When you take your dog walking, Chicago residents greatly appreciate a controlled and easy going canine. As a fellow dog walker, Chicago dogs are always under my own scrutiny to see who is actually leading the walk. While many of the pups walking the streets are well behaved, there are always a few trouble cases and it’s easier to see a problem dog than you might think. However, many owners are not always clear on what is bad or troublesome behavior. So to help you get your pup back into the good graces they deserve, here are some tips that will get your dog back up to the top of class.
Little Does Not Mean It’s Okay
It comes as no surprise to me that many of the problem dogs I encounter are ‘teacup’ size pups. We’re naturally pitted to think anything small and ‘harmless’ in its size is adorable and everything they do is cute. Where a larger dog growling at a passerby would get a firm correction, a lot of time small dog owners think it’s cute or even funny. The terrible part is many owners who let this slide are surprised that their dog is hard to control for dog walkers. Chicago dog owners frequently have smaller breed dogs, so this is a big thing to remember!
There is no difference in behavior between large dogs and small dogs. To my fellow dog walkers; Chicago small dogs do not deserve special treatment! If you wouldn’t tolerate the behavior on a big dog, you shouldn’t tolerate it on a small dog either!
This can be a very difficult habit to break on owners who love to baby talk their dog. Dogs and people communicate through different means. Firm correction such as a strong ‘No,’ or a firm tap to correct behavior on your small dog are not going to hurt them! And you will definitely love when you realize how much of control over your house you can take back when you get your tiny dog back under control.
Don’t Tolerate Aggressive Behavior
Aggressive behavior is a very big no-no in Chicago for obvious reasons but it’s surprising how many people let their dogs run wild with this. If you find yourself having to physically restrain your dog and/or yank them back from people or other dogs, you have an aggression case on your hands. While you may think it’s not so bad or it’s fine because you can stop them, it is certainly not fine to let your pup terrorize other people and dogs even in passing.
If your dog does hurt someone, the other person or dog won’t be the only ones getting hurt! Your dog can be put to sleep for harming other people or animals so don’t take the chance. Start correcting bad behavior early and consistently and don’t be afraid to look into a dog trainer if you need the help. Your dog and other dog walkers will thank you.
Tugging or Leading on the Leash
It’s amazing how many dogs are leading their dog walker. Chicago dog owners are frequently seen walking after their dog or letting them run out to the limits of their leash (and those 15 foot leashes are quite the lead!) This always makes me shake my head because really, who is walking who?
There are few times shared with your dog that is more important than dog walking. Chicago citizens may think that’s silly or weird but it is true! Letting your dog take lead on the leash is the same as telling them they are in control and that they are the boss of you. With the knowledge that they are the ‘leader of the pack’ from your walk your dog believes that they are in charge in other areas. This is where your dog can start edging into bad behavior.
While it can be difficult to maintain enthusiasm at 2AM when Fido needs his walk, always do your best to lead your dog and not let it be the dog leading the dog walkers. Chicago residents should certainly be the alpha of their dog packs after all.
While many of these may seem obvious it’s surprising how many of the walkers I pass let it slide. Taking back control from your dog will not only benefit you, your dog will also be happier too! When your pup sees you as a calm and assertive leader they will feel more relaxed and be the lovable dog that you’ve always wanted without the stress or worry of their bad behaviors.
When you can’t be there to let your dog out on his walk, it never hurts to get a little help! Keep your pup happy and well behaved with the reliable pet care specialists and dog walkers at Cruisin’ Canines.