While walks can be extremely fun and healthfully beneficial to your pet, they can also be a source of stress if your dog hasn’t yet mastered the walk. Whether you just got a brand new puppy or are a lifelong dog owner, debunking these myths below may help spice up your walk and lend you a better sense of control during walk-time.
Myth #1: It Is Okay To Give Your Dog Free Reign On Walks
Actually, dogs are more likely to exert calm behavior if you remain calm and assertive throughout the walk, showing your dog that you’re the leader. Giving your dog free reign and allowing him to pull you gives your pooch the impression that he’s in charge.
To avoid this, you can keep your dog on a shorter leash and calmly yet assertively walk next to him to keep his paws moving. Cesar Millan suggests using bathroom breaks and chances to stop and smell the roses as rewards for good obedience.
Lastly, especially in warm weather, it’s important to make sure your dog avoids walking through other people’s lawns that could be sprayed with insecticides, according to Pets.WebMD. Insecticides, and even nibbling on flowers, can cause stomach problems for your dog.
Myth #2: Never Give In To Your Dog’s Pulling
Dog walking can be a pleasant experience if your dog doesn’t pull. However, if your dog loves to run, problems can brew.
While it is important to have good control of your pet while you walk him, consider running, roller blading or biking with your furry friend to help him get out some of that extra energy.
Don’t necessarily assume he should always, only, ever walk. Running can be a great thing for him, and if you’re a runner, try lacing up those running shoes and take Fido for an upbeat jaunt.
Myth #3: My Dog Should Never Stop To Enjoy Smelling And Roaming
If one extreme is letting your dog have free reign, the other extreme is not giving your pooch any leeway.
As discussed earlier, it is important to make sure your dog knows who the one in charge is. However, it is perfectly acceptable to let your pup roam around a little as a reward if he listens to your instructions and exhibits good behavior on the walk.
Just be sure Fido is exploring in a safe area that doesn’t contain toxic chemicals or insecticides.
Myth #4: Always Stick To The Same Routine
While finding a route that works for you and your dog is ideal, it can sometimes be fun to switch things up every now and again.
Typically, we take our dog Paisley on the same walking routine everyday. However, every once in awhile, we will walk the opposite way around the block or take her for a longer walk.
While at first she’s confused that we’re not heading in the same direction, she quickly enjoys learning the new smells and sounds on our new path. It can be a fun experience for both you and your dog that helps keep things interesting.
Myth #5: Avoid Spicing Things Up
Are you tired of simply walking with no destination or adventures along the way? Try incorporating fun activities into your daily walk.
Millan suggests heading to a dog friendly restaurant or shop before returning home from the walk. Try bringing toys along as well to get in some extra playtime and release even more energy during walk-time. Even try calling up some friends to walk with you. That way, it’s a playdate for both you and your dog.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget extra water, treats and poop bags on any long walk!
Dog walking can be extremely enjoyable but also stressful. We hope you learned some tips after we debunked these dog walking myths.
If you are gone at work all day or are heading out of town and need someone to walk your dog, we would love to have the opportunity to. Feel free to reach us at 843-879-0822.