Do You Need To Walk Your Dog Every Day? Take The Quiz.

Our life is in chaos. But our dog Honey always gets walked.

Does she need a walk every day? And what will happen when we’re living on a boat?

And do you need to walk your dog every day?

Honey the golden retriever aboard a sail boat.

There’s not much room to walk around on a sailboat.

Why Walk?

A certain celebrity dog trainer claims you need to walk your dog every day to exercise him.

Maybe some dogs get their exercise from walking. But Honey’s stamina is much greater than mine.

My feet would be bloody stumps before she showed any signs of tiring on the kind of forced march Mr. Television Dog Trainer promotes.

Honey the golden retriever walks on a leash.

Smile. We’re out for a walk. No need to be so grumpy.

So if a large athletic dog doesn’t get tired from walking, why do it?

Well, there’s

  • bonding while you and your dog are doing something together
  • enjoying being outdoors
  • and my favorite, mentally stimulating your dog.

The walks that tire Honey out aren’t the long, fast ones. They’re the walks where she stops to sniff every four steps.

Scientists say that scents connect humans to memory.

I suspect smells connect dogs to a much more active part of their brain. A part that gets worn out from sniffing. And thinking.

So I’m definitely pro walk.

But I’m even more pro dog. And I’m not sure that all dogs benefits from a walk EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Does yours?

Take The Walk Your Dog Quiz

Give yourself 3 points for every A answer, 2 points for every B answer, and 1 point for every C answer.

1. If you miss a regular walk with your dog, how does he or she act?

A. Weird. Bouncing off the walls or whining or getting in trouble.

B. Maybe a little off. But I can’t be sure.

C. The same as always.

2. What does your dog do when you take out his leash?

A. Starts spinning, barking, or showing other signs of excitement.

B. Looks up with interest.

C. Needs to be coaxed to get up so you can put on his leash.

3. If the weather isn’t ideal, does your dog still want to go for a walk?

A. Absolutely.

B. She’s willing to miss a walk if it’s raining or too hot.

C. Heck, my dog doesn’t even like walking on a warm, sunny day with butterflies marking our path.

4. Does your dog enjoy another physical activity even more than walking?

A. Well, her favorite thing is to walk to another fun activity like agility classes, swimming, or rock climbing.

B. Sure, my dog loves playing fetch in the yard or tugging with her favorite toy.

C. My dog is part potato. But luckily he finds a way to burn off calories when I’m not looking so he stays fit and trim.

5. If you can’t take your dog for a walk, do you fill in with other mentally and physically stimulating activities during the day?

A. Yep, whether we go for a walk or not, I’m always doing training or games with my dog. Otherwise, she would go nuts.

B. I feel so guilty for missing a walk that I make a point of doing something extra to make up for it.

C. Does cuddling on the couch while watching Jeopardy count?

6. Is your dog frightened of things she sees outside on a walk? People, other dogs, loud noises?

A. Not a thing.

B. My dog is a little timid. But we work around it by planning our route and time of day to walk.

C. My dog starts to shake when I open the door for a walk.

7. Is sniffing very important to your dog?

A. Are you asking me if my beagle/coonhound/bloodhound mix likes to sniff? Heck, yeah.

B. My dog loves to check her p-mail. But she’s not obsessive about it.

C. I could put a liver treat under my dog’s bed and he’d never notice it was there.

8. Does your dog get something extra from walking that he doesn’t get from other activities?

A. My dog sure loves meeting other people or chasing squirrels when we walk.

B. My dog likes spending one-on-one time with me. But we can also do that at home.

C. You mean besides sore paws?

9. Do you think your dog needs a walk every day?

A. Well, duh. My dog definitely does need a walk every day. I don’t even know why I’m taking this quiz.

B. I’m not sure. That’s why I’m taking this quiz.

C. Well, duh. My dog definitely doesn’t need a walk every day. I don’t even know why I’m taking this quiz.

How did you do?

If you scored 27 out of 27 points, take your dog for a walk now! She’s probably wondering why you’re taking this silly quiz when you could be out for a walk already.

If you scored 18-26 points, your dog certainly benefits from daily walks. You probably want to do everything you can to make it a regular part of your dog’s day.

If you scored 9-17 points, you can probably skip a walk occasionally as long as you fill in with other stimulating activities.

If you scored less than 9 points, your dog is probably hoping you’ll lose the leash. But walking is still good for socialization, exercise, and training. And you’ll definitely want to find other ways to work your dog’s mind and body.

Doing Things With Your Dog

Okay, my little quiz probably didn’t tell you anything you didn’t know already.

Honey the Golden Retriever rock climbing at Ithaca Falls

Walks get much more challenging when we’re jumping up and down rocks.

But maybe it gets you thinking differently about how you spend time with your dog. If walks are getting dull, there are plenty of other things to do together:

  • Playing games like fetch or tug
  • Training for competitions like agility, lure coursing, or fly ball
  • Swimming
  • Bouldering
  • Nosework
  • Trick training
  • Geocaching
  • and so much more.

Walks are wonderful. But walks aren’t sacred.

The idea is to get exercise, mental stimulation, and special time together. And there are more ways than just walking to do that.

Win A Kurgo #SurfNTurf Life Jacket

Yep, you have a few more days to win your dog his or her own Surf ‘n Turf life jacket from Kurgo.

Honey the golden retriever in a kayak.

Yep, I have my own Kurgo Surf ‘n Turf life jacket and I wear it every time I go kayaking. Now if only I could figure out why I’m always hungry when someone says Surf ‘n Turf.

We’re co-hosting this great giveaway with DogTipper, Baylie Dog, Cindy Lu’s Muse, Hey Lorri, Talent Hounds, and Tiffany’s Diamond Dogs.

Gain chances to win from each of the hosts.

Kurt Surf 'N Turf life jacket collage.

If you don’t think your dog needs one, check out my 10 Reasons Why Every Dog Needs a Life Jacket and see if you aren’t convinced. And then enter the giveaway tool at the bottom of the page for your chances to win.

Good luck.



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  1. Excellent post and fun quiz. Of course we got a 27 but we’ve already been out this morning for one walk.

  2. We all love our walks, especially the longer morning one, and Bailie enjoys her run. If we were to skip it, we would probably be confused since it is our routine, but Mom would be bouncing off the walls. We need to get her exercised for the day or she is uneasy all day long. We have variety in our walks which makes it more fun, but we do our nose work and tracking homework and other fun stuff in the yard, so we get a variety of additional workouts too.

    • I can’t think of many dogs who get more variety in their days than you and your sisters.

      Good on you for getting your mom out there every day. You’re doing your part for her mental health, I’m sure.

  3. Richie likes walks a lot but doesn’t need one every day and prefers not to go for one if the weather is rainy or too hot or cold. My lhasa apso that I had before I had Richie, named Sam, absolutely had to go for a walk every day. I think he would have exploded if I hadn’t taken him.

    • So many people think that all big dogs need daily walks and no small dogs do. Glad to hear that Sam breaks the stereotypes. :)

  4. I had four different scores on the quiz–one for each dog. Not that i’m surprised, But I loved the quiz.

  5. What a great quiz! Nala loves smelling and seeing new things and stretching her legs and wagging at cats, so I think that walks or runs provide important mental enrichment for her. At this point in our relationship, Nala needs something to get her out of the house every day. But there was definitely a point when going out for a walk or a run was way too much for her and did more harm than good–that was before we made a dent in her fear of cars and consequent hypervigilance. I still think that she gets the most benefit from hiking in interesting places on her long-line–not only because they’re really novel and fun for her, but also because they’re far enough away from the street that she rarely, if ever, gets too worried to have fun and stay playful. She definitely would derive no benefit from the kind of forced march a certain tv trainer advocates–I think she’d be even more wound up and batty for the rest of the day than if she had gotten no walk at all!

    • You must feel so proud of Nala when she’s able to walk without too much stress. What an accomplishment.

      And yes, those walks in nature where we can give our pups a little more slack are really special.

      Honey enjoys walking. But she really comes to live when I take off her leash in a safe place. The crazy thing is she rarely moves farther away from me than she would be on leash.

  6. Excellent post and we love the quiz. We can’t wait to see where Rae scores!

    • Oh Rae will be happy to follow you wherever you go (at least until she turns about 6-8 months old). You’ll love it.

  7. Roxy would just as soon sit on the couch, but she enjoys a little stroll. Torrey loves walking, but she doesn’t go nuts if we don’t go. She loves her frisbee, and I will do little training games with her. She is pretty mellow, and whatever is good with her.

    • I think it also helps that you and Al spend so much time around the dogs. People who leave for the office and work away from home all day aren’t providing much stimulation for their dogs.

      Torrey and Roxy have the big job of keeping track of the two of you when you work from home. And that’s probably as stimulating as any walk.

  8. Since my friend and I taught Ducky how to walk on the treadmill, it has been a lifesaver. This summer has been horrendous heat/humidity and bug wise, at least in our neck of the woods; and the treadmill helps all three of the girls burn off some energy without getting overheated. And it’s really helping with Ducky’s confidence level too. It also helps keep Callie’s hip and knee joints stay a little “fluid” and flexible so they don’t stiffen up and get too painful for her to enjoy life. We do our treadmill walks in the morning, right after the first potty break. Then, about an hour later they have their breakfast. The rest of the day we go out in the yard for about 5 minutes every hour or so (or less often if it’s super hot) to play a little bit. On days when Ducky’s at daycare, I take out the indoor chuck it toy and the Golden Girls and I play fetch in the house.

    • So glad to hear the treadmill is doing what you wanted for it. Ducky did look scared at first. But it sounds like she’s learned a little bit of courage. Good for her.

      BTW, what is an indoor chuck it toy? Does it fling nerf balls?

      • Your description of the indoor chuck-it toy is about as accurate as one gets. The handle of the launcher is shorter than the standard outdoor version; and the balls are more like nerf balls. They’re a soft and nubbly texture; and they won’t injure a dog’s mouth/teeth if caught. They also won’t break anything fragile upon impact.

        • PS. Ducky is doing great on the treadmill these days. She doesn’t panic at all any more – she just focuses on moving with the tread. And, the best part is that Shadow sees it as a way to get extra attention from me so she gets right on it now after Ducky’s finished. :-)

  9. Thanks for the fun, interesting quiz! CindyLu loves her walks, and because of the reasons you describe, not as much for the exercise itself. Re the giveaway – boy, that water looks enticing! Ahhh, bet you can’t wait to be out on it all the time. (We won’t suggest anything to Honey about the Surf ‘N Turf 😉 )

    • Cindy Lu seems like a curious girl. I can see her feeling the need to get caught up on the doings of the world on a walk.

  10. We love our variety around here! The girls enjoy walks, but they really live to play fetch, so we focus on that a bit more. I think Luke enjoys more variety too. I’m the one who could probably use daily walks!

  11. What a fun quiz! We do all kinds of activities and lots of play, so if we miss a walk one day it’s no big deal. I also like to mix things up and avoid the routine walk around the neighborhood. We jump in the car and head to a park, trails or even new neighborhood that we’ve never explored before. I definitely couldn’t be one of those people that walk their dogs at the same time and in the same place everyday. I admire their ability to stick to a schedule, but I would be bored as hell, lol!

    • I’m with you, Elaine. I could set my watch by some people in my old Ithaca neighborhood. In truth, they looked bored. And their dog looked bored.

      I suspect some people always walk the same route so they can chat on their phone without being distracted by anything interesting.

  12. The walking rule is etched in stone at my house and I’m cool with that. Only time Sam doesn’t want to walk is if it’s raining and then he acts like he’s quite abused. 😉 The only time we don’t walk is if it’s sub-zero and then we just chase each other around in the garden. He seems to know when it’s too cold. I can put loads of layers on, him not so much. By the way, how WILL you exercise Honey on the boat?

    • I guess Sam doesn’t know he’s a water dog. :)

      What is it with dogs and rain?

      As for the boat, we’ll be dinghying her to shore when we’re anchoring near land. We don’t yet know if we’ll be going far offshore since it will depend on our comfort level and Honey’s ability to potty on the boat.

      But I suspect she’ll get a decent amount of exercise climbing up and down the berths and companionway. And we’ll devise other games that work in small quarters to work her brains and her muscles.

  13. We love our walks. I only have to “think” about heading towards the leashes for the dogs to be ready and waiting by the door.

  14. Walking is as much fun for me as it is for the boys. I have so many new friends because we walk so often. There’s different places we go on different days and we’re able to reconnect with those same people we haven’t seen since last we walked. Harley is a sniffer, he loves to smell everything while Jax just loves being outside. Walks are great for all.

  15. The Aussies score a 24! But we knew that. Fun quiz.

  16. Bahahaha – I laughed when I read one of the possible answers “my dog is part potato…”.

    Sometimes I think I created a monster when it comes to hiking/going to the park. Blueberry used to HATE going (she’d run out the dog door to the back yard when she saw me reach for the leash) and so I kept it short, light, and fun until she finally realized what a great adventure it can be. She is pretty laid back, but the score I got was 20 – so I’m thinking I need to take her for walks as often as possible. Of course, in this heat, I tend to skip more days than I do when the weather is prime. I try to get her out at least 5 days a week. I know it is mentally stimulating for her even if it is so hot we just end up sitting at a park bench while she watches the bunnies or we slowly meander throughout the picnic areas for a half hour or so. I always justify it by telling myself it gives her good material for her dreams. It’s gotta be true, because on the days when she’s seen a lot of interesting critters – that’s when she has the most active dreams!

  17. I love my walks, whatever the weather – and the bipeds always enjoy it. It’s a special time to be together – I get to sniff and enjoy my favourite places, explore new ones.
    I almost always get at least one walk in the day, but I’m not the type of dog that climbs the walls if my walk has to be missed for some reason.

  18. This was so much fun! I got a 15 for Mauja and a 16 for Atka. Mauja and Atka like their walks, but it’s not a big deal if we miss a day. They’re just as happy to snuggle on the couch :)

    I laughed out loud at number 7. “I could put a liver treat under my dog’s bed and he’d never notice it was there.” I’m constantly telling them, “goodness gracious use your noses!” 😉