I’ve gathered some of my most fave dog walking tips that will get you and your pup out enjoying and exploring your neighborhood. Forget about your traditional around the block potty breaks, it’s time to crank up your dog walking stylo!
1. Always Bring Delicious Treats!
One of the best dog walking tips is “absolutely don’t leave your house without your treat bag.” Sporting a dog treat bag is my all time fave recommendation to dog owners because you never know what kind of circumstances you might encounter while you’re dog walking. You might run into a Barking Buffoon dog, perhaps a large scary snow plow, a playground with noisy kids, even an unusually large garbage bag rattling and crackling in the wind or an enticing, irresistible fluffy rabbit or squirrel.
For some dogs those obstacles present no problems. It’s a “yup, seen it, been there, done that, boring” kinda thing. But for others (especially a new puppy) any one of those can seem terribly life threatening.
Every situation you encounter outside when you’re dog walking is a golden opportunity to either reinforce or teach your dog a preferable behavior with Positive Reinforcement. Tricky situations require steadfast action to keep your dog interested and engaged with you. That’s where having your treat bag filled with your dog’s fave yummies is one of your most clever and an excellent dog training tools.
2. I Don’t Recommend Flip Flops!
Getting ready to go dog walking now? Make sure you’ve got your dog walking fashion gear on and flip flops are a HUGE no no! I learned that the hard way when Halle was about 9 months, full of strength, bounciness and a gigantic prey drive.
One day we were out and about and while I wasn’t totally paying attention, she spotted a squirrel and decided that nothing was going to stop her from chasing that newfound furry toy across the neighbor’s yard. Not some bushes or spring flowers or even Mom’s casual flips. Needless to say, that our curious monkey dragged me barefoot for quite some time until I was able to get her focus back with some simple fun attention grabbing cues and TREATS.
“The secret to my exceptionally well built and sexy sculpted body is very simple; walking daily with Mom & Dad!” – Halle
A good pair of running shoes is an excellent investment. I always dress to impress and come prepared with my runners in case I need to switch gears and go “all-terrain” or do a few sprints when the occasion occurs.
3. Bring a Toy!
If your dog has a higher drive for toys instead of treats, include a favorite toy when you go out for a walk. Smart pet dog toys like tugs work the same way as a treat. The same positive dog training rules apply. If your dog does something good, mark and happily offer a quick toy play session. It’s also great for distractions especially if you have a Kong Wubba dog toy with you. The great thing about the Wubba is that it has a super useful squeaker for those times where you want to get your dog’s immediate attention.
When we take Halle along the lake shore we often see this really happy other dog walking with his head high with a happy tail all “proudy” gripping a Chuckit Ball in his mouth. The dog owner with the Chuckit launcher in hand. They know that any minute their owner will say those magic words “Wanna play fetch?” to reward good walking habits.
Unlike regular tennis balls that damage your dog’s tooth enamel, the Chuckit Balls are super safe, super bouncy and super fun!
Good dog walking tips: if you want to bring a toy along for your adventure make sure you take a toy most appropriate for your walk. I don’t recommend a bouncy ball when dog walking on bustling streets. The last thing you want is to have your dog running into the busy street chasing her ball.
An enjoyable tug toy might be best for city walking!
You should definitely read the article Vish wrote on dog tug of war.
Watch the look on your dog’s face when you pull out one of her fave toys the next time you hit the pavement with your pup!
4. Follow the Weather…
The last thing you want to be doing is running for shelter from sudden heavy rain fall with a totally depressed looking dog (Halle hates the rain) trailing behind you. If it’s pouring outside and we happen to get caught while out walking Halle, we must continue walking and never come to a dead stop because Halle will immediately let us know how she feels about the situation. It’s the funniest thing, our girl instantly transforms into a dark ‘n wet silver statue, with that dreadful look on her face thinking “wait t’ill we get home Mom & dad. I’m gonna go on the carpet and shake it like a salt shaker!” followed by an evil grin.
If you want my best dog walking tips, then follow your local forecaster and make sure you get all weatherized before heading out for your dog walk. Bring an umbrella, wear something light, double up on your sweater or some good warm gloves if you have to.
Do whatever makes you feel happy and gets you in and out with ease. Walking your dog should be a relaxing and bonding experience. Wearing your Friday night outfit might not be a wise fashion choice.
Go with the flow, you’re going to make your dog walking adventure much more enjoyable and comfortable.
5. Explore New Frontiers.
This one is often overlooked and quite important in the grand scheme of things…
Nothing puts more of a smile on my face than seeing Halle go absolutely bonkers wild when we stop in a completely new town or park while on a road trip. Her stumpy little tail goes miles an hour and our silly girl just zig-zags onto new scents filtering all the new smells – so heartwarming!
Don’t limit your dog to the same ol’ walking routes, explore your neighborhood, new local parks and trails. Try these great dog walking tips and see how ultra happy your pup will be. Who knows, your dog might even meet a new friend.
Because dogs absorb the world through their noses first, walking your dog in a totally unfamiliar setting builds confidence and sense of the world around them. Every new and different situation is a learning experience. The next time you’re going on a quick errand, hop your dog in for the ride and stop half way for a quick potty break and keep an eye out for that rapid tail waggin’. It’s a simple as that!
Here’s a quick recap:
– Always bring Yummy Treats!
– Be Wise with your Dog Walking Fashion.
– Keep an Eye Out for the Weather.
– Take a Fun Toy along for the Walk.
– Be Adventurous!
Don’t simply think of the dog walk as a dreaded duty but as a great opportunity to bond with your furry friend. You’ll discover many new things about your dog when she’s instinctually doing what she loves most – being a dog!
Remember to keep things Fun and Engaging! Do you have any great dog walking tips that you’d like to share? I always love to hear from our friends – please leave your thoughts below.
This article was taken from www.halleballedog.com/5-fail-proof-dog-walking-tips/ and modified by New York Dog Nanny.