Dogs love to go for walks: it’s a simple fact of life. Depending on the breed, a dog might require up to a full half hour of walking every single day, or even more for energetic breeds.
There are many simple mistakes that people can make when dog walking that allow their dogs to become less obedient, and unaware of who the true master is – you!
• The first mistake is allowing your dog to have more control over the walking than yourself. Almost everyone who has ever walked a dog has had the experience of one that just can’t stop pulling on the leash and nearly bringing you down with it! The issue is, if you let this continue happening, the dog will see itself as the “pack leader”, when it is you who should be the pack leader. Try to make sure you are walking in front of your dog or directly beside it, so that it is you who is controlling the situation. Using a shorter leash will also give you more control, and might be useful when trying to train an over-enthusiastic puppy.
• When walking your dog, it is important that your dog knows the appropriate way to meet and greet other dogs and people. While a dog that jumps on others might seem loving and endearing, the fact of the matter is a lot of people don’t like it, and it really is not an appropriate way for your pooch to be behaving. Make sure you train your dog; that it will sit on command, and that he knows that this is what they must do in order to earn attention and praise. By practising this at home, your dog will soon get the idea and will be much better behaved when they meet some new friends out on walks.
If you spend all your walks trying to mould your dog into the perfect pooch, that won’t be much fun for either of you! Make sure you reward your dog for good behaviour, whether it be through treats, pats, or by giving your dog some time to explore the area around them. By giving your dog a reward, they will associate that with the good behaviour they have just exhibited, and it will become second-nature to him.
This might seem like a lot of work, especially in the busy lifestyle of most people today, but if you’re struggling to work out just how to set the right amount of time to walk your dog, remember – you could always hire a professional dog walker like those of us at Urban Paws! Not only will it make life a lot easier for you, chances are your dog will end up more healthy, obedient, and most importantly – happy!