Have Fun Walking Your Dog
Let’s face it – walking your dog can sometimes be a chore. If you’re a dog-owner, you probably know the feeling of coming home at the end of the day to a dog who’s excited to get outside when all you want to do is kick off your shoes and relax. To make things worse, a monotonous walk around the same block in your neighborhood gets old fast, for both you and your pup. Inclement weather, lack of time, and a too-excitable pet can all make walking dogs less enjoyable. However, there are a few easy things you can do to make your walks less dull and more fun!
First, it’s important to find the right leash and collar that meets your dogs specific needs. While some dogs are fine with a simple leash that attaches to their collar, for many dogs this type of leash only encourages them to pull and can make it harder to control them on walks. Some dogs, especially if they are still learning their manners around other dogs and people, might benefit from a “gentle leader” leash that fastens around their muzzle and neck, which prevents them from nipping or barking and gives you more control. Other dogs, especially large, strong breeds with a tendency to pull, might work better with a pronged collar that gives your dog a gentle pinch if they pull too hard on the leash. Still other dogs walk best with a harness that fastens around their chest that discourages them from pulling and provides you with more leverage over them. The right leash and collar combo, like the ones that you can get from our friends at Fawn & Brindle, can make all the difference between a stressful and a stress-free walk for you and your pup!
To really enjoy walking your dog it’s also important that your pooch is well-trained and understands appropriate walking behavior. It’s no fun if your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, other people, or even just the squirrels in the trees! Furthermore, a dog that is overly excitable and pulls you around everywhere can turn an otherwise pleasant walk into a struggle. A great way to correct your dog’s walking behavior is to carry treats with you as you walk. Whenever your dog becomes too distracted or excited, gain his attention with a treat and make sure that he follows your commands before rewarding him with a snack! Soon your dog will learn that good behavior is rewarded, and your walks together will become an enjoyable experience all around.
Even if your dog is a great walker already, walking around the same streets of your neighborhood every day can become boring and repetitive. Break up your routine by exploring a new location with your dog, whether that be a new part of town, a nearby park that allows dogs, or a state or national forest. Walking your dog doesn’t have to be dull, and can be an excuse to get out of the house and go somewhere new! If your dog is well-trained enough to be allowed off-leash, many dogs especially love exploring woodsy paths that are full of new and interesting sights, smells, and sounds.
Finally, make sure that the walk is fun for you too! Play some music, or enjoy the sounds of your environment. Use the time you spend walking not only to bond with your dog, but also to relax, reflect on your day, and take the time to appreciate your surroundings. Walks should be fun for you and your dog!