Tips For Happy Dog Walking
One in five dog owners don’t walk their dog every day, which means about two million dogs do not get enough exercise. Walking your dog should be enjoyable for both you and your pooch so that you want to walk more often, whether you’re going for a morning stroll around the streets or visiting one of London’s parks. You need to start by getting the basics right, such as the perfect collar or harness, taking treats on walks and teaching commands. Once you have these things in place anyone can walk your dog, whether it’s you, a friend or a dog walker.
Become the leader
Dogs have a pack mentality and will seek out a leader or become it themselves. You need to be their leader, especially on walks. This involves walking out of the door before them, walking slightly in front of them the whole time and being the first in the door when you get back home. Having them carry things, like a little bag around their waist, perhaps with poo bags in, can make them feel like they’re working to please you. Being the leader of the pack will make them more likely to listen to you and respect you.
Letting dogs run around freely
Letting your dog off the lead to run around is great exercise for them, but you need to teach them some simple commands to ensure their safety. Commands include coming back to you when called and ‘leave it’ for if they go near anything they shouldn’t. Offering treats as a reward can help to keep them focused. If you’re walking someone else’s dog be sure to ask them what commands they understand and what treats can be given. You also need to know if they’re okay with other dogs or if they need to be put back on their lead when approaching them. Dogs off the lead should always wear an ID tag so that if they get lost while they’re running around and exploring it’s easier to be reunited.
Get the right lead
Having a lead that suits you and your dog sets you up for successful and fun walks together. Research has compared harnesses and collars and found that dogs seem happy to walk wearing either, but a harness is a good option for dogs that pull as they offer good control and prevent them from choking themselves, like they would with a conventional collar. However, harnesses where the lead clips on at the back can actually encourage pulling. When you pull back against them to gain control, your dog’s eyeline will go everywhere except towards you, giving them more things that excite them, resulting in them pulling you more. Front clip harnesses are your best option, even if your dog doesn’t pull, as they’re comfortable for them to wear, there’s no risk of tightening around their neck and you have the same control as you would if they were wearing a conventional collar.
Make dog walks fun and easy by getting the basics right. This way they’ll be more enjoyable for both you and your dog. If you have a dog walker it will also make it easier for them and your pooch is more likely to feel happy and confident going out.
If you live in the Islington area of London and are looking for a regular dog walker, please do get in touch with us