Most dogs require a lot of exercise and unfortunately, like a lot of humans, they do not get enough. Walking your dog on a daily basis will help both of you. In fact, they are probably the best walking buddy you could ask for. As you and your dog get into a walking routine they will get used to it. You will notice that they will start reminding you of the walk just like when they need to go out for a restroom break. Here are a few tips to make your walks as successful as possible.
1. Start early.
You should start walking your dog when they are puppies. This means they need to get used to their collar and leash. At this stage avoid bulky designer collars and leashes. You need to find something that is very light weight and comfortable. After they are used to their collar attach their leash and let them drag it around your yard or a safe area (while supervising them). This may take some time. After they forget about the leash pick up your end and start training them to walk beside you.
2. Loose leash training.
Walking your dog on a loose leash means that they walk beside you with no pulling from you or your dog. This is much harder than it sounds. Dogs are usually eager to go outside and become very excited and energetic. Their first instinct will be to pull you out of the door and down the street or pathway. In return, your first instinct will be to pull back. Then the tug-of-war battle begins. This will discourage you and could potentially hurt your dog. By starting loose leash training with your puppy you can avoid this. Your puppy will not pull as much and will be more of a follower than a leader. Use this for your advantage and start training them at an early age. Train daily.
3. Pick the right leash.
There are many leashes on the market including standard, long, retractable, bungee, and slip leads. Generally, a standard leash is the way to go. You will have the right amount of control especially for training your dog to walk beside you. Long leashes are used in special training situations. Retractable leashes will teach your dog to leave you and could also let your dog get too close to unwilling humans or an aggressive animal. Slip leads can hurt your dog’s neck or strangle them.
4. Reward and praise.
If your dog is doing a great job, and is not pulling, reward them often and give them a lot of praise. This will let them know they are doing an excellent job and that they should keep up the good work!
5. Stay off other people’s lawns.
In certain times of the year homeowners do work on their yard. Most of the products that are used are highly poisonous to people and animals. Some are so dangerous that even humans are not supposed to walk on the area for at least 24 to 48 hours. You would never know because the products generally do not make the grass look different. By keeping off other people’s lawns you can avoid the threat altogether. In addition, some home owners may not want your dog in their yard for many reasons.
6. Pick up the poop.
Don’t be that dog owner. You know, the one that leaves surprises for everyone on the path and (or) in common areas. Take a doggy poop bag with you on every walk. You can buy bags that are especially for the purpose, small cheap trash bags, or recycle bags from the grocery store. This will make sure that children and others sharing the same space will have a nice time as well.
7. Continue on.
With hectic schedules and colder days it is easy to just stay home. Instead, continue your walking schedule. It’s not only good for them, it’s good for you. Exercise will help you get through those hectic days with more energy and joy.
Contact us if you need help or more information about anything you have read. Enjoy the walks and stay safe!