What does the perfect dog walk look like?
We’ve talked at length about the importance of exercising your dog, including safe exercises you can do with your furry friend and great breeds to jog with. However, in today’s article, we’re asking a simple question: what does the perfect dog walk look like?
Assume the role of pack leader
A lot of people let their dogs lead the way on a walk. This is a bad idea because it makes the dog feel as if they need to shield you from the dangers that possibly await. That’s why dogs get unruly, bark a lot, and put on a “brave” shield. They believe they need to be the responsible ones. You’ll see this in the behavior they exhibit with other passing dogs. By taking the lead, your animal is forced to confront the strangers they’re interacting with.
The solution is to use calm-assertive energy to take back control, and to take the lead. It’s perfectly fine to have your dog at your side, but you always want to be just a fraction ahead. What’s more, it helps to use a short, sharp lead to keep them in check. A simple, decisive pull of the lead gets the message across more than trying to communicate with your animal verbally.
Use a short lead, not a long one
Long leads can enable a dog to walk far ahead of you. And as we’ve pointed out above, that’s a bad idea. A shorter lead is more tactile and puts you in touch with your animal. An ideal length is between 90-120 CM, depending on the size of your dog. Obviously the bigger the animal, the more lead you want.
Nip bad behavior in the bud right away
Don’t let your dog get away with the slightest indiscretion. If your dog is pulling you towards a tasty bush to sniff its contents, or barking at people walking by, or trying to get to a friendly dog in the vicinity, make sure you react quickly every time. A short, sharp pull with the right decisiveness can often do the trick. Don’t muddy the message or go in for scolding him. Raising your voice can excite him further.
Use the right collar
Most collars mean well, but their positioning is a little wrong. They fit around the neck and shoulders, the strongest parts of a dog’s neck. This actually helps a dog pull you on the walk, as opposed to letting you be the pack leader. Cesar Milan, the famed TV personality, has devised an alternative – the “Pack Leader Collar” – which sits on a more sensitive part of the dog’s neck. It makes a dog feel less aggressively in control and lets you lead the way instead. It’s a little more expensive than your garden variety option but is specially designed to put you in control. Check it out at Amazon if you’re interested.