Dogs can bring immense joy to any household. However, raising dogs comes with a series of responsibilities that any owner should always keep in mind when considering getting a pet.
Every day, you’ll need to schedule at least one walking session, especially if you have a large breed dog with a lot of energy to burn.
Don’t know where to start with proper leash training?
Here are some useful dog walking tips that will ensure a pleasant and safe experience for you and your beloved pooch.
Train Them from the Start
As soon as your new companion arrives at your home, you need to start training them in obedience.
People say puppies learn tricks and commands easier than old dogs, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to discipline an adult dog if you end up welcoming one into your home. You can still teach them basic commands if you have enough patience and lots of treats. With positive reinforcement, you can set boundaries that will become useful not only inside the house but when you go for a walk, too.
Once your dog starts responding to basic commands, it’s crucial that you reinforce them while you walk with them.
In some situations, your pet’s safety will rely on their obedience and ability to follow your commands, whether you’re waiting for a traffic light to turn green or when another dog crosses in front of you.
Always have some of their favorite treats in your pocket to reward their good behavior.
In case you’re out of sausages or dog treats, rely on verbal praise and physical contact to positively reinforce good behaviors as soon as they happen.
Choose the Right Leash for Your Dog
Depending on where you intend to walk your dog, you’ll need to choose the proper leash to keep them safe from any hazards.
Maybe you have the option to go to a dog park, or you’ll need to walk through high-traffic areas around the city.
In any case, you need to assess your situation before purchasing just any leash. Most experts agree that retractable leashes aren’t optimal if your pooch always pulls on the tether when walking, but if you go to an open area, they can help you maintain control over your pup’s movement while giving them more freedom to explore their surroundings.
Some owners prefer to use their dog’s collar to connect the leash while walking, but if your dog starts to pull, they can easily choke.
Nowadays, there are many no-pull harnesses available at most pet stores that are meant to prevent this situation. If you’re unsure of what would be the best leash for your dog, this guide can help you select the best option depending on your pet’s size and breed. The collar or harness should fit your dog comfortably, even if their weight or fur volume fluctuates between seasons, and the leash should offer a firm grip as well.
Set a Daily Routine
Dogs need to feel safe, and the best way to achieve this is by setting daily routines for them.
Some people may prefer to walk their pets before starting their workday, so in that case, you should find a way to fit regular walks in your fur baby’s morning routine.
On the other hand, if you would rather take them out after you get off work, you can dedicate 30 minutes in the afternoon for dog walking. That way, your pet would know that once you come home from work, they can look forward to sniffing the grass and running around at the park.
The important part here is to always set boundaries when they get too excited and reward them with treats, ear rubs, or verbal praise.
Once you’re out and about on your walk, you don’t have to be so strict with your schedule. Try to give your dog some time to sniff their surroundings so they can recognize their environment and regular walking route, and once you’re ready to continue moving, give them their respective command to start walking again.
Understanding your dog’s cues and behavior will become much easier once they become able to predict how you will act throughout the day.
Respect Other Dogs and Their Owners
Maybe you don’t mind other people approaching your pooch because they are quite social and friendly, but not all dogs are the same. That is why you must make sure that you always ask for permission from other dog owners to approach their pets.
Sometimes, other animals aren’t friendly when other dogs get close to them in outdoor areas or get too overprotective over their owners.
Other times, people could be trying to train their dogs to obey them in a distracting environment, and their pooches may get extremely nervous around your pet, which often results in aggressive behavior. In any case, aggression in dogs can lead to tragedies if you push their limits, and it’s best to respect other animals’ boundaries when walking your dog outside. Before introducing your dog to stressful situations, teach them to always listen to your commands in quiet and secure spaces.
Once they get the hang of it, slowly start ramping up the distractions with the help of friends and family, and always keep delicious treats at hand to reward the desired behaviors your pooch displays.
The final test could be going to the nearest park and observing how your fur baby behaves when they see strangers or other animals around.
Always be prepared to leave the area in case things don’t go as expected since your dog’s safety has to come first. A happy and healthy dog requires mental and physical stimulation. By taking them on daily walks, you can help them release their pent-up energy, get some exercise, and stay mentally and physically engaged.
Ultimately, this will improve your bond with your furry companion. Dogs require serious commitment, but in return, they give unconditional love and support to their owners.
Making time in your busy schedule for your fur baby is the least you can do for humankind’s best friend.