Daily dog walks don’t need to be a chore, how to make them enjoyable and stress-free.
During my daily dog walks, both with customer’s dogs and when I’m out walking my own dogs, I sometimes get frustrated by the behaviour of other dog owners. I thought I might share some of my own experiences, and thoughts, for a less stressful, dog walking experience for all canine lovers.
Friendly with other dogs
A dog walk should allow your pet to enjoy his freedom away from the constricts of his home, however, this isn’t always the case. Your dog may not be as friendly towards other dogs, which will result in your walk being full of apprehension, as you always wonder what may happen.
Some owners allow their dogs to run up to other dogs and people, sometimes jumping up for attention or maybe being aggressive. If I see other dogs walking towards me on their leads, I will put my dogs on their leash, as a common courtesy and to prevent any misbehaviour. I can recall several times when other dogs have run up to me, and I’ve been told, “Don’t worry, they are friendly dogs”. How do they know that my dogs are welcoming and approachable too? I’m certainly not stating that dogs should at all times be on a lead, but in most circumstances should always be under good control.
If you have a small breed of dog, try to resist the temptation to bend down and pick it up if another dog bounds up to it, as this may cause the other dog to jump up at you, with the possibility of hurting both you and your dog in the process. You can usually tell if another dog approaches in a predatory mode, running with ears back and a low head, intent on an attack.
I see numerous dogs being walked that their owners struggle to keep under control, with the dog pulling constantly on the lead. Teaching your pet to walk effectively on the lead makes going for a walk much less frustrating for both of you, and a more pleasant experience. Remember to praise your dog when he’s walking correctly. If you find that you can’t overcome the problem of him pulling, ask for professional training advice from your local training school (Tip Top Dog School is highly recommended)
Add some variety
Some dog owners and walkers always follow the same route, day in and day out, which tends to be boring and unimaginative. If you only have a limited number of places to walk, add some variety by reversing your route, alternate the paths on each side of the road, always ensuring its safe to do so. Imagine the different scents your dog will search out on an alternative route.
A walk with your dog should be a mutual, enjoyable experience, not a chore or a daily challenge.