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Walking your dog: What? Why? And How?

Bijgewerkt op: 23 sep. 2020

Walking your dog can either be a source of lots of fun or a lot of frustration. However you feel about this, it mainly depends on how you walk your dog. It’s important to stretch out enough time for walks, but this is far more easier when you both enjoy it.

Following I will share some tips on how to walk your dog.

The walk: what is it and why should you walk your dog?

Walking is a natural part of a dog's life. It allows him to scout the environment. Of course it can also be a great way to give your dog some physical exercise. Your dog needs to be physically active, walking can give him this opportunity. Another positive aspect of walking your dog is that he gets stimulated in ways that won’t be possible inside. This is especially important for his mental development.

In contradiction to what’s often thought of, I don’t see the walk as a moment for your dog to constantly defecate and sniff around. The walk is a moment you and your dog are going somewhere. You decide the goal and the velocity.

There is of course the possibility to stop during a walk for some sniffing and to go potty. It should however be your decision when it is time for sniffing. With this in mind, it comes in handy to make a structured walk where you decide where to go.

The walk: how to?

Before you actually go out:

  • Putting on the leash: Make sure your dog is calm before you put on the leash. It’s easier to start the walk with a dog who is not overexcited. To attain this, do as follows: Whenever your dog is too excited when you take the leash, put it away again. Only when he has calmed down, you grab the leash again. You should repeat this until your dog remains calm even when the leash is on.

  • Calmly through the door: The above is also applicable to the start of the walk. You only leave when your dog is in a calm state. If this is not the case, you start over again. This will help you to start the walk in a pleasant manner.

Sniffing and going potty:

Although I’m of the opinion that you are the one who should lead the walk, it’s for sure positive to make sure your dog has places and some time where he can sniff and go potty.

Pulling on leash:

This is one of the greatest frustrations with dog owners. It also often occurs that because of this reason, the dog doesn’t get walked anymore. This then most of the time results in other problems. To teach a dog how to walk on leash, you can either ask a dog trainer for help or start yourself. More information can be found in this blog post.

Just for clarification:

In contradiction to what’s often thought: a dog that’s walking in front of you is no matter of showing his dominance. Most often, the dog doesn’t think about this, but the base speed of a dog is in most cases faster than that of a human. Nevertheless this doesn’t mean you should let him pull you. Whenever the walk is unpleasant for you, I advise you to train your dog to understand what you expect of him.

The walk should be a pleasant experience for both you and your dog. When you have the ability to walk your dog, it’s also easier to bring him along on trips.

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