To help you build the BEST relationship with your German Shepherd Dog!
==> The best combination of bonding, exercise, and FUN?
Hiking with your dog - TRY IT!
Hiking with Dogs
Have you lately been hiking with your dog? What, never?
Find out here why you too should give this an even higher priority than dog walking. And you'll certainly enjoy it more too!
The one thing I've been looking forward to MOST is to go hiking with the dog or dogs once I've recovered. Even while still in bed I already bought most of the essential hiking gear during moments of pleasant anticipation. You know, mental preparation is everything.
In this MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL:
Benefits of hiking with our dog!
What to bring hiking
Finding dog-friendly local hiking trails
Dog hiking groups and hiking clubs
Dog hiking safety
How to behave during dog hikes!
Benefits of hiking with our dog!
Most importantly, what are the hiking benefits?
Healthy exercise for both
Socializing the dog!
Dog training - but without the lesson!
FUN (certainly for a GSD)
You know it: For most dog owners, dog-human relationship building equates to tossing or hand-feeding treats. And you know why I've always frowned upon that: Handing out food treats builds a great relationship between dog and food - but that exists anyway, no need to improve on that - while it can ruin the relationship between dog and people (and not only the one who hands out the treats) if given the wrong way or in an inappropriate situation.
In fact, here's a key discovery I made:
The best bonding comes not from what we do for the dog, but from what we do with the dog.
And the same is true with people too: The best relationships we build with the people we share experiences with or even adventures - and interestingly regardless whether joyful or sad experiences(!) - not with the people we love(!), pamper, cuddle, text or talk to.
Again, mark that: The best relationships we don't build with those we love(!) or talk to(!), but with those we share experiences with!
This memo box must be worth DIAMONDS to readers who want to save their current relationship - whether with their partner or with their dog - and to partnership consultants too.
So, dog hiking can really be considered one of the best bonding opportunities - if not THE best. Better than cycling with our dog, roller-skating with the dog, running with the dog, etc.
Why even better than those?
Because hiking results in a more balanced exercise, which helps the dog to remember the experience. While with the others, exhaustion dominates - which you may know curbs recollection of the experience itself (the situation and environment), most of what we remember is how exhausted we were.
Swimming with our dog would be similarly awesome (we'll naturally avoid exhaustion there, or we drown). While say, just tossing the Hurley into the water for the dog to swim alone, this is not a joint experience and thus less helpful for bonding with our dog.
Why hiking is TOP for relationship building with the dog (and with people too!):
GSDs LOVE to go on diverse terrain hikes to explore the environment
You will love that too - once you get a taste of it
When we do something with the dog that (s)he LOVES, it multiplies bonding with us
Hikes offer healthy exercise for our GSD and for ourselves
Gently exercising togetherfurther benefits the bonding experience
Often we may meet other people and dogs that we and our dog can socialize with(!)
We see how well we have our dog under control when very distracted(!)
We learn to be considerate with our dog
And our dog learns to adapt to our fitness level
The socialization factor of hiking with dogs is massive: Many people's "dog problems" would have been avoided had the people taken their dogs on a few controlled hikes. Because, when you hike across different terrain your dog will automatically socialize with tons of noises, sights, smells, environments and situations - and in most cases with many people and animals too. It is this quick succession of different socializations that prevents that the dog gets overly occupied with a particular stimulus.
Think: When was the last time that say, a loud noise upset you? But if shortly thereafter say, a motorbiker scared you by rushing past only an inch away from your elbow, the loud noise was the least of your worries, right? This happens to dogs all the time: A quick movement of an unfamiliar person or object that scares the dog.
Anyway, the point is that during exercise, arousing stimuli do not disturb us and the dog as much (the heavier the exercise, the less). Yet, we and the dog notice the stimuli nonetheless (we get used to them) - unless the exercise is so exhausting that it curbs our awareness or that of the dog.
Thus, as regards socializing dogs, with any form of exercise we must strike a compromise and find the right level of exhaustion for the particular dog: Enough that the dog doesn't get overly aroused by a disturbing stimulus, but not so much exhaustion as to curb awareness of the stimulus, and thus its recollection going forward.
Jonathan: "Thank you for your period advice. It is excellent! My GSD puppy is now 8 months and we read your advice regularly."
Dwayne: "I love this site and the info you post onto it. Thanks again!!!!"
Penny: "Thanks for making your great articles available to all of us. it's nice to know that a recommended product is actually available in my country."
Stay with us and your dog will stay with you, both of you healthy and well-behaved.
If you are ever unhappy with anything we write, do or don't do, we want to be the first to know, thanks.
Disclaimer: Always apply your own common sense when you follow anyone's suggestions. As much as your dog is special (s)he may react different too.
There's nothing quite like a healthy and well-behaved German Shepherd who freely guards every corner of your home, who brings you peace, who brings you joy! Welcome to MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG - we help you that YOUR DOG does not end up in a(nother) shelter!