Updated: Jul 10
Let's talk about walking your dog.
First, I want you to ask yourself are you walking your dog or is your dog walking you? If you are being dragged then we both know the answer to that one. Don't lie to yourself. If you have to keep your arm tense and not relaxed at your side then your dog is also walking you.
Tip 1: Walk beside your dog. Pick a side, left or right and stay on that side. Everyone in the house needs to walk the dog the exact same way. I cannot stress this enough. Walking beside your dog or even having your dog slightly behind you allows you to be seen as the pack leader. If your dog controls you on the walk, he's the pack leader. If you want to take it a set further, you should even be the first one out the door and the first one in. Simply, have your dog sit and wait at the door. This also builds impulse control in the dog.
Tip 2: How to reward your dog during the walk. If and only if your dog has been good on the walk, meaning no constant pulling, excessive barking, and other undesirable behaviors then you can release your dog by saying "okay," "free," or "lets go." This signals the dog that he is allowed to leave the heel position and move to a more casual position in front of you or another position he desires. Remember he only gets this time if he was good. If you give the dog his free time then you are rewarding his undesired behavior.
Tip 3: Use a short leash- 5 or 6 ft. Throw away the retractable leashes. When walking your dog the leash should be loose and make a "J" shape. Having a constant tension on the leash only makes the dog pull more. Just remember tight loose bad, loose leash good.
Tip 4: Give yourself enough time for the walk. Walking in the mornings and evenings is ideal. We recommend setting aside at least 30-60 minute a day just to walk your dog. Also, take in consideration of the age, health, breed, and physical condition of the dog.
Tip 5: Keep leading even after the walk. When you get home, don't stop leading. Have your dog patiently wait while you put away his leash and even take off your shoes. A release command is used here too.
Tip 6: Reward your dog after the walk. Treating your dog after a walk or providing a meal afterwards means you have allowed your dog to work for his food.
If you need help walking your dog contact us. Stop pulling today and ask about our Leash Manners class. We will teach you how to properly hold a leash, discuss equipment (flat collar, harness, or prong collar), practice heeling exercises, and teach your dog to automatically sit when you stop. This is a 60 minute session at our location only.
Willow, is our new board and train student. This was her first time practicing her loose leash walking outside.