Dogs are social animals. In the wild, they’re used to living in packs. If your dog behaves badly when you take them for a walk, it could be that they have “leader” qualities. But there are things you can do to control their behavior and make the walk more enjoyable. Read on and check out our tips for controlling your dog on a walk.
Your furry friend should understand that the leader on your walk is you, not them. If they understand this, you’ll be the one making decisions on the walk and you’ll also earn their respect and loyalty.
The struggle for dominance
Maybe your dog has been pulling on the leash, acting badly with other dogs or people, or barking and whining. Well, it could be because they’re fighting with you to be the leader.
Without an established leader of the pack, your dog will try to assume this role themselves. The result? Bad behavior. However, once you take on the role of “leader of the pack“, you’ll see your dog become less anxious. This goes for any dog, regardless of size, breed, or age.
Think like a dog
Empathize with your dog and try to put yourself in their position. Watch where you take them so that you can both enjoy the walk.
You don’t need to touch your dog to show affection. A simple look can also work to discipline or praise them; you can say a lot with your eyes.
You set the limits as to what they can and can’t do. Your dog needs to understand them and be obedient.
Play and have fun
Don’t forget that playtime is important for your dog’s mental health and how you two relate. Your dog should ask permission before playing. Once again, you set the rules.
Stay calm when walking your dog
Don’t forget to be patient when walking with your dog, even though they break the rules sometimes. Don’t resort to violence or intimidation to establish authority. Be patient and smart about it.
Teach them basic commands
You need to train your dog. Basic commands like “sit”, “stop”, “come”, and “quiet” will help you and your dog communicate much better.
Walking ahead of your dog
If you walk ahead of your dog, they’ll end up seeing you as the leader of the pack.
Use a short leash
A shorter leash will give you more control, especially if you have a large dog. In certain environments, you don’t need to keep them on a leash, but it should be away from other people.
Guidelines for controlling your dog on a walk
Set time aside for walking your dog; don’t make it too short. Your dog needs time to walk and exercise. Something between half an hour and an hour every day is perfect.
How many times should you walk your dog per day? Around three times a day should be enough. Try to do it morning, afternoon, and evening. If possible, don’t go out during the coldest times of day in winter, or the hottest times in summer.
If you’re out on a walk and your dog is behaving, you can give them some “free time” to explore their surroundings. For them, doing their business and sniffing around is a real reward.
But remember, you’re the one who decides when to end this “sniffing time”. You’re the one in charge. For when your dog does their business, make sure you have bags and also make sure to dispose of them properly.
Once you get home, your dog may want food, water, etc., but you need to train them to wait. Put the leash back, take off your jacket and shoes, take your time. It’s a great opportunity to teach them patience