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A few simple tips to remember when walking your dog

We were at a Dog Guard Out of Sight Dog Fence client in Naples last month helping them with some final pet containment tips for their Golden Retriever.  The dog containment training was going well when the client asked us a canine obedience training question.  Also being Dog Behavioral trainers, we were more than happy to provide her with an answer.  She said “Whenever I walk my dog, sometimes he runs to the bushes to sniff, sometimes he just wants to look around, other times he wants to pull me down the street…  What should I do?”

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We are always big into the canine behavioral perspective, so we are always concerned with “who is walking who”.  The problem that we face as dog owners is that when we go for a walk, our dog is walking us.  If he is walking us, we are allowing him to be the boss and this is not good.  We need to be in control when we are in public with our dog.  The first thing to remember is that walking is a lot more than just walking.  Let me take you through some parts of the walk so that you can understand what must be done:

  • The Front Door:  This is normally the very first part of the walk.  Most of the time, you have struggled with the leash and as you open the door, your dog runs out ahead of you.  It is very important that you establish that you are in the driver’s seat from the very start.  Have your sit and stay for you at the front door.  Next, have him calmly watch you step outside as he is remaining to stay in his sit.  You will now invite him out and ask him to sit again.  Once everything is calm and he is giving you focus, begin your walk.  Repeat this same process at the end of the walk and you are preparing to enter the house.
  • The Sidewalk:  It is very important to recognize your leadership role while you are on a walk with your dog.  In order to accomplish this, you must keep him at your side so that he will always have you in his peripheral view, giving you focus.  If he starts to get a little ahead of you, use your leash and give a gentile flick to guide him back to your side.  Another thing that we must understand is that the walk is at our speed and not your dog’s.  Make a conscience effort to change your speed during the walk to assure that you are walking at the speed you have picked.
  • The Breaks (Potty/Sniffies):  Remember that you are in charge.  You decide when the walkies stops for a minute for a break.  When you feel that you want to take a break, stop and have your dog sit.  Next, let him know that you are allowing him to take a break to do what you have allowed him.  Say something like “FREE” to let him know he has been given a moment of free time.  When you are ready to continue, use the “Come” command to have him return to your side.  Now you can start your walkies again.

It is important to remember that walking is more than just walking.  It is about unique activities that allow you and your dog to bond while you are maintaining leadership.  Try this and you will see how he calms down.  For more information about dog walking, canine behavioral training, or out of sight dog containment systems, please contact The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Naples Florida.