6 Tips for Walking Your Dog Like a Pro
Taking your dog for a walk is supposed to be an enjoyable way for you and your pup to get some exercise. It should be something you both look forward to when you get up in the morning and at the end of a long workday. Unfortunately, taking your dog for a walk can end up being a really stressful experience for everyone if your pup is constantly pulling, barking, and lunging at squirrels.
If this sounds like you, listen up. Animal Planet’s Cesar Millan has some pro tips on how to master the dog walk and make your daily strolls something you actually like to do.
Walk with your dog behind or next to you Allowing your pup to lead your walks makes him think he’s in charge. Training your dog to walk by your side or behind you allows you to be seen as the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one back in.
Use a short leash When walking your dog, a short leash allows you to have more control. A retractable or long leash gives your pup a whole lot of freedom to roam around, making it difficult for you to communicate, guide, and give corrections.
Give your dog enough time Cesar recommends setting aside 30 minutes to an hour each morning to give your pup enough time to stretch his legs. However, the specific needs of each dog will vary. Keep an eye on his behavior to see if more or less time is necessary.
Reward your pup during the walk Good walking behavior merits special rewards. Once your dog has followed your cues to walk nicely behind or alongside you, reward him by allowing him to relieve himself and sniff around. You need to decide when reward time is over.
Keep leading after the walk Your dog’s focus should remain on you when you get home. Have him wait patiently as you remove his leash and take off your shoes. Establish a command such as “Free!” to let your dog know he can leave your side.
Reward your dog after the walk Wait to give your dog breakfast and/or dinner until after you’ve returned from your walk. By doing so, you have allowed your pup to “work” for food and water. Plus, he’ll probably be pretty hungry after a rigorous romp around the block!
Are you struggling with walking your dog, or do you have some tips that could help others have a more positive experience? Share with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!