Mastering Dog Walking: How to Control Your Pup

Walking your pet is an excellent way to bond and keep them active. However, it can be challenging to control your dog when they get overexcited during walks. This can lead to them pulling on the leash, barking at other dogs, or even running away.

To ensure a pleasant and safe walking experience for both you and your dog, it’s crucial to establish control. One way to do this is by practicing commands with them, such as “sit,” “go fetch,” and “roll over.” Additionally, calling out their name often can get their attention and help improve their behavior. Regularly practicing these commands can help reinforce good behavior and make walks more enjoyable for both you and your pet.

It’s also important to use proper equipment, such as a short leash and a well-fitting collar or harness. This allows you to have more control and communicate with your dog more easily. Remember to keep your dog’s safety in mind when giving corrections and reward good behavior with treats or praise. With patience and consistency, you can control your dog when walking and have a fun and safe experience.

Why is it important to control your dog when walking?

When you take your dog for a walk, it is important to make sure that you are in control at all times. This is because an uncontrolled dog can be a danger to themselves, other animals, and people. Here are some reasons why it is important to control your dog when walking:

  • Preventing aggressive behavior: If your dog is not trained to walk on a leash and is allowed to run free, they may become aggressive towards other animals or people. By keeping them on a leash and under your control, you can prevent this behavior.
  • Ensuring your dog’s safety: An uncontrolled dog can run into traffic, eat harmful objects, or get into fights with other animals. By controlling your dog when walking, you can prevent these dangerous situations.
  • Building trust and respect: When you take control of your dog during walks, you are establishing yourself as the leader and building trust and respect with your dog. This can lead to better behavior in other areas of your dog’s life.
  • Improving behavior: Regular walks can help improve your dog’s behavior by providing mental and physical stimulation. By controlling your dog during walks, you can reinforce good behavior and discourage bad behavior.

In summary, controlling your dog when walking is important for their safety, the safety of others, and for building trust and respect. It can also improve your dog’s behavior and prevent aggressive behavior.

Chiweenie and chihuahua walking on slip leads with sweaters

The Basics of Dog Walking

When walking your dog, there are some basic things you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and your pet. In this section, we will cover the essentials of dog walking, including leash and collar, posture, and energy.

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Leash and Collar

One of the most important tools for walking your dog is the leash and collar. A short dog leash is recommended as it gives you more control over your dog’s movements. Make sure the collar is properly fitted and not too tight or too loose. The collar should be snug enough to prevent your dog from slipping out of it but not so tight that it chokes your dog.

Ella with no pull harness behaving on walk

Posture and Energy

Your posture and energy play an important role in dog walking. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and your head up. This posture will give you a more confident and assertive appearance, which will help you establish yourself as the leader of the pack. Dogs are pack animals and respond well to a confident leader.

Your energy level is also important. Dogs can sense your energy, so it’s important to be calm and assertive. Avoid being too aggressive or too passive. You want to strike a balance between being in control and being relaxed.

When walking your dog, keep your movements slow and deliberate. Avoid sudden movements or jerky motions, as these can startle your dog and make them nervous.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, walking your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your pet. By following these basic tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable walk every time. Remember to use a short leash, maintain a confident posture, and keep your energy level calm and assertive. With these tips in mind, you and your dog will be on your way to a happy and healthy walking routine.

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Common Problems While Walking Your Dog

When taking your dog for a walk, there are several common problems you may encounter. Here are some tips on how to handle them:

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Dog Pulling and Lunging

If your dog is constantly pulling and lunging during walks, it can be frustrating and even dangerous. One way to address this is to use a no-pull harness, which can help reduce pulling and lunging. You can also try stopping and standing still when your dog pulls, and only continuing to walk when the leash is loose. This will teach your dog that pulling doesn’t get them where they want to go.

Barking

If your dog barks excessively while walking, it can be disruptive to both you and your neighbors. One way to address this is to teach your dog a “quiet” command and reward them when they stop barking. You can also try distracting your dog with a toy or treat when they start barking, or changing your walking route to avoid triggers that may cause barking.

Outdated Techniques

Some dog owners may still use outdated techniques like choke chains or prong collars to control their dogs during walks. However, these methods can be harmful and may even lead to injury. Instead, try using positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise to encourage good behavior. It may take longer to see results, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Remember, walking your dog should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your pet. By addressing common problems like pulling, lunging, barking, and outdated techniques, you can make your walks safer and more enjoyable.

Techniques for Controlling Your Dog While Walking

When walking your dog, it’s important to have control over your pet to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Here are two techniques to help you control your dog while walking.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a technique that rewards your dog for good behavior. When your dog walks calmly beside you, reward them with a treat or praise. This will encourage your dog to continue walking calmly.

You can also use positive reinforcement to train your dog to walk on a loose leash. When your dog pulls on the leash, stop walking and wait for your dog to return to your side. When they do, reward them with a treat or praise. With consistent training, your dog will learn to walk on a loose leash.

Correction

Correction is a technique that corrects your dog’s behavior when they misbehave. When your dog pulls on the leash, use a correction technique to let them know that their behavior is not acceptable.

One technique is to stop walking and wait for your dog to stop pulling. When they do, continue walking. Another technique is to turn around and walk in the opposite direction when your dog pulls on the leash. This will teach your dog that pulling on the leash will not get them where they want to go.

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Remember to use positive reinforcement when your dog walks calmly beside you to encourage good behavior.

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Becoming the Pack Leader

To control your dog when walking, it’s important to become the pack leader. By establishing yourself as the leader, your dog will learn to follow your commands and behave appropriately.

To become the pack leader, start by taking your dog on a walk before feeding them. This will show them that you are in control and that they need to listen to you. Additionally, providing exercise and discipline in that order is crucial. Make sure to provide enough exercise for your dog to achieve a calm-submissive state.

Another way to become the pack leader is to establish rules and boundaries for your dog. This can include not allowing them on the furniture or not allowing them to eat until they are calm and submissive.

It’s important to note that becoming the pack leader does not involve punishment or dominance-based techniques. These methods can make your dog fearful or competitive and should be avoided.

By becoming the pack leader, you can create a stable and comfortable environment for your dog, which can relieve their stress and anxiety. This will lead to a better-behaved dog and a more enjoyable walking experience for both you and your pet.

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Success Tips

To successfully control your dog while walking, you need to establish yourself as the pack leader. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

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  • Use a short leash: Attaching the leash to the top of the neck will give you more control.
  • Walk with confidence: Your dog will sense your energy and follow your lead.
  • Stop and change direction: If your dog pulls ahead, stop and change direction to show them that you are in control.
  • Keep your dog focused: Use treats or toys to keep your dog’s attention on you.
  • Stay alert: Be aware of your surroundings and any potential distractions that may cause your dog to lose focus.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key to successful dog training. Stick to your routine and training techniques.
  • Reward good behavior: Praise and reward your dog for good behavior to encourage them to continue.

Remember, controlling your dog while walking takes practice and patience. Keep working with your dog and don’t give up. With persistence and consistency, you will see success.

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Conclusion

Controlling your dog when walking can be frustrating, but with practice and patience, you can improve your dog’s behavior. Remember to use commands and call out your dog’s name often to get their attention. It’s also essential to establish control by leash training your dog and keeping them on a short leash.

Regular walks are crucial for your dog’s health and well-being. Start with short walks and gradually increase the duration and distance as your dog becomes more comfortable. Remember to reward your dog after the walk with food and water.

If your dog has a high prey drive, it’s essential to channel and control their instincts on walks. You can use predation substitution tools to teach your dog safe parts of the predatory sequence.

Always pick up after your dog to keep the environment clean and healthy. Remember to set a good example by being a responsible dog owner.

In conclusion, controlling your dog when walking is a skill that requires practice and patience. Use the tips and techniques mentioned in this article to improve your dog’s behavior and have enjoyable walks with your pet.

FAQ

How often should I go to walk my dog?

Dogs are a canine animal species, thus it’s important to take them out on frequent walks so they can relieve their pent-up aggression and get a breather while they’re at it. Grown-up dogs should be taken out on walks at least 3 times a day, puppies however, should be taken on shorter walks until they’re used to it.

What problems will I encounter when taking my dog out on a walk?

If you’re a new dog owner, or even a veteran, according to Cesar’s Way, you’ll encounter the following problems with your dog when walking:

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  • Dogs being harder to control during walks (over-excited, aggressive, nervous)
  • Being aggressive towards other animals
  • Being irritable towards you
  • Consistent growling, barking and anger
  • Pulling on the leash while walking
  • Not listening when you command
  • Feeling restrained and barking loudly in rebuttal
  • Hard to control and keep track of distracted dogs
  • Stopping on impulse while walking
  • Seemingly uninterested in going out for a walk

What commands should I practice with my dog while on walks?

The easiest way of controlling your dog when they get overexcited during walks is to practice commands with them, such as ‘sit,’ ‘go fetch,’ and ‘roll over.’ Also call out their names often to get their attention and then repeat any commands you want them to carry out, to improve their behavior it’s best to regularly practice these commands.

How much distance should I keep from my dog while walking?

No matter if you’re walking one dog or five, it’s important to walk in front of or ahead your dog/dogs so that they see you as their leader and follow you. This makes controlling dogs easier as they’ll now be intimidated of you and follow your commands wholeheartedly without causing any commotion.

How should I lead to control my dog without it feeling restrained?

According to Animed, a leading guide on pets, while leading your dog, the distance should be short enough for your dog to easily listen to your commands while also feeling relaxed. The lead should be far enough to give them independence as well so that they don’t feel restrained while also close enough to observe and control them.

What kind of leash is the best for controlling my dog while walking?

A shorter leash will minimize the distance between you and your dog, making it easier for you to command and communicate with them, and guide them if the need be. A longer leash will be inconvenient to manage as your dog can sometimes go out of control and pull on the leash.

Why is pulling on the leash not the best way to control your dog on walks?

When our dog pulls on the leash, our normal response is to pull back, however, that can cause damage to the dog’s throat and even lead to a collapsed trachea. To prevent this constant pulling, teach your dog how to walk with the leash hanging loosely, giving the dog more freedom to walk around while also controlling them.

Should I restrain the amount of my dog’s bathroom breaks during walks?

To limit the amount of times your dog goes on bathroom breaks during a walk, try teaching commands to let the dog know when it’s ok to go pee, as suggested by American Kennel Club. Restraining too much will not be feasible as it would make the dog more irritable, spiraling out of your control.

How much ‘sniffing and exploring’ should I let my dog do on walks?

During walks, dogs like to sniff around and explore till their heart’s content, so dragging them away from enjoying the scenery in an attempt to control them will only make your dog sad. However, to divert their attention from sniffing around too much, you can practice commands like ‘leave it’ to revert their attention back to you.

How much time is ideal for a dog walk?

A walk serves as a breather or a source of physical activity for your dog who stays indoors most of the time, so making sure they’re getting a longer walk is important. According to AKC, a 30 minute to 2-hour long walk will make sure your dog gets enough exercise as well as give you the time to practice commands.

What’s the importance of rewarding your dog during the walk?

Whenever your dog successfully follows the command you’ve given them, make sure to praise them or give them treats as a reward for doing a good job. This not only encourages your dog to follow the same command in the future, but also trains their brains to do so, making it easier to lead them.

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Why should I keep leading, even when the walk has ended?

After the walk has finished and you’ve arrived home, maintain the leading stance so that your dog stays in one place while you take off their leash and put away all the other things. This will train your dog to know how to follow you and what to do after a walk has ended, making things easier for you.

How to reward your dog after the walk is over?

Provide a good meal for your dog or a generous serving of dog food after getting home as a show of rewarding, indicating that they’ve done a good job on the walk. This reminds the dog that they’ve actually worked for their food and earned it after long hours of exercising outside.