Originally Posted by Marchie's Mom
On the other hand, it really keeps you fit to keep up with a young dog.
Or even with an older one! When I was choosing a dog breed I looked for one that would not need a lot of exercise as I was never a great walker. But Sophy in particular never read the books about toy dogs needing less exercise - her idea of a pleasant stroll is 2 or 3 miles, preferably repeated after a half hour nap. Once I realised that a proper dog focussed walk, with sniffing and meeting and greeting and the chance to look for squirrels and rabbits and to simply run for joy, is to dogs what catching up with the news and emails, browsing the shops, meeting friends, playing sports and doing all the other things that keep brain and body functioning happily are to us, and saw just how much pleasure it gave them, I began to enjoy our walks too. I am now fitter in my 60s than I was in my 40s!
The right kind of "walks" are particularly important for puppies - they are one of the main ways they learn about the big wide world and how not to be afraid of it. And where they get the opportunity to grow their brains through sniffing. I think with puppies in particular walks are not so much about physical exercise - they can get plenty of that running around at home - as smelling and seeing and hearing and learning.