Walking your Dog
When you take your furry friend for a walk, do you focus on him or her? Do you use ‘equipment’ that keeps you both safe? Here are some suggestions for you to consider. Walking your dog should be a fun experience and you should be able to focus on your dog during this one-on-one time. That means you shouldn’t be distracted by your cell phone during walks. If you take your walks at regular times during the day, let your family, friends and co-workers know this and suggest that, if they must contact you, can they text you instead of calling during these times. Then you can check and reply to the messages after your walk. However, if there is an emergency, you should respond to their phone calls. Safety can also be an issue if you are answering your phone because you won’t have both hands on the leash.
If you have more than one dog, try to find time to walk them separately so you can focus on one dog at a time or perhaps another family member can walk your other dog so they get individual attention too. Another consideration is what type of leash you use. If you have taken obedience classes with your dog, you are probably accustomed to using a leather or nylon leash about 6 feet long which gives you more control and keeps your dog close to you. Flexi leads or retractable leashes are great if you are playing fetch or practicing the ‘come when called’ command in a park or large yard, but they are not safe for daily walks. When your dog is walking several feet ahead of you, you have less control. Cars or other vehicles can back out of a driveway and you may not have time to react before it’s too late.
Finally, do you use a harness or a collar when you walk your dog? Dogs can pull more from their chest than they can from their neck so, if you have a large breed and you’re using a harness, you may find it difficult to keep your dog close to you on walks. There are a variety of training collars available that can help you with pulling and other issues, but you should contact an experienced trainer before you use them. Share your dog walking experience with us and stay safe on walks.