Walking your dog should be a pleasant experience for both of you, but unfortunately it can often turn into a battle of wills that leaves you feeling stressed and annoyed. There’s a right way and a wrong way to walk your four-legged friend--here’s the ‘right’ way to walk your dog.
Start as you mean to go on
Start each walk by having your dog come to you, not the other way around. By establishing that you are the pack leader, your dog will be more likely to fall in line when you go outside. Grab the leash and wait for your dog to approach you, then make him wait, either sitting or standing, while you attach the leash.
Don’t let your dog rush out the door. In fact, don’t let your dog get ahead of you at all. A properly trained dog will stay beside or slightly behind you. This is because of your role as ‘pack leader’ and it will help your dog feel more comfortable and confident during the walk.
Keep your dog’s attention
Whether you keep treats in your pocket for the walk or you just patiently keep your dog’s attention focused on you by verbal commands, keep him focused. An excited, unfocused dog can get distracted and could even dart into the path of danger. Do what you need to in order to keep your pet’s attention on you and your commands.
Be a confident leader
Don’t let your own distractions cause your dog to lose confidence in you as pack leader. Walk tall, keep your dog close, and never let him drag you or pull the lead. Retractable leashes can make this last part hard, so stick to standard leashes if possible.
Don’t let your dog mark territory
Let your dog have a few minutes to do his business before you begin your actual walk. Don’t let him get away with marking territory just for the sake of it. Keep him focused and moving so he’s not tempted to leave his scent every few feet.
For more tips on walking your dog, visit the Bark Busters blog regularly.