Taking your dog for a walk a rewarding experience for both of you
In this article, we'll provide a few helpful suggestions for improving the likelihood you and your canine will make seamless walking companions. The following tips are easy to implement and will play a key role in creating a rewarding experience for you and your pet.
Choosing A Suitable Lead And Collar
There are several types of leads and collars from which to choose. Some leads are made of cotton while others are made of nylon. Some are made of leather while others are constructed entirely of metal. Collars are available in a traditional around-the-neck style, but you can also purchase harnesses, halters, and those with metal prongs. Even though many experts claim the type of lead and collar you use is unimportant, they can influence your comfort and that of your dog.
Leather is an ideal choice for a lead since it is durable and comfortable to hold, even if your canine pulls. Nylon and cotton, however, can chafe your skin if he pulls aggressively. Halter collars are especially useful for controlling a willful dog while harnesses are ideal if your pooch copes with breathing issues.
As an additional note, Flexi-leads are best-suited for environments in which your dog can safely wander. This might include parks or quiet neighborhoods. They are less appropriate for areas in which wandering is dangerous (e.g. near busy streets).
Pack The Right Supplies
Taking your canine for a walk requires packing a few essentials. First, take drinking water if you intend to walk for long periods of time, or in hot weather. You and your pooch need to stay hydrated. Keep in mind that some breeds - notably those with thick coats - are especially susceptible to heat stroke.
Second, pack plenty of dog treats. Walking provides endless opportunities to practice commands with your pet. It also helps him learn to focus on your voice while in the midst of multiple distractions (e.g. other people, pets, traffic, etc.). He'll not only improve his obedience, but the promise of treats will make him look forward to his walks as a fun experience.
Third, take several pet waste bags. If you and your canine are going for a longer-than-normal walk, take a few extra.
Discourage Jumping On Strangers
Your canine may jump on strangers he meets during his walk. This behavior comes naturally to dogs for several reasons. First, they learn to do it at an early age, jumping on their parents and littermates. Second, they jump as a sign of playfulness; you'll often see two canines jumping on each other while playing. Third, it is an expression of dominance. Fourth, it's a way to greet others.
Regardless of the reason, few people welcome a dog jumping on them. Thus, you should take steps to discourage the behavior in your canine. Use a "four on the floor" strategy, whereby you withhold attention from your dog unless all four of his paws are on the ground. When he keeps his paws grounded in the presence of a stranger, praise him and give him a treat. Also, teach him that he cannot greet someone unless he remains still, and avoids jumping on them.
Change The Route
Even though your canine will always look forward to walking his normal route with you, he'll relish the chance to explore new territory. Take him to new neighborhoods; take him to a park he has never visited; or walk new hiking trails together. Dogs love to investigate new places that offer different scents, sights, and animals to chase.
Walking your canine on a daily basis offers several benefits. Use the suggestions above to ensure the experience is a rewarding one for both of you.