According to the Times post, the participants were given the choice of walking with a human or a dog as the companion. Ms. Johnson said the dog walkers were far more consistent in sticking with the program than those who were walking with humans.
“In the human walking group, they were regularly discouraging each other from walking,” she said. “Missouri is a hot state. We would hear them saying: ‘It’s hot today. I don’t want to walk, do you?” Yet the response from the walkers in the dog-walking group was very different.
“When the people came to the animal shelter, they bounced off the bus and said, ‘Where’s my dog?” Ms. Johnson said. “And the dogs never gave any discouragement from walking.” Ms. Johnson said she suspects differences will show up in other areas, like depression and anxiety, although that data are still under review and the final study has not yet been published.
So what’s your take? Do you use dog-walking time for exercise? Or do you have better success being motivated by a human companion?