Walking your pup is an essential part of dog ownership for any duo and, when you do go on walks, you need to pay attention to who is in control. You might be the top dog around the house, but a lot of four-legged friends can get a lot more insistent and even aggressive when on the lead. What can you do to make sure you’re the one controlling the pace when you go out on walks?
Keep walks positive and calm
Your dog will, to some degree, mirror your emotions and your state. If you are noticeably tense and stressed, especially when seeing other dogs, then your dog can pick up on that. Similarly, if you’re able to take them out on walks in a gentle and fun manner and keep the vibes positive, it can help the dog stay positive too. Using low-calorie and low-fat treats like those Bounce and Bella can help you encourage your dog to come by your side and stay by your side when you’re out on walks.
Don’t rush them
From a dog’s perspective, human timing is all mixed up. We walk too slowly, which is often why they tug as far as they are allowed, and we rush too much when it’s time to stop, sniff around, and go toilet in some tall patch of grass or near some tree. There are potty cues you can learn and teach to your dog if you want to limit where, exactly, they can go potty, but you shouldn’t try to make walks solely about moving as much as possible. Let them take breaks to experience the world through their noses, as they naturally do.
Keeping with the strain
Dogs are naturally going to pull on the lead if you let them. They want to get to the next thing quickly and, often, we’re moving too slowly for them. If you have trouble controlling your dog, aside from teaching them cues to come heel, you should also consider tools like harnesses from Dog Friendly Co that can allow you more control without putting as much pressure on their neck. Of course, using a harness isn’t a replacement for teaching them to behave themselves on walks, but it’s a good backup.
Consider obedience training
If your dog doesn’t listen to you at all when you are out and about and won’t even heel at your command, then you may have a serious lack of obedience to deal with. Similarly, if they have any aggressive tendencies, then you might need to look into changing your relationship with them. The best way to do this is via training. You can learn to train your dog yourself but professional dog trainers might be able to offer you more reliable results and more quickly so that your dog better listens to you on walks.
The onus is on you to make sure that your dog is well-behaved on the walks. Apologising to other owners if they cause problems isn’t enough, you need to take control of the situation.