Dogs need exercise, and the activity they love more than any other is walking. However, many dog owners shirk the responsibility. Perhaps they simply don’t have time, or maybe they don’t realize how important it is to walk their dogs.
Others give it a go, but give up after being hauled around the neighborhood one time too often by an unruly dog. If any of the aforementioned scenarios describes you, pay attention, because I’d like to share a piece of information that every dog owner should know.
“Dogs must be walked!”
Any dog trainer will tell you that daily exercise is a must for all dogs. For some, 30 minutes to an hour may be enough, for others 2 hours will just be getting started. But the point is they all need exercise, and walking should be the core component of that.
But dog walking involves more than a just leashing your dog and setting off. Some simple guidelines will make it a lot easier for you, and more enjoyable for the dog.
Here are some best practices you can follow;
* Don’t walk your dog during the hottest time of the day as they overheat quite easily. If you need to walk when it’s hot be sure to have some water along for the dog to drink.
* Don’t allow your dog to walk in front of you or he may get the idea that he is the pack leader and this will encourage him to pull. Always walk with the dog by your side.
* Don’t pull back on the lead because this will just encourage your dog to pull back. Try to always keep a relaxed grip, and if your dog does pull, stop and wait for him to calm down before continuing.
* Maintain control of the walk. Don’t allow you dog to dictate direction and particularly when to stop. Sniffing around and marking should only happen when you allow it.
* Where possible, avoid other dogs. You have no idea of another dog’s temperament and matters can quickly get out of hand. If your dog is small, pick him up if a big dog approaches aggressively, if you have a big dog just walk in a different direction and avoid a confrontation.
You also don’t know the health status of dogs you come across. An infected dog can pass on a serious disease to your dog.
* The right leash or collar. Pick a leash / collar combination that is strong enough to keep the dog in check, but still comfortable for him to wear. Also ensure that your dog wears his id tags. You never know when he might slip his leash.
If your dog does escape, the id tag will hopefully result in him being returned safely. For an extra level of security you may also want to have your dog micro-chipped.
* Finally, have fun! Walking your dog can be a really fun activity if you approach it in the right way. It’s one of the best ways of bonding with your dog, it’s an excellent work out for both of you, and your dog will be calmer and more obedient. All of that for just an hour of your time a day.