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Forward! Tips for an enjoyable leash walk

Published on June 30th 2021

We all know that a dog needs to get some fresh air and activity. It's essential for his physical health, but it's also a great opportunity to stimulate his senses and contribute to his socialization, no matter his age. Walking your dog should therefore be part of your daily routine!

Gone to the dogs!
Did you know it is estimated that dog guardians walk an average of 8 hours 54 minutes per week? That would be about 58 kilometers per week at average speed, or over 3,016 kilometers per year – enough to cover the distance between Gatineau and El Paso, Texas!

Generally, two 30-minute walks a day are recommended to keep your pupper healthy. Of course, puppies or certain breeds may require much more to stay happy – there is no magic formula!

Having trouble walking your dog on a leash? Here are some tips to try.

My dog is pulling on the leash...

  • Stop walking.
  • Walk in the opposite direction.
  • With a treat in hand, wait for the dog to come to you before rewarding him and continuing your way.
  • Don't pull on the leash! You will find yourself reinforcing the behavior you consider undesirable.

My dog jumps...

  • Ignore the behavior and reward the dog only when it shows the desired behavior (dog sits at your feet).
  • Encourage the dog to perform the desired behavior by regularly rewarding good behavior.
  • Don't pull the leash! Again, we want to redirect the dog to the desired behavior, not encourage it to continue.

My dog bites his leash...

  • Try different leash materials to see if some are more appealing to your doggie than others (e.g., a wool leash might be harsher than a nylon one).
  • Try giving your dog a toy that he can carry on the walk to distract him from the leash (e.g., a doggie or his ball).
  • Reward your dog for good behavior.

Remember, you'll always want to reward desirable behavior, but you don't have to rely solely on treats! Your attention, petting, and kind words are just as satisfying to your furry friends as they are to humans!

These tips are very general and may not be appropriate for your pet. Get to know your dog, and don't hesitate to call on certified dog trainers for a dog-friendly approach tailored to your doggo!

Now go on, go walk!