The walk is, without a doubt, one of the most important moments of the day for our dog. Not only does it allow you to make your needs, it also helps you continue to socialize, to lower stress levels or to exercise if possible. However, many owners overlook essential details for your dog to have an enriching and complete walk, turning this routine into an unmotivating habit for their peers.
In this Animal Expert article we will give you some basic driving tips so you know how to walk your dog correctly, as well as some tips that you can apply to offer an extra daily stimulation of your dog.
How can I do so that my dog does not pull the leash during the walk?
Without a doubt, walking with your dog can be the best time of the day or the worst ... and I have bad news: that one way or another is only up to you.
Yes ... what you have heard (well, what you have read ...).
The dog walks as he knows, neither more nor less. It is your task to teach him how to do it, faster, slower, front, back, left, right, etc.
1. The right equipment, according to the dog
The tools you use to walk with your dog will determine the ride quality, so it is essential to choose correctly. Next we review the most popular fasteners:
- Necklace: indicated for dogs that know how to walk correctly and without pulling.
- Anti-escape collar: Recommended for fearful dogs that walk without pulling the leash. The drowning system prevents them from freeing themselves from being subjected to a stimulus that causes them fear, being able to suffer an accident, for example.
- Hanging collar: It is totally discouraged, especially in dogs that pull the leash, as it can drown the dog and cause serious injuries, regardless of stress, fear and anxiety.
- Barbed collar, semi-hanging or punishment: like the previous one, it is totally discouraged, especially in dogs that pull the leash, as it can cause serious neck damage and generates stress, fear and anxiety.
- Harness: Recommended for dogs that pull a bit on the leash, sports dogs or those who are looking for more comfort in holding the dog. It is also useful for those who have a fearful dog trying to get rid of the restraints.
- Anti-pull harness: especially suitable for dogs that pull a lot on the leash, since it avoids the health problems that a collar can cause.
We recommend always using a long strap, also called training belt, which we can adjust according to the occasion. It will serve us both in an urban environment and for our excursions to the countryside (if we do not leave our dog untied). Also, avoid using the extendable leashes, since we lose control over the dog.
Remember that, whatever complement you choose, it must be comfortableor for your dog, wearing tight but not tight. Oh, and don't forget the bags to collect the droppings!
2. The handling
Many people have handling problems, especially if the dog pulls on the leash, does not want to walk or has not learned to walk. It is then when they apply techniques indiscriminately, creating confusion in their partner and turning the ride into a tense moment for the animal.
Try walk in a relaxed way, guiding him gently and stopping whenever the animal stops urinating. Avoid running, shouting or trying to keep the dog on you, as well as pulling on leashes to get to a place or stop him from being thrown at you. Acting calmly teaches your dog to walk in a relaxed way too.
Avoid wearing the leash too long or excessively tense, since in the first case we will not have any control over the dog and in the second we will be stressing. Whenever possible try to take the a little baggy strap, to allow you some freedom of movement.
At this point it is important to highlight some false myths such as, "don't let the dog go in front of you, because that means it's dominating you"or"If your dog gives you jerks, you must pull your leash too"These statements are not based on scientific studies and do not give good results, on the contrary, they cause stress on the dog, who just wants to enjoy his walk. Let's also remember that the dog does not want to dominate us (dominance exists, but it is intraspecific , that is, among members of the same species).
If your dog does not walk properly, it may be because it suffers from a behavioral problem, a lack of learning or suffering from high levels of stress (stress can also be positive, for example when the dog is very excited to go out Street). In these cases it will be essential to review the five freedoms of animal welfare.
Do you recognize what factor influences your case?
If any of them or several are the ones that influence, you have to work them, and not focus only on physical training.
For example, if your dog is already overexcited from home, you must do two things: work the self-control and lower that excess energy not released (typical first thing in the morning).
If your dog does not listen to you, you must strengthen the bond and improve communication with your canine compi.
Harness or collar?
This is another frequently asked question with this topic.
Personally I am more of a necklace, although today there are harnesses that facilitate the walk through its structure and methodology, so it goes to personal taste.
Use what you use, the goal should be that the strap is always relaxed, and stop pulling, with a collar or harness.
There is also the Halti, but it should only be used if you know how to do it and after a habituation phase. It's not buying it and putting it ... very careful with these things.
There are collars to stop a train (that is, many types). You can teach him with a normal, fixed collar.
Do I demonize the rest of the necklaces? No, but its use should be exclusively for professional use and for exceptional cases.
Short or long strap?
The first thing I should tell you is that you DO NOT use the flexi, it is the worst of the worst. What you get with this tool is to teach your dog to throw, in addition to being dangerous if you drop and "chase" the dog.
I also do not recommend short belts of 50 cm or 1 mt. They are too short to give your dog "controlled freedom" when it's his moments on the walk.
There are also the slides, which are collar and strap at the same time. These I recommend only if your dog already knows how to go calm and without pulling, but not to teach.
The ones that I recommend are the leashes of 2-3 meters, especially those that carry several fasteners, so while it is your part of the walk you put it “cuts” that are 2 meters, and when the time comes for the dog, you can extend it to 3 mts and give you more freedom of movement.
Make him tired
A big dog, especially if it's certain breeds, you need to exercise and release adrenaline. It is a good idea to combine quiet walks with some career (so you both do sports) or, if you prefer, with a freedom time in a specific space where animals can be loose. If your dog is constantly restless during the walk, he may need some more activity. Giving it to her is the best way to keep her healthy and enjoy the moments in which the idea is to walk calmly. Everything has its moment.
Use the right ride accessories
Walk accessories are especially important if we talk about large dogs. Choose a harness or collar that is comfortable for you and, in general, try to wear the short strap so that at any given time you can “slow down” it more easily. As a suggestion, extendable straps can come in handy. With them, you can leave the animal more loose when possible (places with little traffic) and bring it closer to you when it is advisable.
I always recommend that the tour be distributed in several phases:
- Dog moment.- It is the part where you follow your dog wherever you want to go.
Normally it is in an area of dirt or grass to smell everything you want, do your needs, and play with a dog if there is one.
This must always be the first part of the exit, which is when the animal needs to be emptied both physiologically and energetically.
I also recommend it at the end of the walks, although there may also be during it, it will depend on the environment and the duration of the ride.
- Your part of the walk.- It is the central part of the walk and that is it, ride.
Here you will allow him to smell or mark from time to time, but it cannot be constant because if it is not impossible to advance four steps in a row.
It should be at a medium-light pace, remember that when we walk our dog it is not to visit stores or stop to see shop windows, or be aware of the mobile ... the moment of the walk is to be with the dog.
It may seem very edge, but if you are watching the windows, the mobile, etc, you can not be aware of your dog, its body language, its needs, the environment, etc. And then what happens ...
The walks must satisfy all the needs of our dog, physiological, mental stimulation (smells), exercise and socialization.
Trust your dog
A large dog is not usually a dangerous dog. Teach him to obey you, but let him socialize, that is, allow it to approach other animals and people. Sometimes, we tend not to let the poor animal enjoy its walk because it is large and can "scare". To prevent unwanted situations, we carry you excessively subject, without letting you sniff or approach anything or anyone. It is a common mistake to avoid. Let your big dog get closer to a smaller one With proper precautions (leash), well, for him it will be something normal and he will have no greater effort to pull you every time he sees something that moves.
How to do not to throw during the ride?
There are several ways, and depending on how your dog is doing, one way or another, or alternate.
At the time of him, one thing is that you follow him and another is that he throws you ... you must follow him right now, but you must not allow jerks.
You can get anywhere but always with the relaxed strap. For that you must do two things:
- If he throws you, you stop until he relaxes belt and then you continue, and
- You must try to keep up with your dog, remember that it is his moment and you must respect him.
When it's time for the ride, if you throw you have two options:
- Stand up and wait for him to relax leash himself (without jerks), and then move on, and / or
- Change direction if it gets too big, causing you to have to be more aware of you.
Remember also your energy: if you are tense, angry, nervous, etc., you will be passing all that energy to your dog through the leash, so you cannot ask your dog for something that you are not respecting: calm.
If you see that your dog doesn't pay much attention to you, check your emotions, take a deep breath and start over.
Of course remember the factors that influence a bad ride, I have mentioned them above. You may need to reinforce some of them before getting down to work.
What else can you do?
You already sense it, right?
One of the things you have to do yes or yes is to work the self-control before going out the door.
Undoubtedly, if your dog leaves quietly from home, the street will be calmer.
On the contrary, if you leave already excited from home ... How do you think it will be on the street? Exactly ... excited.
Can you go in front of me?
Don't be obsessed with going right next to it. It doesn't matter if you go half a meter in front or behind. The important thing is that you go relaxed.
Nor do you take it 2 meters ahead because it will annoy other passersby, and we have to be civilized respecting the whole world, besides that as I say, this can cause people to trip over it.
Well, so far today's class regarding the ride.
Ah! I forgot:
Do not take the tense leash or roll it in your hand as if there were no tomorrow ... this is tension and you pass it to your dog.
Take it relaxed and in such a way that if you need to stop your dog for any reason, you can do it quickly and without complications.
Now we have reached the end
It's your turn ... How do you take walks with your dog? Tell me in the comments, please.
My name is Monica Corchado, director and founder of Dog Coaching and the Dog Coaching Institute.
I am a dog lover and Senior Technician in Canine Psychology and Utility Dog Instructor since 1998.
I love to learn everything related to their behavior and their psychology.
I believe that dogs are with us to teach us something very precious, such as loyalty, integrity and honesty.
They do everything possible to understand us, what less than to strive to understand them too.
3. The ride time
This point is very important and varies greatly according to the race, age or needs of each individual. In general, we could indicate that a dog needs to walk between 40 minutes and two hours, divided between two and three walks a day. Below we explain how they should be:
- morning: The first ride of the day should be the longest, most complete and stimulating, lasting between 15 and 40 minutes.
- Noon: This walk will help us calm our dog and is mainly focused on making their needs. It can last between 10 and 20 minutes.
- Night: Although it is usually the walk we spend more time with, the truth is that the chaos and nervousness of this moment of the day do not help the dog to relax. Ideally, spend a maximum of 15 to 30 minutes on this walk.
Recall that molosoid dog breeds, such as boxer, carlino or dogue de bordeaux should not be exposed to long walks or intense physical exercise, since the structure of their snout does not allow them to breathe as well as other breeds. Likewise, we will not extend the walk to dogs with health problems or elderly dogs. Finally remember that it will be basic avoid high temperaturesWell, they can lead our dog to a heat stroke.
4. The welfare of the dog
Once on the street, our goal will be to ensure the welfare of the dog, trying to make the most of the walk. Enriching this moment of the day will be very useful to improve the bond with us, help you eliminate stress and also help us avoid the occurrence of behavioral problems.
Some tips to promote well-being during the walk are:
- Let him sniff plants, urine and any trace, as it is a great way to relax and also helps you to know the environment in which you live.
- Take you to new sites or modify your walk route so that the diversity of stimuli entertains you and makes the ride more enriching.
- Let him lick Some urine. Although you find it annoying or unpleasant, it is part of the dogs' natural behavior. In addition, if it is properly vaccinated, you do not have to suffer, since it will not be spread. Although this behavior is more common in males than in females, carrying it out allows them to better identify the dogs in the area.
- Reward the behaviors you like, either with goodies or kind words.
- Carry water For both of you if you are going to take a long walk, dehydration can also result in a heat stroke, do not forget it.
- Learn to enjoy the ride with your dog, without nervousness, punishment, shouting or discomfort. Do not pay attention to the clock or walk in a hurry, that translates into a bad ride.
Apart from all the above, it will be important to learn about the language of dogs and the signs of calm, in this way we will know which situations seem positive and which are disturbing and we should avoid.
5. Socialize, whenever possible
If your dog has been correctly socialized in its puppy stage, it will probably not have any problem in relations with other dogs, however, if we prevent our adult dog from continuing to interact, fears or conflicts may begin to arise. It is important allow dogs to relate each other, regardless of the size, age or impression they may cause us.
Of course, we must allow our dog to approach other dogs if desired, we will never force an interaction, since that can generate discomfort in the dog and, therefore, a bad reaction.
6. Moment without belt and games
Allow our dog to enjoy at least 5 or 10 minutes without the strap It is very positive to improve the quality of the ride. In fact, many ethologists recommend this practice in each of the dog's walks. If you are afraid of releasing him in an open place, you can always look for a pee-can or fenced area. That also allows them to show their natural behavior, fundamental to achieve the welfare of the dog.
At this time we can take the opportunity to practice sniffing exercises, as is the sown one, since they relax and mentally tire them. We can also practice some game with him (ball, fresbee, etc.). Of course, avoid forcing him to run if he does not want to, that causes them stress.
7. Street training
If you are practicing basic obedience (sit, come, still, etc.) or dog skills with your dog, it will be very advisable practice inside and outside the homeIn this way, your dog will get used to responding correctly in the different situations in which it is, without being influenced by smells and new environments.
However, remember that we must practice obedience once the dog Finish doing your needs. If not, your dog will be easily distracted and will be more nervous, trying to please you and make needs at the same time.
Do not forget that a training session should last between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the dog, so as not to overwhelm him and ensure that he is not distracted. Reward him with a treat or kind word whenever he does it well, so that he relates the walk and obedience in a positive way.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to walk your dog correctly?, we recommend that you enter our section of Basic Education.
Step 1: Depleting your energies
When an adult puppy or dog goes outside, the first thing he wants to do is run, play, urinate, greet other dogs ... This is something completely normal, so when they leave home they are so energetic, full of vitality and eager to play.
The first thing we should do before starting to teach our dog any task such as walking, lying down, bringing objects, etc ... is to let it go to fire. Eliminating its extra energy we will have a much more submissive dog and willing to learn, so, the first thing we should do is let it release energy.
It is advisable to take it to a dog park or place where you can run freely, play, sniff ... in short, a place where you can vent and get tired. Do not be in a hurry to tire him, do not throw a stick 200 times to run out…. you have to let it do it naturally, so we must have half an hour and hour for them to enjoy exclusively.
Once the dog has realized his needs, played, sniffed and has taken off ... we can begin to teach him. Remembering that to have an energetic and happy dog We must feed it with a feed for high quality dogs.
Step 2: Choose an appropriate training place
To teach our dog to walk, we must choose a quiet place, where it can not be easily distracted and where it does not receive many stimuli (when you have learned the base, we can practice in places with more stimuli). A good place to walk can be a little-traveled park, a country road, etc ... If our dog is learning in a place where he sees other dogs playing, screaming children, bouncing balls, etc ... he will not learn anything, because he will be more attentive to those stimuli than to his owner.
Step 3: Preparing the dog ... and the owner
To start teaching our dog or puppy to walk, it is necessary to be completely relaxed. Humans transmit our problems indirectly to our dogs, so that an owner is tense or stressed, the dog will notice that tension and will not be calm. To teach our dog to walk, we must be calm and in a good mood, without hurry and wanting to teach.
Our dog or puppy must be used to wearing a collar, so all we have left is to put on the leash. It is very important to use a short leash to teach our dog to walk, the extendable leashes are not valid. A leash of one meter, more or less, is a good leash to teach our puppy or adult dog to walk with us.
Once our dog has got tired and we have gone to a quiet area where to start learning, we can only put on the leash and start the lesson.
Take the necessary implements
This applies according to the type of dog in your care. Have a canine collar on hand for those who walk properly and avoid jerks, if the dog is a little scary, it is advisable antitirones collars, which would prevent that after a panic attack they pull desperately to flee.
It also has a collar for harness-type dogs, especially for large dogs that are used to pulling a little.
Try that the straps are not so short to reduce tension levels, but not so long so you can keep control.
It is very important that you place the dog leashes when an anxiety crisis has passed, normal when it is time to leave.
You can teach the dog not to have to get impatient and, if on the way he does, stop the walk until his anxiety subsides, you must have a lot of patience.
It is very important to stop the march if you are looking to fight another dog or if you pounce on people who pass by him. Education is paramount.
Walk in a relaxed way
The pulls do not confuse or tense you. We must know how to handle our pet, that's why we recommend very calm, super relaxed walks, but always alert, so that your guide is much better.
Try not to shout or pull it to go where you want and remember that while you are calm, the canine will also learn to walk in a relaxed way, initially you can take your dog for a walk in little crowded places and without many distractions while learning to walk Relaxed and if you pull.
Walk, games and workouts
It will never hurt that you can alternate several activities at once. Start, obviously, with a relaxing walk, continue with games in which your little friend and you can have fun. Set aside the straps and pressures.
To do this you can spend up to 10 minutes, the most important thing is to get out of the routine, take the time to reinforce learning and teach new things through positive education.
Walk your dog three times a day
According to some experts, dogs need daily walks of up to 40 minutes, which will depend on their fitness or breed.
You can distribute the time, perhaps, in two or three departures: in the morning the route has to be the longest and, of course, the one that stimulates the most, in the afternoon, try to make your needs, so take a bag with you so as not to leave your rubbish in the street, at night, the walk should not be so long, because probably at that time the dog is much more anxious.
Let him explore and socialize
The walks are fundamental, because not only does it allow you to relax and burn energy, it also gives you the opportunity to explore new things.
So once on the street, allow him to smell objects, to nibble without hurting, to lick and, why not, to socialize with his peers.
For him, it will be a fun, stimulating and pleasant enough experience to repeat.
Enjoy the moment
As the owner of the dog, you also try to enjoy the moment with your favorite pet, so avoid shouting and moments of stress, walking your dog should be a relaxing activity for all the parts to which you should devote time and patience.
Do not be aware of what time it is, or that you should return home. A rushed ride does not give well-being to anyone.