Make dog walks fun again
Walking your fur friend should be a pleasant experience for you and the dog. However, this is not always the case. When your dog becomes aggressive or unfriendly to passersby, it may turn an otherwise wonderful routine into a dreadful affair.
Before blaming the dog, remember that as a pawrent , you need to understand how dogs interact, have realistic expectations and equip yourself with the skills needed to handle the dog when it gets aggressive and overwhelming.
Teach a good recall
This is one of the best and safest tips to have when dog walking. Even if you don't train the dog on any other practice, a good recall is important. You use a recall when they get loose and are out of sight, when they get too playful with other dogs or when they get friendly with people who are afraid of dogs.
The word you choose can be “come” or “here” or “come back” or you can even use a whistle. For it to be effective, pick one word and stick to it. To train the dog on the recall word, stand far away and call them with enthusiasm using your chosen word and their name, for instance, "Come back, Minnie. " Give them a treat when they come and stand by you. You can go further and train them with the other basic dog commands like, “sit-stay” “leave it” and “heel”. These words will make your walk fun for both of you.
Another tip is to make sure your dog does not dash up to other dogs during walks, especially those on a leash. Dogs are usually on a leash for a reason. They could be scared of other dogs; they could be in training or they could even be unwell. It is good dog walking etiquette to let dogs and their owners around you to interact with who they choose to and not to be forced by your out-of-control dog.
Another tip is if you are meeting someone for a walk and the dogs don’t know each other, don’t aim for anything other than walking together in parallel, maintaining a distance until the dogs relax in each other’s company. Let the dogs watch and smell each other without pressure to interact. Watch their body language to get a good idea if they are going to be friends.
Getting your dog from being anxious during walks to being calm is worth all the work and training you put in.
Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]