Think you’re a pro dog walker? You just might be. But chances are there are always ways you can improve the daily routine. Today I’ll share my 5 favorites:
Be the Leader
One of the more common instances I see is that the dog owners are being walked, not the dog. I’m talking about dog owners being really walked. As in, being tugged along by their dog. This creates a problem. It leads the dog to believe that they’re the one in charge, and this can create problems around the house or with other dogs.
If this is a problem for you, you’re probably asking yourself, how do you make yourself the leader and your dog the follower? It takes a little time and training. One thing you can do is make sure your dog is the one following you out the door for the walk, and make sure they’re the last one back in the door. You can also try using a shorter leash, which puts you closer to your dog, making it easier to correct their actions. Another thing you can try is quick changes in direction. It’ll throw your dog for a loop.
Walk When There are Fewer Distractions
Do you have a dog that loves to stop and show enthusiasm with every single piece of wildlife? Does your dog love to try and get affection from other humans? While it might seem convenient for you to walk the dog right before or after work, it may be taking twice the time. Try times when there’s not as much going on outside.
As a side note: some younger dogs need to be adjusted to other animals. In this case, walking during off-hours may not be the best option.
Bring the Goods
Ok – it’s simple enough to provide the goodies and water after the walk. No extra stuff to carry. But is it the best option? No.
Be sure to bring water (especially in the hot summer months.) It’s also wise to bring the goodies with you because it can be a good training piece. Trying to teach the dog that you’re the leader, for example? Perfect time to break out the goodies.
While we’re on the topic of training, keep in mind that your dog can be great to do some exercising with. Training for a 5K? Run with the dog. As long as it’s not a puppy, this can be an awesome activity. That is, as long as your dog likes running.
Experience New Areas
It’s obviously important for your dog to experience new smells, new sights, and new people. But it’s important for you as well. Doing the same walk every day can get awfully boring. Go for a change of pace – even make it a “destination” walk, where there’s a dog friendly place you can meet someone (or other dogs) at some point in the journey.
Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!