Masterclass – Behaviour economics taught by dogs
Lesson 1: Work and exercise are good for you
Often when dog trainers or behaviourist are brought in to assess a difficult or unhappy dog one of the first questions, they ask the owner is “Does your dog go for walks?”. This is because exercise and “doing work” is fundamental to a dog’s make up. They were created for a purpose. Each morning the sun rises and heralds another day, all creatures, great and small, start to fill their day and find purpose. Simplistically bees buzz, eagles soar etc etc. Now imagine you have no purpose, or you could not do what came instinctively to you. This is the case for many domesticated animals, we have removed their purpose and this in turn often leads to problems. You come home and discover your dog has stalked and eaten your favourite pair of running shoes. They are frustrated. No matter how spoilt or luxurious your dog’s life is, doing work and exercise is fundamentally good for them.
Many breeds of dogs were designed for different kinds of work. Herders, like to herd, Labradors were not just designed to be treat testers, much to the chagrin of George, my black lab and CEO of Pawfect. They were designed to pull the fishing nets in through the cold, icy water, hence their double coats. Many of our domesticated dogs will never “work” a day in their lives.
Could this not also be true for humans? We were designed for work and exercise. If we live too sedentary lifestyles, we become lazy and frustrated. We to then in turn cannot fulfil our purpose or full potential. Far worse is the case of the inactive human. How many humans never go out of their comfort zone to fulfil their purpose or embrace their talents. We get side-tracked by laziness or bogged down by inactivity.
Grab your shoes and go for walk, it’s good for you and you dog!