Taking your dog for a walk is a piece of cake right?In a perfect world he calmly walks by your side or slightly behind you barely paying attention to other animals and people.Unfortunately, this is usually far from the truth.No matter where we walk our dogs we need to teach them manners and respect.That way the walks are pleasant instead of stressful.Here are some tips to keep in mind when walking your dog(s).
- When you reach for the leashes your dog(s) must remain calm.The leash is a treat meaning you get to go outside.In this way it is a reward.Your dog shouldn’t get the reward until it is calm.Even if Fido starts to wiggle around as you go to clip the leash on, you stand back up straight till they can keep calm the entire time.
- You are the alpha dog-pack leader.This means you leave out the door first.Your dog(s) must sit in front of the door, with it open, not moving.When you go through the door and say okay, that is when Fido is allowed to follow you.This starts the walk on a nice calm note!If you let an excited dog exit your house into the even more exciting outdoors you will not have control of your dog.
- Fido must walk beside or behind you.There is no pulling on the leash.If he pulls you give pops of the leash to control him.Pulling will only increase his need to pull back.That is why there must be strong, quick corrections.If Fido is too wound up, or if you have a puppy that is really testing you, stop and make them sit.When they are calm and the focus is back on you, go again.This may need to be repeated many times.
- Fido is not allowed to jump on anyone or anything.When meeting another animal, child, etc. Fido can sniff and hesitate.If there is any more interest then that have him sit and wait for the dog/child/bike/etc. to pass by or come say hi.
- Many dogs love to chase things that are really moving like runners, skateboarders and such.Sometimes it is simply for fun and stimulation and it is their instinct to chase moving objects.That is where the leash is handy.You have control of your dog.You can speed up your pace to help avoidance, use a treat for a distraction, or simply make Fido sit and wait till he is calm again to move on.Above all stay calm and don’t get frustrated because that will make him anxious.
- When there is another animal on the street lose you must unleash your inner pack leader and claim your space.Block your dog with your body and hold your hand out at the oncoming dog.The body language is this is my dog and my space so scram!
- When your dog is afraid of something like a loud truck or someone hammering a roof, have your dog stand in one spot and wait till he sits on his own or till his ears and tail are relaxed.There instinct is to run and go the opposite direction or bark at what is scaring them.You don’t want your dog to be afraid of everything so you must force him to face his fear.This could take time so be patient.
- When entering the home it should be the same as leaving.Enter calmly and the leash comes off calmly.
The most important thing you can do is stay patient and consistent.If you give an inch a dog will take a foot.That is because they are extremely smart and it is their nature to find out where they belong in your family pack.