Lets bring the dog for a walk!
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At some stage or other we have all seen the dog walking the owner! Looks like great fun for the dog but not such good fun for the human at the other end of the lead!
Aside from the obviously discomfort felt by the human of having their arms stretched till it feels like it is coming out of its socket, the pressure this type of pulling can place on a dogs body can cause damage to the neck and back areas.
So here are some tips to make your walks a little easier!
- First, the basics. What are you using to walk you dog, a flat collar? A harness? What type of lead? Walk into any pet shop and the array of equipment available is huge from fashion favourites to many products claiming to be able to instantly cure any lead walking problems. Out advice is use a harness for comfort and safety, both you and your pets. Dogs that pull when on lead or that are prone and lunge excessively, are the perfect candidates for harnesses. When dogs constantly pull ahead during walks or lunge suddenly, this can put strain on the neck and throat with potentially harmful over time. So what type of harness you but will depend on the size, breed and issues you are having with your dog BUT generally (not set in stone) we recommend the following – if you dog is over 25kg a front connection harness such as the Freedom Harness or the Sensible Harness, Less that 20kg we recommend a regular H Harness or any of the Julius K9 Harness. For pups any fashions harness that fits properly don’t go too mad price wise as you may have to upgrade quickly as you puppy grows. On leads we recommend a regular lead, about 6 foot in length. Avoid using a retractable lead/Flexi type lead as you want your dog to walk in a mannerly fashion beside you and its unrealistic to expect them to be at heal if you have given them 10 meters to play around with and also because these are a nightmare product when they get wrapped around poles, other people, other dogs etc.
2. Treats – yep while you dogs is being trained to walk on lead we recommend that you add tasty treats to your dog walking accessories of poo bags etc. Its what all the fashionable dogs owners carry!
3. Patience – DON’T decide to start training to walk your dog nicely on lead when he is 18 months old and expect him to understand what you want him to do within 20 minutes!!! Be realistic. As with all training sessions with your dog, start when you are in good form, have time to spend concentrating in the task in hand and not when you are crazy busy in work and trying to answers 75 emails and walk your dog at the same time. You will only end up frustrated and your dog will not get a decent walk in so he will end up frustrated and no one wins.
4. Enrol in a lead walking class to get your started! If you can’t spare 90 minutes to learn from a trainer how to deal with this problem, I am guessing it is not that big a problem to begin with, but at the very least follow the tips listed below to get you started on the right track.
Walking with your dog should be fun for you both, remember what you teach them when they are young is how they will behave when they are older. For information on our lead walking classes or on any of the many dog training masterclasses and courses that we run, call us on 01 9013018.