How Long Should I Walk My Dog?
Taking a dog for a walk is one of the most fun activities to do with your pet canine. It is also one of the best canine exercise solutions to ensure their health condition, and you can even evolve this method to go jogging with them. This activity is also one of the common ways that a dog owner tends to do whenever they wish to spend some quality time with their beloved pets. Some also do this as a family activity during a fine weekend, since pets are considered as a beloved part of the family. But for starters with dogs, it’s very hard to understand how many pet owners manage to handle their pets whenever they go out for a walk with them.
All inexperienced dog owners or those who don’t have a pet often think about how others are capable of talking their pet down a walk, especially when the dog seems to run around a lot. To be honest, handling the dog when taking it for a walk isn’t a hard thing to do at all. All you need to do is to learn the proper steps in handling them, and for sure you will be able to make them feel like they are not caged inside your home.
This article will educate you about the step-by-step procedures that you need to do in order to take your pet for a nice walk, along with safety procedures to train them properly. This also means that the first steps will involve some preparations before you actually take your pet outside with you. Here are the following:
Train Them As a Puppy First!
The very first step that you need to do is to take them out for a walk when they’re still puppies. Don’t wait for that dog to grow up as they will not get used to the outdoor environment once you expose them there when matured. This is where they will tend to chase animals off, which may lead to disaster and a lot of wasted energy for you.
To ensure that the puppy is prepared to take a walk, be sure to set appointments with a vet or any pet clinic in order to get their immune system checked. It’s to see if their immunity against diseases is already strong enough to protect the puppy from diseases outside. Ask them if it’s already safe to take them for a walk.
After that, be sure to purchase the right secure-fitting collar for your pet. You can also purchase a harness as an option. The dog must be used to wearing it already before you take them out for a walk. Otherwise, they will just get irritated by it and will attempt to remove it many times. Be sure that the collar or harness is not placed too tight on their necks as it can also cause irritation. Make them get used to it to the point where they will feel like it’s second nature to them.
Once they do, start attaching a cotton rope, chain (if you want to feel tough with your strong-looking dog), or any tough cord, and then let your dog drag it throughout the house this time. They will get used to it after a few days as well. Training them with a rope will require you to use a 4 to 5-foot line. Around one week of training them for the collar and the cord/rope will suffice. Afterward, change the rope to a longer one then start the next step.
Train Them For Walking
The first set of walks with your dog should he short only as the only purpose of those walks is for the dog to get used to the lead attached to you as you walk together. Let the dog drag the line towards your front for a while, then let them go to any way they want for less than a minute. Relax as you hold the line and just walk at a slow pace so then they will feel like slowing down. Be sure to praise or give them treats after a few minutes as short breaks for you and the dog are also needed. Do this repeatedly until they get used to it.
After taking a break, start the same procedure again but be sure to stand still and not slow down this time. Call the dog as you stand still for them to get near you. But if they manage to pull forward, then stand still and pull the dog towards you instead. Loosen your grip once they obey you. This is for conditioning them the right timing to stop when you need to completely stop, and for them to get near you rather than pulling the line. Praise and give a treat again if they did these steps correctly.
At least two or three repetitions of this step are needed for your dog to get used to it. This is for conditioning the dog to realize that they need to get near once you start loosening the line as you give them treats. You can start backing up once the dog can come to you once you tend to loosen your hold to the line.
Second Part of Training - With You On The Front
Once your dog learns the previous step, it’s time for you to walk forward so then the dog will follow you this time. Be sure to apply less tension to the rope as you hold it. But if the dog tends to pass through you, go to a different direction so the dog will go behind you again. Keep on doing this until they learn how to follow when your hold to the line doesn’t have any tension or is loose.
The two parts of the training will require you to take less than 20 minutes of time for you to do all of these as you take your dog for a walk. But take note that the length of training time will depend on the patience of your pet. Be sure to apply a lot of patience especially when doing this on the first day. Never punish your dog during the training and let them learn eventually. Be sure to stop training if you or the dog is starting to get tired. Lastly, play with them after the training on their play pen or inside your home as a means to relax with them. It will make them think that they were actually playing with you as they walked outdoors.
This will only be tiresome at first, but once they master this method, you will finally have a lot of fun time taking them out to walk around with you. Also, take note that this can be considered as a form of exercise for your dog as 20 minutes is exactly how much exercise does a dog need everyday. This makes sure that they will have the active lifestyle they need.
Learning how to take your dog for a nice walk should be done at an early age as they need to have a mindset where they are trained for the safety steps that you provided to them as you teach them to walk with you outdoors. This also provides obedience to your dog even though he sees some stray critters, cats or other dogs that they will see along the way as they are aware of the commands you gave to them during the training.