward and I get the most conscience wrenching look as I try to slip out the door to make my tee time.

    Pangs of guilt as I pull out of the driveway.

    Yet, when I get home, he is still very happy to see me. All is forgiven.

  59. Our pooch loves his walks around part of a golf course. The exercise, the greetings by dog lovers, and the chance to see some of his buddy pooches who live in the community make it a great experience.

    For my husband and me, it has meant becoming friendly and chatting with other dog owners.

    The socialization and exercise benefits are good for all of us.

  60. Also note that pets are bad for the environment. The greenhouse gas emissions from the various facets of pet ownership is very substantial. Pets are not for everyone despite the message from current culture.

  61. Here's what's really bad for the environment: people.

  62. Jemma - Of course you are correct. Dogs are the creation of humans, and owning dogs is just another thing people do that's bad for the environment.

  63. You're right. I compensate by walking to work and not eating meat but I'm not giving up my dog.

  64. Why even have a dog and not walk them? Walking with them is the most pleasurable part of the human/dog relationship. They love experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors and act like is a totally new experience each time they are taken out.

  65. my dog clooney ( he's such a handsome boy) and i love to take our walks, at least twice a day.
    i put a treat in my pocket to reward him for good behavior and when he has responded to my direction, he automatically dances in front of me and sits prettily as if to say, i listened ! do i get my treat now?
    interestingly, its always at the same spot in our walk!
    smart doggie!
    he is the boss of me!

  66. Am I the only one who eyes stopped dead in the tracks at the photo that was used at the top of the article? Of the tens of thousands of potential photo opps of people walking their dogs—the only thing that made it to this fine publication is of the artwork (while beautiful!) of naked butt? Really? Are the editors on vacation? Jokes aside, I’m looking forward to reading this latest study. Especially as i am PRO DOG! Many thanks and Shabbat shalom!

  67. Dog walking is goo--oh, let's put a painting of a naked lady in the background!

  68. You don't need a dog to go for a walk.

  69. BREAKING NEWS: Walking is good for humans!

  70. It's a win-win, no doubt.

  71. Only in America are there oncology centers for dogs, but homeless people die in the streets. Gordon Gecko had it right: "They love animals, they hate people."

  72. I used to walk daily with a friend and her dog. Every time the dog stopped to sniff (3 or 4 times a block), she let him sniff that one spot for as long as he wanted. We constantly stood at each spot for up to 10 minutes. There was more standing than walking. This dog hated other dogs, and always tried to lunge at and attack every dog he passed, jaws snapping. This meant that every time my friend spotted another dog, even blocks up ahead, we had to turn quickly and scurry down a side street ("because it might be a bad dog").There were many other problems in this dog-centric universe of hers. Every time someone stopped to ask about her dog, the exact same information was exchanged: breed, name, age- literally thousands of exchanges of that exact same info. My friend never tired of it, even if it happened 2 or 3 times a block. That's socializing? Finally I'd had enough. I walk by myself, at a nice brisk pace, no standing around. If I want though, I can go into a cafe for coffee or browse in a store. I get real exercise now, and prefer to walk on my own terms.

  73. Absolutely do what's right for you. Standing around resentfully while your fried and dog are doing what they want to do isn't helping anybody.

  74. If you want to easily get your 10,000 garmin steps every day, get a dog. A well walked dog is a good dog to have around the house. It is also an excellent way to get to know your neighbors. Having a dog who loves to go on walks and appreciates you for spending the time with them is all the incentive I need to take walks every day.

  75. Ellen has a point. Sure, it’s good and healthy fun to walk a dog...except when the dog has issues. Not all dogs are well behaved or easy to walk. My adorable shelter dog, despite monumental efforts in training both at home and by professional trainers, makes going for a walk stressful and exhausting. Neighborhood dogs with inattentive owners make it dangerous. I’ll keep persevering with my pooch, but man, walking the dog is a frustrating experience right now. I’ve lost weight from the stress!

  76. I run my dog 4-5 mornings a week, and she gets walks daily with me and my husband in addition. The exercise keeps us all healthier, but Holly maintains her svelte physique at age 11, while mine, well, I largely keep weight gain at bay but you could not use svelte to describe me. What I really need is someone to ration my food the way we do her kibble, alas.

  77. Dog walking instruction?


    Apply leash. The dog will take care of the rest.

  78. You don't need a partner to clink glasses in the evening, or to "enjoy yourself". Sometimes it just makes it more fun;)

  79. Bo is sitting on the couch with me now, almost time for dinner and he doesn't want me to forget;) At 6:45 in the morning he is, tuned into my every move, closing the lap top, heading to the bathroom, picking up a shoe, any of the normal cues and he is there in front of me with a quizzical head tilt. "Go get your collar" I whisper and he bolts off to find it and then flip it in my lap. We have a wonderful off leash park with a creek, weedy fields and a 2 mile loop. This hour is the only one all day where I can count on seeing genuine broad smiles on human faces, and though dogs can't smile Bo just beams.

  80. You have obviously not met Nicholas the Ridiculous. He will use every muscle and tenon in his 20 pound beagle body to resist. So, I carry him to the first sniffing spot, put him down so he is distracted by the scents, and then, off we go, You have to know your dog.

  81. That’s true but, without the dog, you’ll find excuses not to walk. With the dog, you’re walking.

  82. Reliable research on the benefits of fur is available and growing. Jack, the Irish Terrier who lives with me corroborates the validity of the research. He is a Registered Therapy Dog and definitely gets serious about his work each time he dons his little vest.
    He has taught me so much about myself and about what I call an almost 'magical' human - dog relationship.

    And Jack is a dog! I respect his instincts to sniff, to wait for the perfect spot to pee - then to circle for a bit, and his ability to be constantly aware of the present and all that is around him.

    We frequently go to our neighborhood Dog Park to do our walking because I think he loves it. When we are unable to go, we walk our neighborhood on our short webbed leash, and I usually observe that he lets me know when the walk is enough, or maybe just a little more. I also think he pays attention to my instincts, sometimes stopping to give me a second glance at those majestic mountains or a colorful sunset.

    I am a widow now, and I absolutely cannot imagine my life without Jack so I pay attention to my responsibilities as a pet parent, and the big one - WALK! It may take time to get ready to go out in the rain or the snow, the weather, and he's always patient.

    The benefit is phenomenal!

  83. A few days ago my family was on vacation in Barcelona. We took an evening walk over my ten-year old daughter's objections. Her mood immediately changed when I suggested we visit a nearby dog park. After introducing ourselves to the humans and explaining that my child missed our dog, we spent a good hour hanging out with these friendly folks and their canine friends. My daughter brightened up and I enjoyed talking with locals in this tourist-full city.

  84. Once upon a time I had a Samoyed mix , Suzanne -- little kids seeing her ( when we were walking or cross country skiing) would yell : It's a smiling wolf! ( not terribly much like a wolf in reality) . Some dogs don't like being leashed - but she would straighten up and strut when on a leash in public, graciously accepting stranger's compliments, and, I swear, posing, inviting a stroke or two. Or even a child's awkward grab. The more attention, the better. Ah, memories.

    It must be wonderful to have a large enclosed dog park -

  85. My dog, Wilson, died suddenly last March. We had walked together for years at least twice a day, every day, along with time spent in the local dog park. As if the grief for my constant companion were not enough, I found also that I grieved for my loss of the community of dog owners that gathered each day in the park. The dogs, of course, were wonderful as expected. The surprise and super delight was the supportive group of smart, accomplished, well-informed and cultured neighbors. Politics, literature, music, travel, and good old fashioned gossip were the coins of the realm. Visual and performing artists, the various Embassy staff (including Ambassadors), writers, academics, lawyers, judges, and those who do the societal "good" things were all about regularly. I longed for them. I was bereft. I surprised myself by adopting another pooch, Baxter, just one month ago -- so soon after Wilson passed. My neighborhood life is complete again, and I am rediscovering my 'hood with my new hairy beast.

  86. Yes! The dog park is a wonderful social place, and it's very democratic-- people from all walks of life and all beliefs and income levels. The dogs make everyone mix. Often you know the dogs' names better than the owners.

  87. My dog is a very fast hound. He's hard-wired to chase, and he needs to run to be healthy. I can't ever walk or run enough on my two feet to tire him out. Recently I hurt my knee and walking became painful. Running was not possible. More than anything, this made me feel guilty about my dog not getting enough exercise. Then I decided to try something. I got up at dawn and took him out on my bike. It's been a beastly hot summer, but at 5 am, the air is cool and no one is out. We had the world to ourselves. It worked beautifully. Now it's turned into a perfect 30-40 minute run for him every morning... and also, as an unexpected bonus, healed my knee. The bike is a great equalizer that enables us to travel, finally, at a compatible pace. It's a wonderful start to the day.

  88. Sure. And, when biking becomes too much for you, you can tie his leash to your bumper and drive around.

  89. @Francois

    How did you teach your dog to run next to the bike, and not to cut in front of the bike or pull to the side & pull you over? Was he trained to heel before you started biking?

  90. My dog spends so much time sniffing everything I can hardly consider our outings a walk. It’s’more like spurts of steps with frequent stops. I walk her and then go out for a fitness walk.

  91. Any reasonably compassionate dog owner knows every single conclusion in this article. The things people "research"!! Anyone who doesn't walk their dog doesn't really care about their pet. Walks, trips to the dog park and other active times are essential for a calm, centered, happy pet. Learning how to walk with the dog is also critical and can be learned fairly quickly - a dog needs to know commands given through the leash and how to walk quietly by your side. Many people slap on a harness and the dog pulls in frustration the whole way. Training your dog is one of the best things you can do for both of you. Finally, a good way to walk your dog is to live somewhere without a yard - problem solved.

  92. People aren't walking their dogs?! That is pitiful. But then again I often observe dogs out with their humans -- and the human isn't interacting at all, instead staring into a smartphone.

  93. Probably looking for the non-existent app that will pick up and bag the poop.

  94. All I need to do is say one word "walkies " and my Chiweenies big ears perk up ! It's a wonderful way for the two of us to get exercise and you meet sooo many people , who stop to pet him . Everyone , especially him , walks away with a dose of an endorphin high , from the walk and the touching .

  95. As with children, not everyone should have a dog. I disrespect those who get one and then do not spend quality time with them.

  96. I walk both my dogs four times a day. They love it and so do I. If I didn’t walk them, I would never have met any of my neighbors or become familiar with all the wonderful trails and amazing wildlife in my local area.

    “Keep calm and walk the dog.”

  97. I love walking my poochie. And I love listening to The Daily with Michael Barbaro. So now, I time my walks to The Daily podcast. Sometimes, when I have enough time, it’s a two episode walk. Both poochie and Michael make me happy.

  98. My husband and I have a dog, and she clearly prefers me over him. I’m also the one who walks her most of the time. I wonder if there’s a connection.

  99. A dog is like the US Mail. Happy to walk, no matter the weather.

  100. Not so, my diva toy poodle will not walk in the rain. I must put her in the car a drive to a strip mall.

  101. For me, life without a dog is a life not worth living. I cannot take a walk without a dog by my side. In my home I have only dog art -- prints, watercolors, photos, etc. and many dog statues. No family photos even though I have five children and many grandchildren. I have been dog-obsessed since I was a young child. I like cats too. I remember many years ago with my boots crunching though the snow in the streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY at night walking three or four dogs -- desolate, empty buildings, echoes...What memories!

  102. My husband and I walk our two dogs every day without fail. I get at least a half mile in before I leave for work during the week, and weekends and holidays, we leave at lest an hour for a long walk with an off-leash period for both of them to run, run, run!! and maybe even get wet in the creek. Their sheer joy at being out in the world with their people lightens our spirits while we get a little healthy aerobic exercise. Moreover, in our little town (population ~10K) people recognize us when we go into stores - "We see you walking your dogs every morning!"
    Dog walking is good for the soul, for the dogs, and for the community (as long as we all remember to pick up our poo...).

  103. My husband travels and since my children have gotten older I got myself a dog. I love her and she gets multiple walks daily. The interesting thing is that my husband, who never had a dog, is now so devoted to her and insists on taking her out on weekends. I think she is now higher in his ranking than I am. My only complaint is that some of the places we used to walk, sans dog, cannot be accessed because we now have a dog. I cannot go walking without her without feeling guilty.

  104. It may or may not be good for the rest of us who don't want to meet your dog--always remember to be socially intelligent dog walkers and understand that your dog needs to be: 1; under complete control at all times (yes leashed at ALL times and place on public grounds) 2. You need to be aware that many people don't like dogs (or at least the dog the see hogging the street while you, the dog owner seem not to care about non-dog lovers. Just saying--but sure, I get that dog owning can be great for owners mental, physical and even social health!

  105. @Cal H I can't believe that there are "many people (who) don't like dogs." There are probably very few. Those few can continue on with their dismal lives. With one or more great dogs by my side, I'm in heaven.

  106. @Cal H
    Well said. But, remember, it's not just some people that don't like dogs, it's some dogs that don't like people. That's my concern!

  107. Walking is Good!! Breaking News!! Hello?!!!

  108. The best thing I have done is commit to walking my Husky, Red at least twice a day. All weather ( except T storms, he hates them ) he can go forever i.e. I get at least 2 miles a day. Result- improved chemistries , BP down, and a happy Husky who loves visiting with everyone he meets. Only in the most extreme cold or heat will we take a pass on it. As a life long big dog lover, they make life worthwhile

  109. If you're not committed to walking your dog each and every day, you really have no business having a dog at all.

  110. Dog walking is such a wonderful thing! It's great for the person/people and it's great for the dog/dogs.

    They say the best things in life are free. Dog walking is on that list.

    Do it. There are few things in life that are nicer or healthier -- for everyone involved.

  111. According to my cousin, who is a dog rescuer, dogs belonging to suburbanites get the least exercise, country dogs more, & city dogs the most! My additional take is that England has the greater amount of dog walkers thanks to loads of dog-friendly paths & parks throughout the country.

  112. Am I the only one who has dogs who don't like to walk? We have 2 shelties and I walk them every morning, but when I say, "Time for a walk," they look at me like I just said, "Hey, let's go to the vet for a rectal exam."

    We still walk every day though.