Many people don’t take their dogs on as many dog walks as they should because they have problems keeping their dog under control. Whether it’s the dog pulling, lunging, or other dog problems, there’s hope! Here are my tips on how to walk your dog, stay in control, and make sure you have the right dog collar and leash. Please take time this month to work on the dog walk.
1. Be aware of your energy and body language while walking dog.
Make sure you are communicating a message that says, ‘I am the pack leader!’ Keep your head up and your shoulders back. Think positive thoughts and envision the dog walk going well. You might be surprised at the results.
2. Keep the dog leash short, but not tight.
You’ve heard me tell this to people on the show time and time again. This simple tip can save you a lot of headache. Flexi-leashes and other longer leashes make it harder for you to communicate with your dog and easier for her to go wherever she wants. But, don’t forget, it’s also important to keep the dog leash loose. If you make a correction following a problem behavior, it should be quick, and then the dog leash should be returned to the relaxed state.
3. Position the dog collar at the top of the neck.
If you’ve ever seen a sledding dog, you’ll notice that the harness is around the lower part of the dog’s neck, near the shoulders. Why? This is where the dog’s pulling power is located. You’re actually helping your dog to pull you around if you have the collar placed there. Instead, position it on the upper neck, which is the most sensitive area. If you’re having trouble keeping the collar in the correct spot, check out my Pack Leader collar, which is designed to keep the collar from slipping.
4. Film the dog walk.
Ask a friend or family member to film you walking the dog. It may be easier to see your problem areas after the fact. What’s your posture like? How do you react when your dog misbehaves? Are you putting tension on the dog leash? These are the types of things to look for while you watch. If you don’t have access to a camera, ask someone to walk with you and then share what they noticed.
5. Enlist the help of balanced dogs.
If your dog barks or lunges at other dogs that you pass on the walk, take time to do just that activity with another dog you trust. That way, you can practice remaining calm and correcting your dog. Then, when the dog problem arises when you’re not expecting it, you’ll feel better able to handle it, and that confidence will be communicated to your dog.
6. Practice the walk!
You and your dog won’t get better if you don’t go out there and do it! Celebrate every success along the way. Learn from the bad days, but don’t dwell on them. And then one day, you’ll find you’ve done it! You’ve mastered the walk!
Have you mastered the walk? Or maybe you’re still having problems you’d like to share? Tell us about your walk in the comments below.