Dog Walking Tips
Updated: May 1
Here's a list of Dog Walking Tips that will make your walks more enjoyable for both you and your dog.
Use a Front Clip Harness if Your Dog Pulls on Leash.
Does your dog constantly pull on a leash? Try using a front clip harness. Dog collars and harnesses that clip on the back actually promote more pulling.
Front clip harnesses change the point of leverage. When the dog pulls, the harness simply turns the dog to the side.
Getting a front clip harness is the best investment I've made when it comes to making walks easier.
Let your Dog Sniff Around for Mental Stimulation
Did you know dog walks are more than just physical exercise? Your dogs walk is the time they get to go out and explore each day. Give them a little extra time to sniff around.
If you don’t want to stop every 5 seconds or have you dog sniffing around in your neighbors yard that’s fine. You decide which areas are appropriate (and safe) for them to explore. When you want to give your dog a little sniff break just loosen your dogs leash for a few minutes and give them a chance to take in all those smells. You can use a "go smell" cue, and a “let’s walk” cue for when it’s time to move on.
All those smells provide your dog with stimulation and information, it’s their way of keeping track of what’s going on in the neighborhood. And you’d be surprised at how exhausting a nice ‘sniffer’ walk can be for your dog compared to a brisk 15 minute one around the neighborhood with no sniff breaks.
Bring Plenty of Water for Your Dog
If you’re going to be walking for more than a half hour or out in the hot weather bring plenty of water along for your dog. Dog’s have a harder time regulating their temperature than we do, and it’s easy for them to overheat. And since dogs sweat through panting they can easily become dehydrated during exercise, especially in warm weather.
You can buy a collapsible water bottle (sold in pet stores) or use a container of your own. A water bottle with a lid is easy for a dog to drink out of, and one that has clips so it’s easy to carry.
Keep Your Dog's Focus by Bringing Along High Value Treats
No matter where you walk there’s going to be distractions. If your dog is like mine every single squirrel sighting becomes a major event. In those “oh crap” situations keep your dogs attention by having some high value treats on hand.
Ask Before Approaching Other Dogs
Just because your dog is friendly doesn’t mean every dog to dog meeting will be pleasant. Avoid any unnecessary risk by asking before letting your dog approach another dog.
Not all dogs are dog-friendly, and there’s plenty of dogs that don’t do well with on leash greetings. So if you run into anyone else walking their dog it's a good idea to ask for permission before approaching them.