Dog Walking Tips
We all should totally be walking our dogs at least once a day, but most of us dog owners simply don’t walk them daily. I’m guilt of this and I’ll admit that one of my dogs goes for a walk 5-7 days a week. She’s easily the best dog I own that can walk on a leash. My Aussie goes on walks/runs about 2-4 days a week, which is decent but still not as often as it should be. My third dog, honestly she can’t function walking on a leash and she’s our smallest pup. Is this bad, maybe. It’s good for your dog’s health to go on walks daily. Walking your dog isn’t just good for you, but it’s good for them too. Are you up for some dog walking?
Does your dog pull?
If you can easily and quickly answer YES to this, then totally read some of these tips and advice I have gotten per my own dogs, dog trainers, and other dog owners.
A lot of dog owners I know have issues with their dogs pulling and have tried the harness where the leash clips in the front.
“Getting a front clip harness has helped with my dog pulling, then again she’s only 12 pounds. I can’t speak about it working for larger dogs.” -Neighbor
Quite a few people I know have “aggressive breeds” and recommend using a prong collar. This can be viewed as cruel, but if used properly it can be a great learning tool. Please be sure to know how to properly use this tool and do plenty of research. Improper use can be harmful and injure your dog. Please understand, I’m not promoting this type of tool, but simply mentioning it as a training option.
One other idea, that I still use if my dog gets too excited and tries to pull, is simply stopping. I stop moving completely, put my dog into a SIT and have them calm down before returning to walking again. At first this took so long to become effective. My dog simply went from a sit, resumed to a walk and immediately started pulling. So again I had to stop and get her to SIT and calm down. She did pick up on it but it did take time and effort as does training with any dog.
Obviously different technique and training tools are to be determined by you, the owner, and how your dog is willing to learn. The right tool may not quickly solve the pulling problem with your dog. Be sure to devote time and effort and work patiently with your dog on this issue.
Walking your dog isn’t simply good exercise for them but it’s also a great way to help them with mental stimulation. Allowing your dog to sniff and smell the area it’s being walked is a good thing. Typically a walk is their only time outside in areas unknown to them. You don’t have to allow them to stop and sniff something every 5 steps but you can decide when and where they can sniff and be sure it’s in a safe area.
This allows your dog to find out what’s going on in the neighborhood and provides them information that we humans wouldn’t understand. A quick brisk walk around the neighborhood is nothing compared to a walk with breaks to sniff everything. You’ll be surprised at how much more exhausted a dog will be after a walk with ‘sniff’ breaks. By giving your dog a few more minutes to sniff around, you can make their walk more enjoyable and enriching.
Say NO to a retractible leash
Need a good leash for your dog? Do not go for a retractible leash. Go for one that is either a 4 ft or a 6 ft leash as those are standard easy to find lengths for a dog leash. A retractible leash can provide hazards compared to a typical traditional leash. If the dog being walked ends up running into the street, a retractible leash isn’t easy to reel in. Retractible leashes can also cause your fingers or hand to burn if you try pulling it in because the lock malfunctioned and didn’t work to stop the leash for you. If your dog pulls while walking, a retractible leash isn’t the answer because you are rewarding him for pulling by giving more leash.
Overall, it’s easier to keep control while using a traditional leash instead of a retractible leash. Personally I love using rope leashes and typically get a 6 ft leash but I also love traffic leads as well! I also have this lead which is a 6 ft leash but can easily turn into a traffic leash as well.
Whenever you let your dog outside, they should be wearing a tag that has your phone number on it & the name of the dog. This ensures that they can be given back to the proper owner. If you don’t want a tag because they fall off easily, you can (and should) opt for a collar that has the phone number stitched into it.
Another way to help others identify your dog is by getting them microchipped. This is quickly and easily done at a vet’s office. Be sure to register the chip number and keep it up to date. Microchips have helped reunite dogs that have gotten hundreds of miles away.
High Value Treats
Brining along high value treats especially if planning to do some training is important. These treats will help keep your dog focused on you. Treats also provide much needed positive reinforcement. You don’t even have to go out and buy treats for them as you can easily use something such as a carrots or apples. Be sure to check which fruits and veggies are safe for your dog here or searching google. Another good treat is chopped up meat or chicken as most dogs love eating meats.
This tip is good to keep focus when they see a squirrel and want to play or see another dog or even a person walking by they wish to greet but you want them to focus more on the walk and learn to ignore others.
What are your dog walking tips?
Do you let your dog sniff around during the walks? Do you have other tips I should include on dog walking? Comment them below.