How to walk the dog: essential behavior training!

Narrated from: Dog Sports

Walking the dog is a daily routine. It is important for the dog’s health and hygiene needs – and quite a relaxing experience for the dog owner as well!

Walking the dog might seem like a minor task; just a mundane thing that has to be done.
Yet, there are implications you might not be aware of. You see, with dogs it’s all about social status. That’s a pack thing, and it is important. How you walk your dog would actually define the social order in your “pack”!

You may have seen comedy movies in which a dog just runs forth and drags a human by the leash. This is a representation of a common behavior problem – a leash-pulling dog.
Generally, if you allow the dog to be in front of you during your daily walks, you would actually be letting the dog think it has “alpha” status over you – your dog would behave like a leader of the pack!

This minor issue would affect your dog’s overall behavior. A dog that considers itself leader of the pack usually becomes nervous as this is a lot of stress for it. If you are experiencing hyperactivity problems with the dog, this might be due to two things: either the dog has excessive energy and needs more exercise, or you’ve let the dog believe that it is leader of the pack.

So, when you walk the dog, you should stop every time the dog tries to pull you forward. You do not move until the dog calms down. Then you slowly walk forward until you stand next to the dog and then and only then prompt the dog to walk beside you.

Walking the dog is more complex than “who is in front”. You have to make sure you are in control of every aspect of the walk – the leader is the one who makes the decisions. You shouldn’t let the dog leave the heel position whenever it wants to; smell things for as long as it wants; or urinate wherever it wants to. Even walking out of the door first is important.

There is only one period of time you might allow the dog to be in front and that is when the dog is introduced to the whole leash-concept for the first time, especially if we are talking about a puppy. You may let the dog to lead in the beginning in order to calm its nerves – but this should be for a brief period of time only!

The idea of democracy is a good one – but not with dogs. A dog that tries to assert itself as head of the family can cause a lot of trouble in every aspect of your life. If you are experiencing behavior problems with the dog, you should take it to training sessions or develop a training technique in your home (there are loads of books on the topic).

Best way to avoid such problems – keep a firm hand on the leash!

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