The daily walk is an important part of responsible pack leadership — but for many, it’s also the most stressful.
Mastering the walk will not only make this part of your daily routine enjoyable, but also go a long way towards addressing other problem behaviors as well, because it can help your dog to see you as the Pack Leader.
Here are some solutions for dealing with dog walking problems.
- Pulling on the walk
This is one of the most common problems faced by Pack Leaders. Some dogs don’t want to walk; they want to run! So let them. Go for a jog, use rollerblades, or go biking with your dog to drain that excess energy before trying to address the behavior.
Another powerful solution is the Pack Leader Collar. It’s likely your current collar is actually working against you. By being placed around the strongest part of your dog’s neck — the lower part — it’s actually helping your dog to pull you! Think about sled-pulling dogs; they use this part of their body to pull heavy loads behind them. Instead, the Pack Leader Collar keeps the collar at the top of the neck, giving you more control.
- Distracted on the walk
Some dogs like to stop and smell the roses. And then stop to smell them again and again… You can prevent this behavior by keeping the leash short (but not tight) and your dog’s head up. Maintain your calm-assertive energy and stay focused on your destination. Then allow your dog brief breaks to stop, explore, and relieve himself. These breaks are your dog’s reward for following you on the walk instead of their nose.
- Lunging on the walk
Are you constantly walking to the other side of the street to avoid passing other dogs or people so your dog won’t lunge at them? Corrections are key. You want to address the problem behavior quickly and immediately. The Pack Leader Collar can also help with this by keeping the collar at the most sensitive part of the neck, where he is more likely to notice the corrections.
Still having trouble getting the message across to your dog? Have a friend or family member film you giving corrections. Watch your body language. First, are you reacting before your dog does? Your anticipation of the behavior may actually be causing it. Second, are you maintaining calm-assertive control (head up, shoulders back!) when giving corrections, or simply yanking your dog around?
- Stopping in the middle of the walk
It’s possible that your dog is overheated or overtired, so this should always be the first thing you consider: Are you asking her to go too long or in temperatures that are uncomfortable for her? Sometimes we forget that a dog’s exercise needs change as they age. It’s also possible your dog is suffering from a health issue. Consult your vet.
Once you’ve ruled those causes out, one strategy for dealing with this is to give a slight sideways tug on the leash to jolt the dog back into walking. You may have to repeat it if she stops again until she gets the message to keep moving.
- Not interested in going for a walk
This is a common puppy problem. The little guy just decides he’d rather sit down or otherwise do his own thing. You can help encourage your dog to get up and get going by picking him up and taking him away from your home. Why? Because he is more likely to be motivated to walk back home than he is to walk away from it!