Monday, May 14, 2007

Walk Your Dog - Don't Let Your Dog Walk You

When you walk your dog, it's extremely important that you walk with "purpose". In otherwords, don't just let your dog pull you along, taking you all of the places he'd like to go. You've got to let your dog know that you are in control, and the dog must submit the control to you. It sounds harder than it actually is, but you've got to do it. Otherwise, you'll end up in some really strange places!

Make sure that you have a sturdy leash and collar, especially strong if you have a large, pulling dog. Use the chain and leash with caution, you're never trying to hurt the dog, it is only a tool to let the dog know you're trying to get his attention.

Walk confidently, with your head up. Stop often, and have your dog sit down. Do not leave until you are ready, and your dog should be able wait in sitting potition until you are ready. Once you start walking again, if your dog strays in front of you, tug gently but quickly upwards on the leash. Not in a way that will hurt your dog, just a signal to your dog to stay focused on the walking process.

You are leading the way, and if that's not happening, try switching directions often, allowing the dog to see you "in front" as the leader of the pack would be. Walk a few yards in any direction, then switch and say "Come". Repeat this every few yards or so, establishing that you are the leader, not the dog. That's an important thing to establish, and once you've conquered walking with purpose, you'll find that you have much more control, and a happier dog.