Walking your dog can be an amazing exercise for both the dog and their loving owner, however, for first time owners, it can pose quite the challenge – especially if the dog is a larger breed.
It can be quite tough for smaller framed people with larger breeds to maintain control over them, keeping them still every time that they see something of interest and they desperately have the urge to run after it to check it out.
Just in case, we have some tips listed to help make your walking experience safer, both for your dog and the other animals or people that might pass you and pique your dog’s interest.
They need to obey your command before going anywhere
A simple, yet effective tactic is to make them sit before attaching their collar and leash, and ignore them until they obey. It is pretty normal for dogs to get excited when they hear the word walking coming out of their owner’s mouth.
But there needs to be a strict rule to sit before a walk so that the dog is given a lesson about the fact that you are the one in control of things.
Practice using a fixed leash
Even though extendable leashes work alright and make it easier for owners to let their dogs roam at their own will, it’s control we’re talking about here. If you want control over your dog, a fixed leash is the better option of the two, as the extendable leash gives a portion of the control to the dog, and it will be even tougher to navigate your dog once it has got a running start.
Additionally, for some owners whose attention tends to wander from time to time, an extendable leash will allow the dog to call the shots and run to the point where the extending leash ends. In the worst case scenario, the leash gets ripped out of the owner’s unsuspecting hands and they’re left chasing after their dog.
Try using a front clip leash as well
If pulling is your main problem, then the easy fix is to just buy yourself a front clip leash. The difference you will feel is huge and could make your walks a breeze!
Maintain a position in front of your dog at all times
One easy mistake that many first time owners make is letting their easily excitable dog take the lead when they are walking around the block or during exercise times.
Keep in mind that dogs are naturally pack animals, and letting your dog take up the role as the leader will give it the impression that it is now in complete control and will obey you less and less, even in the situations where you are simply looking out for its health and safety.
Don’t forget the treats!
A reward after a well mannered walk is never a bad thing, positive reinforcement for presented good behavior works well with any species and is an effective training technique for dog’s ever since the beginnings of the human – dog friendship timeline.
Once good walking habits are established, treats are hardly necessary, but newbies should have a trick or two up their sleeve by now.
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