Eliminating potential problems:
Dogs love to exert boundless energy and instinctively sense when someone is their leader — or not.
Dogs are highly social animals and respond to a designated leader in any living environment. So there’s no better way to assert your leadership outside of the home than on a routine dog walk.
Aside from the obvious health benefits, dog-walking will allow you to earn his trust in you — especially when he sees you taking care of both of you when you’re out in the community. Just remember — allocate time just for you and him, and remain calm and focused.
Here are some tips to take on board when you’re walking the beat:
- Never let your dog walk ahead of you or allow him to pull on his leash. He must walk by your side.
- Make sure that his collar sits at the top of the neck so that you have more control during the walk. During my in-home training session, I will discuss the various collars that would be suitable for your dog.
- Never allow your dog to sniff around gardens, trees, and bushes without your permission. And reward him for his good behaviour with a pit stop full of new experiences — even have a few treats on hand.
- It’s important that your leash is short and your dog’s head remains upright with his eyes focused on the path ahead.
- Don’t grip the leash as your dog will assume that you’re nervous and are no longer leading.
- If your dog suddenly stops or begins to pant, notice the signs. Check his paws and give him some water. Immediately consult with your vet if he remains unwell.
- Avoid talking on your phone or chatting with other pedestrians for any extended period. The walk is about your special time with him.
Here I am with Toby in Berrima outside The General Store and Cafe and Stones Patisserie! This was one pit stop where Toby rewarded me for my good behaviour — a caramel treat and coffee with Stones Patisserie’s owner, Megan.
If you decide to take a break, make sure that the cafe (like Stone’s) is dog-friendly and comes with special drinking bowls and a shaded place for your dog to rest. Please view my blog on Taking the Lead.
Do join us and join in the conversation on Google+, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Also, visit the Doggie Barber in Moss Vale for any grooming services. Thank you to the Doggie Barber’s owner, Rose for allowing me to demonstrate some walking techniques with her dog, Toby.