What most unites a person with their dog and vice versa are daily walks, a tool that beyond strengthening the bond between pet and owner is essential for our dog to enjoy a full state of well-being.
Walking is part of socialization, of learning about the environment and what is even more important, of the routine, a completely necessary routine for the dog. Dogs must always walk, however, in puppies and young dogs this need is even greater, because they need to channel their energy, otherwise, stress and anxiety can appear very quickly.
In this Animal Expert article we show you how walk the puppy on a leash for the first time in the most appropriate way.
What you should know before walking your puppy
Puppies, once they can separate from the mother (usually from one month and a half of life) need specific care at home, because they are in the process of maturation of organs and systems.
Especially important is the maturation of the immune system, which will allow your body to cope with numerous infectious diseases. This stage of development and maturation plays a decisive role in the state of health of the dog, that is why we should not rush to start the walks outside the home.
Before walking your puppy for the first time It will be essential:
- Having made a first deworming
- That the puppy has the first mandatory vaccines: parvovirus, hepatitis, distemper, leptospirosis, rabies and parainfluenza
The process of deworming and initial vaccination usually concludes at approximately 3-4 months of age and it is at this time when you can start the walks outside the home, do it before puts our pet's life at risk.
First contact with collar and strap
It is normal for a puppy to be scared on the first walk, but we can reduce and mold this reaction if we have previously familiarized the dog with the main accessories necessary for daily walks: the collar or harness and the leash.
It is easier to start by presenting the collar or harness, for this, it is very important that before placing the collar, for example, your dog let it smell as much as necessary. You should keep in mind that dogs know their environment primarily through smell. After this initial contact you can put the necklace at times, increasing time progressively until the puppy feels completely comfortable with the collar and has become accustomed to wearing it.
However we want to remember that the harness is much more advisable to avoid the appearance of problems such as glaucoma, damage to the trachea or other health problems that may arise if the puppy pulls hard when learning to walk.
The procedure to present the leash should be similar, before placing it on the collar we must let the dog smell it and explore it, then we can place it and let the dog get used to the sensation that causes it to wear it.
Once the first contact with the collar and the strap has started, we can simulate small walks inside the homeIn this way, the first walk outside the home will be more likely to be successful, and what is even more important, pleasant for our pet.
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!
Do you have what you need to start with the first ride?
Before you get ready to take your puppy for a walk for the first time Check that you have everything you need:
- Much love for calm the puppy before salt>
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.
How to walk the puppy for the first time
The puppy's first walk will result from great importance to avoid bad habits in the future, being the behavior to avoid par excellence that the dog pulls on the leash and wants to set the pace as well as the direction. Once the dog is in a state of calm you can put the leash and then open the door to exit.
When the dog has left behind you or in a calm way, offer him a treat, this will reinforce his good behavior and later your pet will always let you out before or do it properly, instead of desperately throwing towards the door. However remember that he is a puppy on his first walk, we should not demand high-level behavior.
It is normal for the puppy to feel nervous on his first walk and not obey, in this case, you must stop in front of him until he stops and calms down, once he has done so, offer him a treat again, in this way, to Through positive reinforcement, he will learn to walk calmly and in harmony with you.
The other extreme of nervousness and disobedience is fear, a fear that can be normal but paralyzes and requires all understanding and patience on our part. If the puppy does not want to walk, do not force it to it under any circumstances. What you should do in this case is to encourage him to walk with pampering and words in a soft and sweet tone.
These habits should be repeated on each walk until your dog has fully integrated this important part of his daily routine.
To associate the exterior with the place where you must do your needs, provide it the first few times a treat every time you urinate or defecate during his departure.
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.
How long should a puppy's first walks last?
The puppies have a lot of energy, but also they sell out very quickly, it is because of that sleep and food are the basic pillars In this first vital stage. If you want your puppy to perceive the walks as something pleasant and positive you must adapt the intensity and duration of the walk to your needs.
The puppy's first walks should not last more than 10 minutesIn the same way, you cannot force your dog to walk with a duration or intensity greater than its own limitations.
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.
The process of socialization in the walks
When your puppy is more accustomed to walking and observe that he is no longer afraid or stressed, we will start the socialization process of the puppy, fundamental to avoid future fears, aggressiveness and other negative situations that may arise.
Socialization consists in presenting to our dog everything that is going to be present in his adult life: dogs, cats, people, objects, noises, environments. The purpose is to accustom you to all these stimuli so that you perceive them positively and do not react negatively to them.
If your puppy is properly vaccinated, you should not be afraid to introduce him to other dogs, let him smell the urine, or that he bathes in the sand of the pipi-can. It is essential that the puppy can experience and know everything around him. Yes, all these experiences must be positive To avoid future fears.
If you want to read more articles similar to Walk the puppy on a leash for the first time, we recommend that you enter our section of Basic Education.
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.