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Proper Way to Walk a Dog

09 May 2013 | by Anu Bhambhani | Posted in: Training

The best exercise you can get as a dog owner is to walk your dog. It’s not gym, yoga or meditation, it is walking your pet that tones up those muscles and lose that fat adding up on your body. And, come to think of it-no other pet can give you this exercise but a dog! You can’t walk a cat, you can’t walk your birds, a horse (unless of course you own a gorgeous farmhouse) or any other pet. Only a dog can give you the pleasure. But then walking a dog doesn’t mean, walking with a friend alone. There are lots of dos and don’ts that come into play when it comes to the proper way to walk a dog. How to train a Dog

dog walking

Leash or no leash

The first and foremost point to be considered is do you walk your dog with a dog leash or without one. Some dogs that are trained well to behave themselves in public and follow their owner’s command can do without a leash. While you can be sure of your dog, you can never trust people on the road that they will not trouble your dog. In Indian scenario especially, there are some people or kids who would try to play with your dog or get close to him. Your dog may see it as a threat and might react unfavourably resulting in an unpleasant situation. I remember when our German Shepherd  dog would go out for a walk, he had to kept on a short leash because he was the only dog in the society we lived in and so kids would want to play with him or walk along with him which Gaby never liked. He would growl at them but never harmed them. Yet it always made sense to have a leash on him. In another instance, my husband owned four Great Danes. Now, these gentle giants are super cool dogs. They don’t trouble anyone so he would walk them all without a leash. It went well for sometime till one day Tiger, one of the Great Danes went off on his own and could never be found. That was a lesson learnt about the importance of a leash, albeit the hard way.  

Fasten it right

There is a correct way and an incorrect way to tie the leash around your dog’s neck. The incorrect way is to have a long leash that allows your dog to run ahead of you. There is traffic on the road and hardly any dog parks in India so it is advisable to have a leash that allows you to keep your dog in check. You should never even tie the leash too tight on his neck. The correct way is to keep him on a short leash, short enough for you to control him. The leash must always be tied behind the jaw and skull of the dog so as not to hurt him. Experts suggest holding the leash in your right hand. You hold the leash tight, but don’t pull at it for there is a danger of hurting your dog’s neck in the process. If your dog stops moving, don’t tug at him, don’t pull him by the leash and don’t even prod him too much. Apart from hurting the dog, it might also lead to behavioral issues wherein he would become stubborn. You have to treat him gently, like you would do to a human baby. You move forward while coaxing the dog to move with you. Every time, give the same command to the dog so that he starts recognizing the command during walks.

Lead the way

From the moment you step out of the home, till the time you come back from walking your dog, you have got to lead the way. When you are moving out of the home to take your dog walking, expert suggest don’t go looking for your pet to tie the leash on to. Instead, calmly call him to you, tie the leash and then go out. Don’t let your pet be in an excited state while going out of the house. Don’t let him walk in front of you lest he should start thinking of himself as your leader. If the dog tries to walk in front of you, take a long step and stand in front of him. If the dog tries to walk in a direction where you don’t want him to, take a sharp turn in the opposite direction. This will confuse him and he will tend to walk behind you or alongside you but never in front of you. Show him who is the boss! ( Best ways to bond with your Dog )

Right command

Every time you go out walking your dog, make sure you give him commands that he starts associating with while walking. Try a few three or four times and the dog would start recognising the same. If you think his attention is stuck elsewhere, break it by commanding him to run or go play or better still stop right there and heel. That’ll distract him and calm him at the same time. The moment he starts understanding your commands and starts obeying them, start rewarding him. Praise him every time he does something you ask him to do and reward him with a dog treat. The dog will start associating these rewards with following the commands rightly. He will also start looking forward to walks and daily exercises. Just make it a routine, don’t break it even for a day. ( Basic Commandments for a Pet Parent )

Watch out

In foreign nations, the dog owners are not allowed to encourage their pets to poo or pee just about anywhere. In India, it is sadly not the case. For your dog, every place is his lavatory or so he thinks. However, being a responsible dog owner, it is greatly recommended that you make him do it the right way. Use zip bags or polythene or may be a big paper to dispose it off. Wear a plastic in your hand, hold the dirty stuff and turn the bag inside out. Throw it away safely in a dustbin and feel happy that you did a splen did job of clearing up the public space.

When walking, your dog may feel thirsty as you may too. Carry a water bottle with you and pour it for him in a disposable cup, zip bag, etc. Take frequent rests in between so that you and your pet get some time to relax. ( Taking care of miniature dogs )

Walking with your dog is extremely essential as it helps you spend quality time together. It will help you both bond better. The golden rule of proper way to walk a dog is for the owner to look strong and confident. He should be the leader of the pack, and not the dog. Dogs are too intelligent. They can sense it if you are tensed. It all depends on how you communicate the same to your little pet.

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