3 Top Tips to a Great Dog Walk

You may think that walking a dog is a piece of cake. For some owners it is, but for those who have a dog that gets over-excited, pulls, barks, lunges or is aggressive to other dogs it meets, a simple dog walk can turn into a regular ordeal. This often can lead to the dog getting fewer or shorter walks, not enough exercise and the problem spirals.

So, here are my top 3 tips for creating a calmer, safe more enjoyable dog walking experience:

  1. Commit to understanding what your own dog’s challenges are and working to overcome them. All dogs have their own personalities and issues. Perhaps they weren’t properly socialised with other dogs when they were a puppy or for the first 18 months of their life? If this is the case then they’ll not have learnt the skills necessary to interact properly with other dogs. They’re likely to feel fearful and vulnerable which often manifests itself in barking and lunging at other dogs. Their best defence is the offence – I’ll get you before you get me.
  2. Lead the walk. Don’t allow your dog to pull you wherever they want to go. Training many dogs to walk on a loose leash takes a lot of time and patience. Enrol in training classes and practice keeping them at your side. If they walk in front move in another direction and when they’re back at your side reward them. Be consistent on every walk and if you don’t have time to do the training then don’t take them out. Consistency, calmness and patience is what you’ll need in bucket loads, but once they’ve cracked it every walk will be a pleasure.
  3. Learn the ‘U Turn’ and don’t let your dog say hello to every dog. Often the best way to avoid trouble is to simply turn around and go in the opposite direction to any dogs you’d rather not socialise with. Just like people your dog will not feel comfortable around every dog it meets and a good practice to get into is to teach your dog to ‘Turn’ on your command. As with all training, practice in the house where it’s quiet to teach your dog to Turn and continue to train them until they can do it when you’re out and about. Then you’ve got  great tool in your box for avoiding situations rather than trying to manage them once you’re in them.

For help with dog walking or any of my home pet sitting services contact me today. I cover Thirsk, Northallerton and surrounding areas.