Thursday, May 23, 2013

The importance of regular walks with your dog buddies

I always explain to new students in my classes the importance of taking your dogs on regular walks. Even if you have a fenced back yard for the dog to romp in, it is still important to take them out on the leash for a walk frequently.

There are many different methods and theories regarding dog training today. Many of them disagree and conflict on many aspects however the importance of the walk is one aspect on which most seem to agree.

Those of you who have discussed this with me in the past know that I advocate at least a few minutes of what a I call a "controlled" walk each time you take your buddy out for a walk.

By controlled, I mean that I wait to get the dog calm and preferably in a sit before the walk begins. I keep the dog by my side and he does not get in front of me during the controlled part of the walk. When I stop, I give the wait command and my buddy waits beside me until I am ready to continue. My attitude during this part of the walk is that I am walking and my buddy is lucky enough to come along. 

When you do this loose leash walking properly, your dog will quickly learn to stop when you stop. The wait command is also useful to teach the dog to behave at doorways.

This is also an excellent way to strengthen the bond between you and the dog!

In addition to the training benefits, it is also healthy for you and for your dog. A well exercised dog is less likely to engage in problematic behavior out of boredom. And well, a well exercised person is likely to be in better shape :).

However, before this can work, the dog must know how to walk properly on a leash. You must also know the proper loose leash walking technique. Those of you who have been in my classes know that this is not rocket science but it does not really come natural to either you or your dog buddy.

For dogs that pull on the leash, a no-pull harness or a special martingale collar may be needed at least initially to inhibit the pulling so that the dog can learn the appropriate technique. But again, this is not rocket science either. However, not all no pull devices are appropriate for all dogs. I will be happy to aid you in selecting the proper device.

The picture above is of me and my buddy Cuddles. Cuddles is a 12 year old Corgi Mix. I met Cuddles when I met my wife, Shane. At the point that is pictured in the walk, I am giving Cuddles a little extra leash so that she can explore the terrain of the mountain roadside stop that we made on a trip together.

We spent several days in the Smoky mountains on that trip and Cuddles became a regular mountain dog :).

If your dog does not behave properly on the leash, I will be happy to assist you at anytime simply call me or email me. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity that we all have to bond with our dogs! Take your dog for a walk now.... it will be fun and healthy for you both!

Till next time



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