5 How-To’s for Walking Your Dog

An ideal dog walk would consist of a nice time simply strolling outside while your dog strolls beside, just the two of you enjoying your time out for the day or night. However, dogs are often focused on the here and now, finding many distractions in their environment, which can cause some frustration for their owners.

Here’s how to work with:

An Overprotective Dog When Walking

Sometimes certain dogs will feel a responsibility to protect their owners, whether from other canines or people. This can happen because they sense a submissive energy from their owner and they feel the need to keep you protected. You can take certain steps to socialize your dog with people and other canines by practicing remaining calm and assertive around your dog throughout walks, invite neighbors and friends to your home along with calm and non aggressive dogs, have people you trust accompany with you on a walk, or work with a professional if you need extra assistance. This can help boost your dog’s confidence and get them to feel like you’re in charge of things at the same time.

A Whining Dog When Walking

There are many reasons why dogs might whine, including for appeasement, greeting, or anxiety. These are the signs of each type, and some ways to help calm your dog if he or she displays these behaviors on a walk:

  • Appeasement — This type of whining typically occurs when a dog feels submissive to other dogs or people, and is usually indicated through a whimper. Dogs trying to appease might also tuck in their tails and show their bellies. These whines are typically not problematic.
  • Greeting — This is another friendly type of whine that shouldn’t cause concern on walks. Tail wagging and smiling indicate this whine. If other dogs or people act similarly friendly in response, this likely won’t be a problem.
  • Anxiety — When in the presence of intimidating people, animals, or environments, dogs will often whine. This type of whine usually involves drooling, pacing, or panting. You can help calm your dog by showing affection or determining the source of the anxiety and avoiding it.

A Pulling Dog When Walking

The bigger the dog, the more challenging it can be to handle pulling on a leash. Contrary to what many believe, a pulling dog doesn’t necessarily indicate a desire to be an alpha dog or pack leader. Pulling is much more likely to stem from simple excitement and eagerness to seek out certain curiosities, or from a surge of aggression or anxiety out of being restrained.

Dog owners can prevent problems with pulling by using equipment such as harnesses to assist them, or using certain techniques such as stopping and refusing to move until the dog stops pulling. In some cases, you can even switch directions to help lure the dog away, or motivating your dog to follow you with a promising reward.

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An Anxious Dog When Walking

Anxiety is a potential nuisance in many cases, resulting in whining, salivating, withdrawnness, or even aggressive behavior. The key to calming your dog in these instances is to offer a reward such as a treat, which can distract them, avoiding potential triggers such as larger dogs or other people, along with planning your routes accordingly, or even administering drugs as prescribed by a veterinarian if needed. Putting your dog through obedience training and discipline can also help them remain calmer when out for walks or even at home when you’re gone.

An Aggressive Dog When Walking

Dogs can often become aggressive during walks, threatening other canines or people. Again, offering a reward such as a treat for good behavior can be beneficial, and going through obedience and disciplinary training can also help prevent this behavior. You should also consider taking steps to socialize your dog, as described above. The more a dog becomes used to the consequences of their aggression and the rewards for good behavior, the more you can prevent aggressive behavior and make your dog more content.

Train Your Dog at Home and on Walks

One way to keep your dogs happy and more relaxed is to effectively train them with basic commands in different contexts, which can help improve their understanding and confidence. For instance, commanding a dog to “sit” in anticipation of a treat is different than a “sit” or “stay” intended to keep dogs from becoming too excited when around people or other canines. The more you teach your dogs, the easier it will be to indicate to them what you want while keeping them happier.

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Once you’ve learned how to more effectively influence your dog’s behavior, understanding and meeting their needs, you’ll be able to make every walk an equally pleasant experience for both parties.

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