Walking the dog, it should be easy but often this is not the case. Many dogs are so excited about the opportunity to go for a walk they lose all sense of themselves in their excitement to get out the door. Then after an hour of pulling and dragging you down the street, they come home and wonder why you don’t want to go out again. But, it doesn’t have to be that way and following a few simple steps can see the walk becoming enjoyable for both parties!
Patience You Must Have
When the walk is first mentioned, your dog will be excited, that’s just a fact – it is their special attention time! However, waiting until they are calm and sitting will go a long way in setting the rules for the walk. If they do not calm and sit when asked, then put the lead away and do something else. Once they have calmed down, try again. Dogs are good at learning what to do for a reward and they will soon start behaving.
Losing an Arm?
Dog pulling is another sign of an over excited pooch. There are many ways to deal with this problem:
Carry a Bag Of Goodies for the Goodest Boy
No matter which level of obedience your dog has achieved, you should always reward good behaviour. Never reprimand and note that a dog’s idea of being is to look after their owner, and a treat is how we say thankyou for trying their best to please us.
- Switching directions often – this identifies you as the leader and they must follow you and not the other way around. As soon as they start pulling, turn and walk the other way. Even if you turn about many times, your doggo will soon realise they are not getting anywhere and start to relax
- Try a longer lead – this allows pooch the freedom to explore and relaxes your arms. Retractables are perfect for this. However, your dog must still be monitored near roads, using the lock function will provide control when you need to – also it’s fun to reel your dog in like a fish.
- Use a ‘control’ harness – these harnesses are specifically designed to stop dogs from pulling. They come in a few different forms:
- Leaders – control the dog from the front, perfect for reluctant walkers
- Head Halti – control the dog around the head, dogs walk with their noses and this points their nose in the right direction
- Pressure Point Harness – control the dog using specific pressure points, often under the forelegs, they retract and tighten under the legs making it uncomfortable the pull.
- Obedience Training – the most costly approach, but often the best results. Given enough time and effort your best mate could walk off leash and then allowed to run free when given the correct commands.
Keep at it!
Walk, command, treat and repeat. Consistent behaviour is respected by dogs, it allows them to understand what is happening. When you break your own rules, the dog thinks this is okay and will soon follow suit. Have clear goals for what you need from your dog when walking. You will be rewarded with a loyal companion.