Common Dog Walking Mistakes
Top 5 Most Common Dog Walking Mistakes
1. The dog is too excited. When you walk your dog, it is essential to bring your dog to the door and make him or her sit. She must wait in that position until she is calm. Only then can she go out for a walk. If you are an owner that starts the walk by saying things like Wanna go for a walk?! Come on! Lets go for a walk! this part may take a while. Your dog is used to the walk being a highly excitable experience. Dont confuse excitement with happiness.
2. Pull on the leash. I am not talking about the dog pulling but the owner pulling. Naturally, dog owners will pull the leash back in response to their dog pulling. This is actually counter-productive. The dog feels he is being pulled back and his natural instinct is to pull forward because that is the direction he is trying to move. So pulling causes pulling. You should be able to walk your dog by holding the leash with two fingers and a lot of slack.
3. A slow pace. Dogs have a natural instinct to travel. That is the benefit of walking your dog everyday. It fulfills a natural instinct so important that when it is not fulfilled, behavior problems can arise. So pick up the pace. Allow you dog to get the feeling of traveling with her pack (you!). When the pace is slow, the dog becomes bored and/or confused.
4. Allowing too many breaks. Your dog will have to relieve himself on the walk, however there should be a time and place for it. When you stop to allow your dog to sniff every tree, you change the message sent to the dog. Walking is meant for travel however, if you stop and allow a lot of sniffing, it changes to an exploring mission which will allow him to dictate the terms of the walk.
5. Allowing the dog to walk in front of you. The pack leader is the one that is out front showing the pack what the pace and purpose of the walk is. If your dog is out front, he confirms that he is in charge and will do as he pleases. This leads to pulling, animal chasing and can translate into unwanted behavior in other areas like the house. The walk is so powerful that if the dog is allowed to lead, he becomes the pack leader and may start to challenge your authority in the house, dog park and other activities you share with your dog.
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