You might think that there’s not much to walking a dog, but it takes a lot more time and patience than you may imagine. Every walk is unique, just like every dog is, and so it’s important that you are prepared for any and every situation. Our dogs are our family after all. Luckily, we have put together this ten-step guide that will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about walking your pooch.
1.Know Your Area
Think carefully about where you live before taking your dog on their first walks or planning trips for when it’s older. Dependent on the area, you may have to drive to your local park to give your pooch the exercise that it needs. If your dog is of a nervous disposition, walking beside a busy street may not be the best idea. The same goes for if your dog isn’t well behaved around other dogs. Taking them to a dog park in this situation is a definite no-go.
2.Know Your Dog
Have you done your research on your dog breed? Some need more exercise than others, and the type of exercise they require differs as well. It may surprise you to know that many of the ‘giant’ dog breeds require very little walking. Puppies need all of their jabs before going outside and should start off on smaller walks. Older dogs won’t able to do the same amount that they once did, and so walking times may need to be adjusted. For the majority of dogs, however, a walk of at least half an hour is needed. If this isn’t something that you can commit to twice a day, consider hiring a professional dog walker like The Peaks Pet Nanny in NJ.
3.Know Your Leads
What sort of lead is best for dog training? What type of lead will stop a dog from constantly pulling?
These are questions that are asked over and over again by concerned dog owners. The answer is a simple one. A front clip harness is the best type of lead for most dogs. It will stop their natural instinct to pull and leave you in complete control. Avoid choke chains and extendable leads for walks.
4.Know You’re the Pack Leader
Your dog will automatically think of you as the pack leader from a young age unless your behavior starts to confuse it. Try and hold eye contact with your pet when you give it a command. Routine is also important to establish, and walking is a key part of this. Remember, if your dog is doing something that you don’t like, or that you don’t want to turn into a habit, ignoring them can work just as well as saying no. When walking, don’t let your dog go in front, but keep them beside you. This will show them that you are the alpha dog.
5.Know How to Train Your Dog
Training your dog is an essential part of owning one, and most of this training happens outside of the house when you are walking your pet. Leash training your dog is really important because if it doesn’t happen, they’ll soon become difficult to manage and ruin the walking experience. If you’re not sure how to go about leash training, or don’t have the time that you need to commit to it, some dog walking companies also provide this service. They are professionals and will show you the best way to handle your dog when you’re walking.
6.Know When to Reward Your Dog
Getting your dog used to others and acclimatized to the sights and sounds of the place that you live can take a little time, so it’s important to reward their good behavior. One thing to remember however is not to be giving out treats all the time. Reward your dog when they respond to your commands when they are walking well and ignoring other distractions. Your voice is also a reward, so remember this when they are misbehaving, otherwise, they’ll get confused.
7.Know When to Be Strict
Yes, you want to be the pack leader, and you want to train your dog to obey you. But you also need to remember that your dog has instincts, and a walk is amazing mental stimulation for them. Don’t keep them too tight by your side all of the time, let your pooch sniff and explore. This will get them used to the area, the smells, and allow them to exercise their brains as well as their bodies. Dogs are curious, and so it’s good to let them investigate.
8.Know When to Hydrate Your Dog
Dogs can get dehydrated really quickly, so you need to know if there is a place where they can drink at your local park. If not, you’ll need to bring some water along with you. This is important not only in hot weather (although you’ll need to be extra careful then) but at any time. All that running around will make your pet thirsty, so always be aware of how much they are panting and if it’s time to take a break before heading back home.
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9.Know the Weather
Adverse weather conditions affect dogs just the same as people, which is why it’s always important to keep an eye on the temperature. In the winter months, many dogs will be much happier if they are in a jacket, and the same goes for if it’s raining. In the summer, don’t walk your dog during the hottest part of the day, as they will get dehydrated quickly and hot pavement can burn the dog’s paws. You can take a Summer Dog Shoes or Dog Paw Protection for Hot Pavement.
10. Know to Scoop
This should be an obvious one, but unfortunately, too many dog owners still ignore it. You need to scoop their poop! Perhaps the least glamorous job of pet ownership, dealing with poop comes with the job. You are preventing the next person ruining their shoes in it, or another dog eating it and getting ill. You’re also helping the environment, as our parks just weren’t made to deal with it all, and so it has an impact on the rivers as well.
There you have it, Ten of our top tips for dog walking. What are you waiting for? Grab that leash and go, it’s time for walkies.