The Do's and Don'ts of Dog Walking
Walking your dog is great for both you and your pet. It provides fun and exercise for your dog, and allows you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors with your canine companion. Here are some tips to make every walk a great one.
Do begin your walk by calling your dog to you. Don’t walk over to him and put on his leash, because you want to begin the walk in the leadership position, not the follower.
Don’t use a retractable leash. They make it harder to control your dog, and can make your walk more frustrating for both of you.
Do teach your dog to walk alongside or a little behind you. This further establishes your role as the pack leader, and will help you keep control of your dog.
Don’t let your dog lead you or pull you around. Remember who’s in charge, and it’s not your pet!
Do make sure your dog’s identification information is up to date in case he gets away from you. If your dog is microchipped, make sure you keep your contact information for that up to date, too.
Don’t let you dog mark his territory everywhere you go. Give him an opportunity to pee when it’s your decision, not his.
Do make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available if it’s hot outside. If you’re thirsty, so is he.
Don’t let your dog off the leash unless you are in a designated leash-free area. This is for your dog’s safety as well as the safety of others.
Do enjoy walks often, daily if possible. Use them as an opportunity to not only get exercise and fresh air, but to build on and reinforce the kind of relationship you want to have with your dog. Walking to heel, coming when called, and gate/door manners are some basics that can sharpen your dog’s response to you.
Don’t let your dog eat plants. You never know if they are toxic or if they’ve been sprayed with pesticides.