Going for walks is fundamental in a dog’s daily routine, walking your dog offers many benefits such as the possibility of socializing, being mentally stimulated and of course exercise. While well-intentioned, many dog Guardians are ignorant to mistakes made during walks which can directly affect the dog.
Do you want to learn how to avoid these pitfalls? We will explain 10 common mistakes dog walkers need to avoid.
1 – Not letting your dog smell the environment
It’s normal to be considerate of the potential hazards in your dog’s environment, especially when sniffing dirty parts of the ground. However, we need to understand that this is normal and proper dog behavior.
When they smell their environment, they pick up information such as the presence of other animals, a recently deposited food which in turn helps them to feel more secure when in an unfamiliar place.
Equally, if your dog is prohibited from smelling their environment, it can lead to stress and anxiety. You can help them to smell their environment by practicing tracking techniques and obedience training.
2 – Yanking the strap when the dog pulls
It’s all too common to see dog walkers yanking their dog leashes, but this does not teach your dog to walk properly. In fact, it can cause serious damage to the animal especially when excessive force is used or a choking collar is used.
In some countries such as Spain, private citizens are banned from doing this practice. f your dog pulls too much, then buy an anti-pull harness and teach obedient through appropriate training sessions.
3 – Screaming or hitting when they get angry with another dog
Although you intend to give a punishment associated with the dog’s behavior, it’s more likely your canine will associate the punishment with the mere presence of other dogs. This can aggravate the behavior even more. In these cases, it’s advisable to perform the appropriate training measures during the quietest hours of the day.
Avoid other dogs until you can introduce them gradually. Ideally you should go to a dog trainer or canine ethologist to start the sessions and begin behavior modification exercises.
4 – Not Allowing them to interact with other dogs or people
With the exception of some specific cases of aggressiveness, it’s important to let our dog interact with others, even dogs which greatly differ in size can interact if they’re socialized well.
You can go to a dog park or find someone you know nearby with a dog to walk together. Regular and positive socialization you can help avoid behavioral problems down the line.
5 – Taking walks which are too short or too long
Each dog has unique and specific needs in terms of walking, more nervous dogs will be more time, all the ones may need shorter trips and those with breathing issues shouldn’t walk when it’s too hot.
Generally, a dog’s walk should last between 20 and 30 minutes and should be repeated two or three times a day. Strive to offer quality walks and you’ll see how well it improves their well-being.
6 – Letting them bite the strap
Although this behavior may indicate excitement and joy for the walk, it also shows us that the dog is upset and somewhat stressed also the straps often have metallic elements which can damage their teeth.
For these reasons if your dog nibbles on the leash, the best thing you can do is carry a tether or other toy to distract them.
7 – Not Attaching an ID Tag
This point is especially important for dogs which are afraid of cars and people or have generalized anxiety as they may try to escape a stressful situation and unfortunately, it can become lost even for stable or well-trained dogs, mistakes can happen.
ID tags and ideally microchips are the best way to help us recover lost dogs quickly.
8 – Not Varying the route
It’s very important that from time to time we vary the route we take for walks. This way, our dog can feel stimulated and does not get bored with the same environment.
Forested environments, beaches or places lots of places to climb and play are ideal, if not simply going down different streets can also be very helpful.
9 – Not letting them off the leash
Many dog ethologists and educators agree that five minutes a day of freedom from the leash offers our dog extra stimulation and well-being, this can allow them to better explore their environment and has a positive experience for the dog. If our dog does not respond well to training, it’s advisable to go to a fenced off area.
10 – Not Paying attention to the dog
To finish our list, we want to remind you how important it is to be attentive to our companion during the whole trip. It is essential that we look after them, in case they want to eat something they shouldn’t or go somewhere dangerous but we also need to simply pay attention so we know what they do and don’t like.
Going for a walk is beneficial to you but it is the dog who needs the specific benefits. make each trip a happy and positive one.
Now you know 10 mistakes to avoid while walking your dog. are there any more you’d like to add? if so leave us a comment below.