5 Ways to Step Up Your Dog Walking Game
We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to make your daily walk something you and your dog will look forward to.
- 5 tips for walking your dog
Dogs are active creatures; they always want to be on the move, so practicing dog walking should be a no-brainer. It gives your dog mental stimulation, improves their cardiovascular health, and familiarizes them with their neighborhood. Walking your dog is also good for you, too, since you're also walking. It gives you a chance to have fresh air and stretch your legs.
So, if you’ve ever wondered, “what’s so great about walking my dog,” you’ve got your answer. To improve your dog walking experience, here are five tips to step up your dog walking game.
1. Use proper equipment
Ensuring you have the right equipment is important for taking your dog on a good walk. For instance, if their leash is too short, your dog won't have enough space to sniff and explore. But if it's too long, your dog might get into trouble.
In choosing a leash, it's a good idea to pick one made of either nylon or leather. These materials are strong enough to hold back a big dog and light enough for a small dog or puppy.
Leashes come in different sizes, some short and others as long as 24 feet. If you're looking for a regular leash, one about 6 feet long is perfect. This will give your dog enough space to move around while also keeping him close to you. Also, use the right collar or harness, depending on what works for your dog. Finding the right leash will improve your dog's quality of life. Don't forget to carry a poop bag, water, and treats for your companion.
2. Create an appropriate routine
Establishing a routine for your dog's walks is a great way to help them feel comfortable and behave well. By taking them for a walk at the same time each day and to the same places, they'll know what to expect and what's expected of them.
This routine will also help your dog behave better when you take them to new walking areas. They'll be used to following your lead and knowing what's expected of them.
So, to ensure your dog enjoys their walks and behaves well, try sticking to a routine. However, be sure to switch it up sometimes, but always consider the safety and fitness level of your dog when you do this. Note that with our Lifetime Protection Membership, you can access veterinary professionals anytime by phone, email, or live chat for any questions you may have to ensure your pet is always healthy!
3. Walk in front of your dog
Walking in front of your dog is important to establish yourself as the pack leader. If your dog leads the way, it means he's in charge. So, when you're going for a walk, ensure you're the first one out the door and coming back in.
During the walk, your dog should be beside or behind you. This reinforces the idea that you're in charge and your dog is following your lead. You can guide your dog and keep him safe during the walk by being in front. To help train your dog, take advantage of customized pet training when you buy our Lifetime Protection Membership Plus. It provides simple and easy-to-follow lessons for you and your dog provided by Petcademy.
4. Reward your dog before and after the walk
Once your dog has been well-behaved on the walk, it's important to reward them appropriately. Let your dog take a break to relieve themselves and explore their surroundings. But it's also important to set boundaries by deciding when playtime is over. Remember that the reward time should always be shorter than the time spent walking and focusing on the walk.
One way to reinforce good behavior is by giving your dog its meal or treat after the walk. This helps them understand that they need to work for their food and water, just like they worked for their walk.
5. Pay attention to your dog's needs
This may be the most important. Pay attention to your dog's needs. Be sure to note when they need hydration, rest, or breaks and don't like the route. Most dogs will show emotion and make it clear when they don't like something. So, be sure to pick up on this.
If your dog isn't comfortable on the walk, they may be a pain during the walks. So, keep an eye for signs of pain. A good way to remedy this is to make the dog walking fun and engaging by allowing them to play around, stop, and sniff in some areas.
Pet walking is enjoyable, but you must make a conscious effort to make it fun. Always pay attention to your dog's needs, create an appropriate routine, and use the right gear. Also, there are many people with dog walking jobs who are available to help you in case you’re overwhelmed. If you’re really busy and can't find time to walk your dog, our Lifetime Protection Membership comes with a $30 Rover discount to help you save on pet-sitting and dog walking services.
Here are some frequently asked questions to give you more tips for dog walking.
How can I improve my dog walking?
You can improve your dog's walking by
- Using the right gear
- Paying attention to your dog's needs
- Rewarding your dog before and after a walk
- Creating an approach routine
Ensure you understand your dog's peculiarities to improve your dog's walking.
What is proper dog walking etiquette?
Proper dog walking etiquette is what you must follow to ensure a respectful experience.
First and foremost, always clean up after your dog. Make sure to bring enough poop bags to collect any waste that your dog may leave behind.
Next, hold onto the leash tightly to prevent your dog from jumping on other people.
Avoid using people's lawns and properties as a restroom for your dog. Respect their space and keep your dog from causing any damage or disturbance.
When passing someone going in the opposite direction, keep your dog on the outside of the sidewalk to avoid any potential accidents.
If you feel that your dog may react poorly to other dogs on the sidewalk, it is best to step off the sidewalk and have your dog sit until the other dog has passed. This will help to keep everyone safe and calm.
How do I get my dog to stop pulling when walking?
A good way to get your dog to stop pulling when walking is to teach your dog that walking on a loose leash means they get to move forward. So, stop walking when the leash tightens, and wait for it to slacken. Avoid jerking the leash, and try walking in the opposite direction if your dog gets distracted.
What are some tips for walking a new puppy?
Here are some tips for walking a new puppy as a responsible owner.
- Socialize your puppy early with other dogs and new locations.
- Leash train your puppy gradually and with positive reinforcement.
- Let your puppy walk at their own pace and explore their surroundings.
- Don't walk your puppy too far, especially if they are a large breed.
- Introduce your puppy to other dogs on time but remain in control.
- Try and make the dog feel at home
- Encourage children only to touch the puppy with one hand to avoid causing stress.
- Ensure your puppy is comfortable and happy during their walks.
How to walk a dog that is stronger than you
To walk a dog that is stronger than you, you have to train them not to pull. Do that training by using treats to train them to reinforce good behavior, walking in circles to teach them not to pull, and being consistent in your training.
How to walk a puppy that doesn’t want to walk
To walk a puppy that doesn't want to walk, you have to find out why. Sometimes puppies may resist going for walks because they are not used to wearing a leash and collar. If your puppy freezes up or tries to escape their walking gear, it could be because the equipment doesn't fit well or is not the right size. For small puppies, it may be best to use a puppy-sized leash and collar or even a cat leash.
To help your puppy get used to their walking gear, try putting it on them inside the house and doing some training or playing while wearing it. If your puppy tries to escape their collar or harness, consider using a martingale collar for more control.
When starting to walk your puppy, start with short and slow walks. Let your puppy set the pace and go only briefly before returning home. Over time, gradually increase the distance and speed of the walks.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like: