Walking your dog is a daily activity that needs to be done. It’s a way of exercising your pup and taking them out to use the restroom and can be quite a social experience. Sometimes though, we’ve got a pup that can get a little rowdy on the leash. On the opposite end of that spectrum, sometimes we can’t motivate our four-legged friends to take a walk.
Knowing how to walk your canine companion properly can make all the difference for both you and your dog. Check out the following tips for making your walks enjoyable and productive!
The Dog Walking Tips We All Need
Walking your dog can feel like a chore, and realistically, sometimes it is for us. Occasionally, we just don’t want to take our puppers out for a walk. Upon occasion, they won’t want to walk either. Here are some tips to make every walk a good one--even if you or your pup wasn’t feeling like a walk in the first place.
Don’t Rush Potty Breaks
Walking your dog is often a way to get them out of the house to give them some time to use the restroom. On some walks, it may seem like your pup is taking longer than usual to find the perfect spot to pee. It’s important to remember not to rush them. Using the restroom, specifically peeing and marking places in the neighborhood, is how your pup communicates with other dogs in the area. Let them do their business as they see fit because they’re probably trying to announce themselves to the other dogs.
Let Them Sniff
Somewhere along the way, someone decided that if a dog is sniffing at something intently, they will get themselves into trouble. Often, you’ll see folks walking their dogs, and when their pup stops to sniff, they’ll tug them along, discouraging the behavior. Sniffing is another way that dogs understand and communicate with the world around them. To stay mentally stimulated, dogs need to be able able to sniff out their surroundings to find the most appropriate place to leave their mark.
Pick Up After Your Pup
No one likes to do it, but it is entirely necessary; pick up your dog’s poop when you’re walking them. Carry a dog poop bag dispenser, and be sure to clean up when your four-legged friend takes a bathroom break. Dog poop can spread diseases and parasites to other dogs, non-canine animals, and people. It’s as much for health as it is for cleanliness.
Switch to a Harness if You Have a Puller
A big part of walking a dog boils down to leash manners, and a dog that pulls needs to learn them. When a dog pulls while wearing a collar, tugging on the leash doesn’t stop them from pulling. It only strengthens their desire and leads to pulling harder. If you have a dog that likes to pull, be sure to grab a harness with a front attachment for your leash. This will make it harder for your pup to pull and helps to curb the behavior overall. They eventually learn that pulling gets them nowhere and can eventually return to a collar once they’ve improved their leash manners!
If you’re shooting to walk your dog for the recommended amount of time, at least thirty minutes, be sure to bring water and a collapsible bowl. Just like people, they’ll get hot, and they’ll need hydration. Bringing water on long walks can help your pup enjoy their time outside more and allows you to take a breather in the middle of the walk. It’s always nice to stop and take in your surroundings with your four-legged friend.
When going out for a walk, your pup should always wear a tag providing their name and yours, along with at least two phone numbers where someone can reach you or a loved one. Some of our canine companions are escape artists, and while they may be able to return home on their own, they should be easily identifiable. Incidentally, a microchip is not a replacement for a traditional dog tag. Microchips are great, but they don’t provide the information needed for immediate contact that a tag does.
Distractions are numerous when out on a walk. If your dog is easily distracted, an excellent way to keep their attention when out for a walk is by using treats. These treats should be considered high-value treats, meaning that when your four-legged friend sees or smells them, it’s the only thing they can focus on. Treats are a great way to reward good behavior on a walk and should be used when teaching your dog their leash manners.
Be Courteous of Others
When you’re out on a walk with your furry friend, it’s important to be courteous when interacting with other walkers. Give other people room to pass, and keep your pup under control when it comes into contact with others. Additionally, don’t approach another dog unless you’ve asked the owner’s permission. Not all dogs get along, and it’s best to know if the one you’re approaching is socially before getting too close.
A Big Rule That’s Often Broken
This tip is probably the most important one: When walking your dog, do not use a retractable leash. Retractable leashes present many unnecessary hazards when walking your pup that can be avoided using a traditional leash. These can include hard pulling resulting in the leash breaking or you losing grip of the leash, allowing your dog to put themselves into precarious situations.
Additionally, the leash itself can cause harm to you or your pet. The likelihood of entanglement with a retractable leash is higher than that of a traditional leash, increasing tripping chances or worse for your pooch. If you happen to be holding the rope portion of the leash when your dog decides to bolt, you risk burns or lacerations from the leash itself.
The Best Leash For Walking Your Dog
When choosing a leash for your pup, we urge you to consider the Wild One Leash for several reasons. First, it’s durable because it’s made from biothane, one of the best materials available for both leashes and collars. It makes cleaning easy, and it’s waterproof. The hardware used on their leash is robust, being made from a coated carbon steel.
It’s offered in two sizes, a standard size ranging from around three to five and a half feet long and a small size ranging from three to four and a half feet long. This is the optimal length for a dog walking leash. It’s also offered in several colors, with matching collars available in a kit or sold separately. Wild One has outdone themselves with this leash.
Walking a dog isn’t nearly as simple as attaching a leash to a collar and heading outside. Any experienced dog walker will tell you that there are a set of rules and tips to follow to make walking a good time for both you and your pup. Remember to use a traditional leash, be courteous of others on your walk, and be patient with your pup. All of these will lead to great walks from now on!