Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Do Dogs Suffer From Nature Deficit Disorder?

We're having a quiet Tuesday night; the dogs are on various comfy surfaces (dog bed, human bed, couch) and I'm curled up ready to settle down with a book (I'm re-reading Merle's Door). We spent a couple hours this afternoon enjoying one of our favourite, isolated, secret dog off-leash spots. I know that I feel better after a short time out in the fresh air, feeling the sun on my skin, walking among the trees. A few minutes of unplugged stillness can feel like an eternity.

My dogs' dad, Eric, says that he believes that modern day dogs need to reconnect with nature, to counter nature deficit disorder. I can't help but think he is on to something, with the huge improvement in behaviour and overall happiness my dogs seem to have as a result of our increased time spent in un-organized, get-back-to-nature hikes where dogs just get to be dogs. Yes it's hard to find those places, especially in a dense urban area, and even more so with a reactive dog. I've made it my mission to find as many secret places where we can all let loose and reconnect with the dirt.