Dogs make great walking companions. They are always ready to go and they really don’t seem to care where or when you walk them. They won’t complain about the weather or terrain. They are just happy to be with you.
It does take training to teach a dog to walk with you in a manner that won’t dislocate your shoulder or have you bouncing off of the roadway as the dog streaks ahead with you in tow. Here are a few tips that can make walking your dog a lot more pleasurable for both of you.
There is one very important rule to remember when training your dog to walk with you. You need to act like the alpha dog. You lead the walk; the dog should not. Don’t let the dog pull you. Teach him or her to walk beside you or behind you.
Most dogs will get very excited when their owners pick up a leash and head to the door for a walk. Excited dogs may tend to jump and bark. While this may be cute, it is not the best thing to allow.
When beginning a walk, call the dog to come to you. Have the dog sit down and stay put while you attach the leash. You should be the one that is in control. You give the command to get up and go. The dog should not be the one leading the adventure.
Always use a leash when walking the dog. The type of collar may vary depending on how much your dog pulls you when attached to a leash. There are choker and pincher collars that can help control the overzealous dog.
Never allow your dog to run free unless you are absolutely certain it is safe to do so. Many states have laws that require that dogs always be leashed in public areas. This can pertain to hiking trails too, so don’t think that the rules change just because you’re in the woods. Many dogs have gotten separated from their owners and become lost.
Be a responsible pet owner. Carry supplies to clean up after your dog’s bowel movements. There are commercial items available, but a plastic grocery store bag works well and costs nothing. Place the bag over your hand and pick up the stool. Turn the bag inside out and tie the end closed. Dispose of the bag in a proper receptacle.
If you’re going for a substantial distance, be sure that you choose terrain that will not injure your dog’s footpads. Avoid hot concrete and macadam.
Carry water for your dog, especially in warmer temperatures. Proper hydration is important for both you and your dog. There are many commercial items such as collapsible dishes that can be found at pet stores. Zip lock bags can work in a pinch.
If you’re taking your dog for a long walk, find a shady spot and take a short break. This allows the dog to cool down. Remember, they do not sweat like you do. They rely on panting to cool them.
Be kind to other people and respect signs. For instance, don’t allow your dog to swim at a posted public beach. Not everyone loves your dog like you do. Try to find an area that is not crowded and is off the beaten path.