Walking is one of the most important and anticipated activities for your dog. There are a lot of benefits that your furry friend can get from just a simple walking session. Not only does it provide essential physical exercise and the time for them to relieve themselves, but it also offers the chance to strengthen the bond between you two.
While walking your pooch seems like a straightforward task, note that there are many bad habits that dogs can get into. You’ve probably seen dog owners struggle to walk their canine outside when they get wild and out of control. You certainly don’t want to be in this situation. The good news is, you can prevent all of these from happening by nipping bad habits in the bud.
Pulling at the leash
This is probably the most common bad habit that some canines do when outside walking. Dogs pull for many reasons. It could be that you’re moving too slow, or that they’re just so excited and want to run.
More often than not, dog owners get nervous when this happens, and they naturally react to what seems to be the right way of dealing with it: letting their dog pull the leash and lead the way. However, this kind of behavior should be avoided as it will give them the idea that pulling the leash is acceptable behavior. You also want to prevent having a tug of war with your four-legged companion, which can be physically exhausting. If you have a small pooch, you’ll probably win the battle. However, some larger, stronger breeds will really pull you around.
Ideally, you want to minimize this behavioral issue before going outside for a walk, as they can get seriously hurt. Too much pulling can cause injuries to the neck, especially with smaller dogs.
Solutions to excessive leash pulling:
The best solution to this problem is to have your furry friend well trained on leash. Obedience training and mastering proper walking behavior will make your walking sessions a lot more pleasant. Always use positive reinforcement when training your dog.
If your pooch doesn’t have the proper training just yet, you should use the right equipment when walking with them. Opt for a harness instead of a standard or retractable collar. Harnesses are more effective in stopping dogs from pulling as they give you more control over their body, plus it puts less strain on their neck. A front-clip harness is a good option as its designed to prevent your dog from pulling.
Not wanting to move or moving too much
Did you know that dog has around 300 million scent receptors? We humans have only six million, which means that dogs have very keen senses of smell. It explains why canines sniff around a lot when they’re outside as it’s their primary way of experiencing the world. You should, therefore, allow your dog to sniff around and really experience their environment. Not only will they enjoy it, but it gives them the mental stimulation they otherwise wouldn’t get at home.
Now, what if they’re doing the exact opposite by staying still and refusing to move? Before you get annoyed, check your pooch and see if there’s anything else in the environment going on. Dogs will usually stop for a reason. It could be that they are hurt or tired, so make sure you check on them carefully when this occurs.
Solutions to moving too much or not enough:
The best way to limit your pooch from smelling everything is to have your cue training on point. Cues such as “leave it” and “stop” can help get their attention back on you.
Walking your pup can be an exhausting activity for your pooch. This is true especially when they’re very excited, and forget to drink.
Dehydration can lead to other serious consequences. Make sure you always have plenty of water on the walk for both of you.
Barking when seeing other dogs or animals
No one wants their pup to be constantly barking when inside or outside. Not only is it unpleasant for you, but also for others around. Dogs bark for many reasons. It can range from seeing other canines or animals, reacting to loud noises, or when they feel threatened. When you’re walking your dog outside, there’s a pretty high chance that there will be something that triggers them, so you need to be aware and ready to react.
Teach your furry friend heel exercises. This type of exercise teaches your dog how to calmly walk next to you. The Heel exercise can also avoid distractions that can trigger them to bark.
Find out what makes them bark and train them out of doing this. You can also choose to walk them somewhere where there is less chance of distraction. For example, if your dog barks when in crowded places, pick a destination where it’s quiet and away from noises.
It’s important to know that canines pee not only when they need to relieve themselves, but also to communicate with other dogs. It’s a way to mark their territory and let other canines know about their presence. Doggies can also find out a lot about their fellow canines by the smell of their urine. The scent can reveal their age and gender. This is also another reason why they tend to sniff a lot when exploring the outdoors.
You shouldn’t be too strict when it comes to this, as it’s a fairly natural activity in their world. Give some opportunity for your canine to sniff around and leave their mark. In doing so, you’re letting them get the most out of each walk. However, you also don’t want them to be sniffing all the time as this can really slow down your walk. To limit the frequency, you can sharpen their potty training and responsiveness to cues. When they listen to you, it’ll be easy to get them to focus on you and continue with the walk.
Other important dog walking tips
Stay focussed when walking your dog
While walking your pooch can become tedious, zoning out on your phone is never a good idea. Not paying attention to your pooch can pose many dangers. Instead, you should take advantage of every walking session because this is the perfect time to practice your dog’s training program and strengthen your bond with them.
How often you should walk your dog all depends on the type of dog you have. But in general, it’s recommended to at least walk your dog once a day for around 30 minutes – two hours.
Always clean up after your dog’s poop
You may have experienced stepping on a dog’s poop, and you know it isn’t pleasant. So when you walk your canine, put yourself in other people’s shoes. Always clean up after your dog’s mess, so that no one will experience this unwanted moment. Bring some compostable dog poop bags and throw them away in a designated bin.
Train your pooch with a professional
Once a bad habit has been formed, it’s really hard to eliminate. Therefore, it’s important you stick to your routines and stay patient. If you’re still struggling, it might be time to bring them into an obedience class at The Dog Stop.
The Dog Stop offers a variety of classes and a dog walking service. Remember that walking is a precious time for both you and your pooch. You can get the most out of the activity by getting your furry friend ready for it. Once your canine has all the training in place, walking your pooch outside will be one of the most anticipated activities for you too! Picture you and your dog walking side by side calmly. You can even achieve what all dog owners want: walking off-leash. All of these desired acts are achievable through proper training.
Check out our site for more details and talk to one of our staff about which classes are best for your doggy.