As excited as dogs may be about their daily walks, their owners may not share their enthusiasm. And this is understandable considering the fact that they’re dragged behind their dogs in an undignified, cartoon-like manner. If you’re tired of being walked by Fido, you’ll need to enroll him in dog obedience training. That way, he’ll learn how to walk properly and you’ll be spared from the unnecessary exercise (or should you?).
Until your dog starts behavior training for dogs, though, here are some tips to help you walk him the right way.
Understand Your Pooch’s Energy and Body Language
Dogs are pack animals, so expect yours to act as the leader if you don’t. In short, you’ll be dragged unless you show him who the boss around here is. To do so, keep your head up and shoulders pack and think positive thoughts or else he’ll detect weakness and show his superiority.
Walk in Front of Your Dog
You need to be ahead of your dog to ascertain your position as the leader. By letting him walk ahead, you’ll allow him to control you since you’re showing him that he’s the alpha in this relationship. So be the first one out of the door and the first one in.
Keep Your Dog’s Leash Short but Loose
Your dog’s leash is the communication channel you’ll be using throughout. However, flexi-leashes and longer leashes can make it harder to communicate your direction, forcing her to lead you instead. Therefore, go for a short leash but make sure that it isn’t tight. A loose leash allows you to correct your pooch’s behavior without hurting her.
Keep Your Dog’s Collar at the Top of His Neck
Sledding dogs usually have their harnesses around the lower part of their necks because that’s where their pulling power is. So if you keep his collar in that area, expect to be pulled around eventually. To make sure that your walk is enjoyable, place the collar on his sensitive upper neck. Now you may have trouble keeping the color there, so don’t hesitate to get the help of a dog behaviorist to learn how to keep his collar from slipping.
Don’t Rush Your Dog’s Walk
Luckily, dogs are diurnal, which means that you can walk them in the morning easily. However, you’ll need to set aside 30-60 minutes a day to ensure that your dog doesn’t grow too excited whenever you go out. Besides, spending time with your dog outside allows you to bond, making her more attentive to your instructions.
Reward Your Dog While Walking
If Fido walked the way you wanted him to, don’t forget to reward him. However, rather than stuffing your pockets with treats, reward your pooch by allowing him to relieve himself and sniff around a little. Just remember to decide when reward time is over since you’re the leader.
Feed Your Pooch after Your Walk
Reward your dog for behaving well during the walk by giving her a meal. Basically, you’re allowing your pooch food and water in return for “work”. This will show her that you’re happy and ensure no trouble during future walks.
If you need more help, don’t hesitate to have in home dog training professionals lend you a helping hand. Trust us; you’ll need the help you can get, especially if your pooch is a big, bad ol’ boy.