A PROFESSIONAL dog trainer is urging animal lovers not to walk their canines everyday.
Niki French, 53, says that despite dog walking being a popular daily routine for many pet owners, it’s not a habit she agrees with.
In her bestselling book ‘Stop Walking Your Dog’, Niki urges pet owners to ditch the 30-minute walk each day.
Instead, she suggests coming up with another activity that is going to be more stimulating for our pet pooches.
She told The Mirror: “It might come as a surprise, but traditional walks are a human invention and aren’t helpful for many of our dogs.
“Replacing walk time with training games at home can give the dogs the skills they’re missing to live calm and happy lives.
“Contrary to popular belief, dogs with behavior struggles can get more reactive or more excitable when we try to exhaust them through too much exercise.”
This weekend, Niki is launching her first ever ‘Don’t Walk Your Dog Day’ event.
She will be hoping to get across her message that other activities can be more beneficial for dogs.
Niki said: “A growing number of my clients have nervous or reactive dogs and I’ve shown them all the amazing activities you can do at home to help dogs grow the skills they’re lacking to be happy on walks.”
As a dog owner to two-year-old Bodie, Niki says she notices her pet in a much calmer mood when she’s doing regularly including “enrichment games” in their exercise together.
Enrichment games can include digging at the beach, playing hide and seek or using cardboard boxes to have a bit of fun while teaching good habits.
She says playing games with dogs is a great way to build skills while building a strong relationship.
Niki added: “It’s good to have other things in your toolkit. This applies to all dogs and surprisingly it can work best for breeds that need lots of exercises.”
It comes as a study of 2,000 cat and dog owners found of those with pet social media accounts, 35 per cent set it up for their beloved animals to show them off to the world.
And 34 per cent wanted to enjoy the positive reactions shared over their pets online.
These pampered pets have an average of 925 followers, with 89 per cent of owners admitting this is more than they have on their own social networking accounts.