Towards the end of the walk, when we stop, Rafa lies down to rest. After rigorous exercise, travel or hunt, it is in the dog's best interest to use every opportunity to conserve energy. Unfortunately, most dogs today have lost touch with their naturally balanced side, and struggle to relax outdoors.
When the weather allows we always pause during our walks to help practice calmness and patience. Very few of our day care dogs will lie down on their first walk without being prompted. Even after walking for several hours, when their bodies are tired, they cannot calm their minds. They are constantly anticipating something exciting to happen, always wired, always tensed. This attitude towards the outside world is rarely part of the dog's personality, and has often been created by humans, who have taught, or allowed, the dog to constantly play, pull, and rush around on the walk. The negative effect of this is a very impulsive and edgy dog. If your dog has a nervous disposition, this might cause your dog to become reactive to a variety of things. If your dog has a more stable disposition, it might instead just run up to every person or dog they see. When the dog is called, it is often too excited, and too involved with whatever they are doing, to respond to the owner.
Now, there is nothing wrong with playing with your dog, or sometimes exciting your dog. Just as in nature, there is a time and place for everything. However, what you create, you need to be able to control, and to stop. If you wind your dog up on the walk, don’t do it to a point where your dog won’t listen to you. Teach your dog impulse control, even when aroused, teach your dog to regulate its level of excitement, and most importantly, teach it how to calm down when playtime is over. Take time on your walk to sit down with your dog and just watch the world go by. Provide physical and mental stimulation for your dog, and teach it how to relax in a variety of environments. By balancing your dog’s life, you can balance your dog.