bow-wow stratford upon avon cotswolds dog walker walking

How (not) to walk your dog

You walking around thinking walking your dog is a piece of cake? That all you need is leash, a collar and the dog, right? Well… that’s not always the case!

With some dogs it’s that easy, but with many it’s a nightmare that owners endure just to get their 4-legged friend some exercise.  Whether your dog is over-excited, doesn’t like other dogs or pulls, there is help to get.

Here are some Bow-Wow tips for happy dog walking

Do NOT walk the dog.  Wait, what? Let me explain: YOU are going for a relaxing walk, and because you care, you’re taking your beloved dog with you.  The walk is not for them, it’s not their walk, it is YOURS. (Psst – technically it IS for them, but we don’t tell them that). You are the one making the decisions on where to go, the speed, and when you want to stop for a break.  Your dog does not get to decide by pulling or straining the leash, etc. You control the walk and you don’t give in and let your dog call the shots.

Don’t stop at every bush or fire hydrant or other smells that catch your dog’s nose. This particularly happens with males who want to mark their territory – it’s in their nature. Hold on, did you decide to stop or did the dog? If it was your dog, see point one!  It’s ok, he can wait until YOU find a desirable place.  If your dog thinks he can stop at any time, who is actually controlling the walk? If he is making the decisions, can you put blame on him for dragging you around?  Sniffing the ground?  Same rule applies!

It’s not suppose to be a walk in the park! You should always be walking with a purpose.  A strong walk at your own speed, but with a confident head up knowing exactly the direction in which you are going. (Even if you don’t!). You wouldn’t follow someone who appears completely aimless, neither would your dog! Look like a leader and your dog will never question your dominance, instead he will follow you and your walks will become better for you both.

Dogs are social, but a hello isn’t granted for every dog. Do you walk down the street saying “Hi” to every person?  No, so why would it be appropriate for your dog too?  Some dogs, like people, just don’t feel like being sociable that day.  It is you who decide to walk past or allow your dog to say hello to other dogs.  Your call.  You’re the boss.

If you still can’t make walking enjoyable for you and your dog, call a professional dog trainer for help. Within a few weeks, you will start noticing the changes in your dog walking experience – for the better. Remember, life at the end of the leash is always an adventure!

At Bow-Wow we offer dog walking in Stratford-upon-Avon and we make sure all walks are safe and that all dogs taking part are happy and having a good time.