Menu

You may or may not have heard the term “Lassie Effect,” but did you know that it has two meanings? In the older sense, it refers to a particular breed — like a collie — becoming popular because of a film or TV show.  It’s named after that famous television dog Lassie, of course, but the effect has been seen with other breeds. For example, there was a surge in popularity of a certain breed after the film Beverly Hills Chihuahua was released.

But there’s another meaning to “Lassie Effect,” that’s becoming more popular, and it refers to the positive health benefits that our dogs can have on us by inspiring us to get out and exercise, particularly by getting us to walk more. Walking has a lot of advantages, including weight loss, decreased risk of certain diseases, and promotion of positive mental states.

Having a dog would seem like the easiest way possible to encourage people to walk more, especially given that the Walk is Cesar’s number one method for achieving harmony and balance in the pack. However, studies show that this is not always the case. While people who do walk their dogs regularly are far more likely to meet suggested exercise requirements, here’s the catch: as many of 40% of dog owners do not walk their dogs nearly enough or at all.

Researchers have looked at the factors that contribute to someone walking their dog enough, too little, or not at all. Positive factors that led to people walking included having medium or large dogs, having adopted the dog specifically for a hobby, and (perhaps surprisingly) allowing the dog to lie on the furniture. Negative factors included having small dogs weighing less than 30 pounds, having multiple dogs, playing chase games with them, and allowing dogs to lie on laps.

One of the most interesting and counter-intuitive negative factors is number of people in the household, particularly children: The more people there were, the less likely the dog was to get walked. A likely reason for this was passing of responsibility, with everyone assuming that everyone else was taking care of the dog-walking needs.

If you’re already walking your dog at least twice a day for thirty minutes at a time, then congratulations! You’re doing it right. If you’re not, there are ways you can make the walk more interesting in order to help motivate you. If it’s not a matter of interest but rather difficulty in walking your dog, then there are other steps you can take — and a professional dog walker should always be an option if you’re not physically capable of walking the dog yourself.

While dogs can be good for our health, our participation in their regular exercise is absolutely vital to theirs, both mentally and physically. We can add so much to each other’s lives, as long as we stop coming up with reasons to avoid the Lassie effect and just get out and go.

Do you walk your dogs enough or are there reasons stopping you? Let us know in the comments!

0

Comment on the Story Below

Related Posts

Jul 31, 2015

Dog Constipation: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

As one of the most common digestive problems among animals, constipation — the difficulty or...
Jun 18, 2015

Obsessive Dog Hoards My Things

Dear Cesar, My bright, affectionate six-month-old Golden Retriever named Kipper was crate-trained very early and...
Nov 03, 2015

7 Of The Healthiest Dog Breeds

Want a healthy and happy dog? Your best plan of action is to give whatever...
Comments – Rules , Boundaries & Limitations

At Cesar’s Way , we strive to be a single pack, and packs have rules, and limitations. Here are ours for the comments:

  •  No bullying or harassment of fellow commenters. Keep it civil!
  • No foul language or obscenities, please.
  • No posting of external links

Also, please note that because of volume , we are unable to respond to individual comments, although we do watch them in order to learn what issues and questions are most common so that we can produce content that fulfills your needs. You are welcome to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions among yourselves, however Thank you for reading our articles and sharing your thoughts with the pack!

Trending Today

Trending This Week