Are You Walking Your Dog Wrong?
Walking is one of the most routine activities that dog pawrents and their fur babies do together. Day in and day out, canines walk with their humans to take care of business as well as get a breath of fresh air. But did you know there are right and wrong ways to walk a dog?
Photo by Delphine Beausoleil
Is There a Wrong Way to Walk Your Dog?
One of the most common misconceptions about walking a dog is that a walk is simply a potty break. If you think going to the bathroom is the only reason our fur buddies need to be taken out, think again. There's much more to walking a dog than taking them out for a bathroom break! A walk is an opportunity for canines to bond with you, get exercise, interact with other humans and dogs, and so much more. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walk time daily, keeping in mind that some dogs may need more depending on their activity level, breed, and living situation.
Common Dog Walking Mistakes
- Rushing: It’s true–walking your fur baby can feel like a chore after a long day at work and an evening full of errands. But walks are an important part of your fur baby’s day. Not only is it a time for them to go potty, walks also provide exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. The next time you think of rushing back in, consider how you would feel if you only got to leave the home for 15 minutes a day.
- Not fully utilizing a leash: A leash shouldn’t be considered as just a way to control your pup. Think of leashes as lines of communication that allow humans to alert dogs to potential dangers, safe places, and inappropriate behavior. A walk is the perfect time for some leash training so that you can work together to develop a “language” with a leash.
- Using an uncomfortable harness: It might be time to adjust or replace an old harness if it’s been a minute since you’ve done so. Puppies grow and dogs gain (or lose) weight. Making sure our canine friends have a properly fitted harness makes walks more enjoyable for them. A tight or uncomfortable harness can cause dogs to pull on the lead, which could be misunderstood as pulling or other inappropriate behavior.
- Forgetting to praise and reward your dog: A walk well done is an accomplishment! During walks, dogs can listen to commands, go potty, and behave appropriately. To us, a walk may seem like just a walk, but for our doggos, walking requires demonstrating many complex skills that they’ve been taught along the way. Throw a couple of treats in your pocket so that you can periodically reward your dog to encourage all the fantastic behavior they’re exhibiting!
If your fur baby is still learning the ropes, consider using a pee pad until they have a better hold of how to behave on a walk. A dog bathroom like Bark Potty gives canines a taste of the great outdoors while letting you focus on walks as a training opportunity. Whether you want to utilize walks as time dedicated to leash training or simply as a bonding moment, indoor pet potties give you back some precious time so that a walk can be more than a rushed potty break!