You’ve mastered sit, stay is coming along nicely, but as soon as you head out for a walk, things get ugly. Yep, it’s an issue faced by many dog owners—the challenge of mastering loose leash walking.
The outside world is so exciting to dogs, with plenty of smells to sniff and things to see. This means it can be hard for them to walk calmly without pulling in every direction.
However, the good news is that any dog can learn to walk calmly on a leash—if you know what you’re doing! To learn more about this form of advanced pet care, keep reading to find our top tips for walking your dog.
Practice Positive Reinforcement
When walking your dog, positive reinforcement is one of the best tools you can use to improve your pet’s behavior. This is a training method where you ignore the bad behavior and continuously reward the good with praise, treats, or toys.
Soon, your dog learns that doing the right thing gets them what they want—attention and snacks! When walking, reward your dog when they do the right thing, like sitting when waiting for a pedestrian light or walking politely.
You’ll start to notice improvements when out walking, as long as you’re consistent.
Bring Along the Right Gear
Responsible pet care means keeping your pet safe with the right accessories. We recommend a harness or collar that fits properly, along with a short leash and some treats.
Try to avoid retractable leashes, as they can sometimes stop working—very dangerous if your dog runs out in front of traffic. The strong tension from the rope has also been known to cause injury to both pets and humans.
Of course, all responsible pet owners always clean up after their pet when walking—this foldable pooper scooper makes it easy to get the job done.
Sniffing Is Ok!
Some pet owners get annoyed that their dog spends too much time sniffing. After all, we’re here to walk, not sniff trees and grass!
However, it’s actually good to allow your dog some time to sniff. It provides mental stimulation and helps them understand their surroundings.
Dogs have such powerful senses of smell that it’s perfectly ok to give them some sniffing time, as long as the area is safe.
Spend Plenty of Time Training
One of the secrets to successful dog walking is that it starts long before you leave the house! Start practicing leash walking in the house when your dog is only a puppy.
Training is key to success, as you want to start in an environment free from distraction before moving onto the vast outdoors. Repetition is key, to practice commands and skills daily—your dog will get the hang of it!
Master Advanced Pet Care When Going for a Walk
Getting a dog to walk perfectly on a lead is definitely a form of advanced pet care, but keep in mind it’s easier for some dogs than others! However, with patience and a lot of practice, you’ll soon start to see improvements.
If you’re really struggling with walking, you might also find that working with a dog trainer or attending an obedience class can make a big difference. Try to stay positive, have fun, and enjoy your time with your dog—soon, you’ll both be walking beautifully!
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