Does the idea of walking your dog instill painful thoughts? Here are some tips from our Pro!
1. Use the perfect tools.
Visit your local pet store and check out different harnesses, collars, and leashes. What feels the most comfortable for you to hold? What does your dog enjoy wearing the most? Try different tools out to see what works for you. We really like harnesses and a solid, no-slip grip leash.
2. Grab some amazing treats.
Do you like to work for free? Dogs don’t either. They enjoy praise, play, food, and toys as a reward for good behavior. If you don’t have them with you when your dog is a star you’ll miss that opportunity to reward them. They don’t run on IOUs… we’ve tried. You’ll want more exciting treats for more challenging enviorments so pick a few different options. Hot dogs, deli meat, string cheese, heck, even roast chicken (no bones, please!)
3. Look at that!
When your dog offers you eye contact on a walk, reward them. The best way to increase behavior is to reinforce it. Your dog making eye contact with you is showing you that they are picking you, you special human, over the environment.
4. Have fun.
No, seriously. Your dog thinks you are the greatest thing since smelly trash cans and that dead thing they want to roll in sometimes. Your walk with them is equal parts their enjoyment and your enjoyment. Smile, laugh, put down that dumb smartphone.
5. Speaking of dumb smartphones… put that thing away!
We all need a break from the internet and the constant stream of attention-grabbing social media. Your Insta feed will still be there and that FB status update can wait.
6. Small steps, grasshopper.
Start your training inside, with minimal distractions so your dog can make great choices and be rewarded. Then move to a low traffic area, then to a more popular spot. Rome wasn’t built in a day so take time to lay a foundation that sets your dog up for success. You will both be more confident at the end.
7. Mark it with a “yes” or a praise word.
When your dog gives you a nice loose leash, praise and “mark” the behavior with an excited, “YES!” You’ll want to charge this word up by also asking for behaviors your dog already knows like “sit” or “shake”, say “yes” and then deliver a treat. We call this “loading” in dog training speak.
8. Consider every time you clip on that leash as a training session.
Come prepared with treats and small goals in mind. If you find that your dog is over stimulated in his environment while on a leash, you probably moved too fast and it’s time to take note and back up a few steps until he’s successful.
Ready to call in the professionals? CEO and Founder, Katie, oversees the entire Pets Crave Love™ team and has over 30 years of professional dog training experience. Most dogs need a good balance of exercise, enrichment, good nutrition, and sunshine. We can help.
Pets Crave Love™
Professional Dog Walking Services in South Austin. Our service area includes 78747 as well as Ashbrook, Bluff Springs/Frontage Road, Bradshaw Crossing, Carrington Oaks, Chateau at Onion Creek, Colonial Grand at Double Creek, Congress, Courtyards at Onion Creek, Courtyards at Southpark Meadows, Crossing At Onion Creek, Enclave at Estancia, Farmhouse Apartments, Goodnight, Goodnight Ranch, Iron Rock Ranch, Legends Way at Onion Creek, Lennar, Meadows At Double Creek, Old California Apartments, Old San Antonio, Onion Creek, Onion Creek Plantation, Parkside At Slaughter Creek, Quicksilver, River Ridge, RSI Homes, South Grove, Southpark Terraces, Springfield Phase C, Springfield Village, Stablewood At Slaughter Creek, Stonecreek Ranch, Stonegate, Thaxton Place, The Bend At Nuckols Crossing, The Cottages, The Oak at Twin Creeks, Trails at The Park, Weber Hill, Yarrabee Bend and more.
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