- Use the Best Equipment
Walks should be enjoyable and pain-free, for you and your dog both. Use humane no-pull equipment that employs natural counter-balance approaches to curb pulling without the use of pain or the risk of damage to their throat. There are many choices on the market these days. Ask a positive reinforcement trainer (like us!!) to help you choose the option best suited to your dog’s body and snout shape, and their pulling behavior and intensity.
- Walk Aware
Be on the lookout for cats, birds and small animals, other dogs, and toddlers who could get knocked over by a high-energy pooch. Ask for your dog’s attention, or cross the street or wait out of sight behind a parked car if needed.
- Walk Prepared
Carry treats or a favorite toy to reward pleasing manners like sitting at curbs, not barking at other dogs, not chasing birds, polite greetings of friendly humans, and loose-leash walking. Any behavior you reinforce is going to happen more often. In other words: If you like it, reward it!
- Walk Often
If your dog’s workout regiment amounts to a stroll around the block twice a day, surplus energy and under-stimulation will make it tough for them to behave when you take them out and about. The remedy? Amp it up. Find ways to allow them off-leash runs or playtime with other dogs, throw balls or Frisbees, take long hikes, hire a dog walker, or use a doggie daycare. The more exercise your dog gets, the more calm and attentive they’ll be.
- Get Help
If your dog is very challenging to walk, consider hiring a trainer to help you—or, if you’re already working with a trainer, ask his or her advice. Your walks, too, can be a picture of interspecies harmony.