Here are a few ideas to remember when you first start taking your dog for a walk. Many of us, just use the walk for bathroom time, but if you want it to be exercise, then here are some tips to help change and enhance your walks.
- Don’t be in a hurry. This sounds simple, but if you are like me, walking the dog is on my “to do” list and I try to multitask and be able to quickly mark another off the list. The problem is, this is your pet’s favorite time. It is time to socialize, sniff, “mark his territory” and especially have time with you.
- Use a short leash. Many of us like the 6 foot retracting leashes, but these can lead to trouble. If your dog gets too far, it can be hard with the retractable leashes to get control back from your pet. Many pets can quickly understand that they are taking control, especially if they get aggressive to other dog. Use the short leash to train your dog to “heal” or stay beside or behind you.
- Keep Control. This seems like what I just went over, but this one is a bit different. When you arrive back home, does your pet go bananas to get in the house, etc? I just had to retrain my Border Collie on this matter. When playtime was over, he would come very close to knocking me down to be the first one in the house. After yelling at him a few times (which didn’t work) I realized that we had to change the scene. As you know Border Collies are easily trained, so I realized that I had trained him by accident to this behavior. With just 3 times of commanding him to move back, he now readily moves back from the door, so I can open it, then I tell him when he can come in. I was shocked how easily it was to train out the bad behavior.
Again, remember that success for dogs comes with repetition. It will take a few days for your pet to adjust to a new style of walking.