If there is one activity that virtually all dogs love, it’s going for walks. In addition to helping your furry friend burn off excess energy, going on strolls together gives your naturally curious pup an opportunity to engage in the world around them and use their powerful sense of smell. But without the right gear and technique, your daily outings can be a frustrating experience. Here are a few simple tips on how to walk a dog and turn it into an enjoyable activity for both you and your pooch. (Hint: It could be as easy as picking up a new dog harness and leash set!)
1. Try a no-pull harness
Tired of having your arm yanked out of its socket when your dog spots a squirrel or a cat? A no-pull harness for dogs may be your new best friend. Unlike traditional harnesses that clip the leash to the back, no-pull dog harnesses clip the leash to a D-ring located on the front of the harness to help redirect dogs that pull. A good-fitting harness will also help keep your dog secure and take the strain off your pup’s delicate neck, ensuring a safer and more comfortable walk for you and Fido.
2. Invest in a comfortable leash
Even if your dog doesn’t have a pulling habit, you’ll still want to choose a durable yet comfortable dog leash. A good dog leash will be easy to grip and long enough to allow freedom of movement while still keeping your pup close to your side. Nylon leashes are generally considered the gold standard of dog leashes because they’re durable, comfy and come in a variety of styles and colors. Be aware that most experts recommend staying away from retractable dog leashes, which can break more easily and cause injury to you and your dog.
3. Don’t put your dog in situations they aren’t ready to handle
If your dog is reactive on a leash, the last thing you want to do is walk them on a narrow sidewalk during the busiest part of the day. Instead, choose a time and place that will give your dog a reasonable chance of success. If your dog is particularly reactive, you may want to start your training sessions in the backyard or inside your home before progressing to strolls in the neighborhood.
4. Consistency is key
There are many different approaches a person can take to leash train a dog. No matter which training method you choose, it’s important to be consistent. Communicate your training method with your spouse, your children, the dog walker and anyone else who will be walking your dog regularly. If you don’t, your dog will inevitably receive mixed signals and get confused.
5. Pack some extra bags
Picking up your dog’s poop comes with the territory of being a good dog owner. And it’s more than just a matter of common courtesy. Picking up after your pet helps prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, viruses and disease-causing parasites like Giardia. Before you leash up your pet, attach a dog poop bag holder to the leash and make sure it’s stocked with plenty of bags. That way, when duty calls, you’ll always be prepared!
6. Practice when you’re in a good mood
If you’re trying to train your dog to walk nicely on a leash, avoid practicing when you’re mad. Dogs are extremely sensitive to our emotional cues, and research shows that our canine companions are less likely to trust our commands when we’re visibly angry. If you’ve had a rough day, consider finding another way to release your pup’s pent-up energy.
7. Consider enlisting the help of a qualified dog trainer
If you’ve tried everything you can think of to curb your dog’s bad leash manners and haven’t had much luck, there’s no shame in seeking help from a qualified dog trainer. Leash reactivity and tugging on the leash may seem like minor problems, but they can have a negative impact on both you and your dog. A qualified positive reinforcement dog trainer can help overcome roadblocks in your training and cement the bond you have with your dog.
Elevate Your Dog Walking Experience with Beast & Buckle
Hitting the pavement (or trail) with your four-legged companion doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. With these tips, you can get back to enjoying your walks with your four-legged friend.
Are you frustrated by your dog’s non-stop pulling on the leash? Try a no-pull dog harness from Beast & Buckle. Made from premium materials, our high-quality dog harnesses come in a range of fun designs and colors to match your pup’s personality!