Walking our dogs should always be an enjoyable experience. That all starts with proper etiquette. Dogs don't come into this world knowing how to walk on a leash so it's up to us to show them how. If you're new to the world of dog ownership it's always a good idea to get a trainer involved - maybe try puppy classes at your local pet store, for example. This will teach your pup basic manners like not pulling when on a leash - no more sled dog running the Iditarod!
Once your dog has basic manners it's time to make sure you have the proper equipment. First, make sure you have a proper standard leash - not a retractable! (Retractable leashes can be dangerous for you and your pup as they put too much space between you and your dog and can snap with the weight of a strong dog.) We'll discuss all of this more in a subsequent blog post. We also recommend using either a slip collar or a harness. While your pup may look cuter in their matching leash and collar, dogs can easily slip out of a standard collar and you'll be left chasing after Fido as he chases a squirrel.
Properly trained and equipped it's time to start your walk and have some fun! Your dog will have lots of fun sniffing and marking the world with his scent. And you'll enjoy the nice fresh air, exercise and quality time with your pup-pal.
While on your walk it's still important to be alert and vigilant against unexpected things that you may encounter. Your dog will likely be excited but it's important to remain in control of your pet at all times. Be aware of the things your pet may sniff and eat while you're not looking. Mushrooms, bugs and tossed garbage are just a few of the things you may have to stop your dog from trying to eat. Also be aware of any stray or off-leash dogs in your vicinity. Aggressive stray dogs can be a terrifying experience for you and your dog so if you see a dog loose that you don't know, your best option is to turn around and walk back home.
If you would like a recommendation on equipment, would like more advice, or have questions about safely walking your dog, please don't hesitate to contact MS. HOUND.
Now... Less talkies, more WALKIES!