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Dog walking is the act of a person walking with a dog, typically from the dog's residence and then returning. Both owners and pets receive many benefits,including exercise and companionship.
Nearly 40% of dog owners almost never walk their dogs.
Despite the fact that most of us see our four-legged friends walking around every day, most of us, including many experts in natural history museums and illustrators for veterinary anatomy text books - apparently still don't know how they do it. Anatomists, taxidermists, and toy designers get the walking gait of horses and other quadruped animals wrong about half the time. That's despite the fact that their correct walking behavior was described and published more than 120 years ago! So, then, how do dogs walk?
It turns out that all four-legged animals step with their left hind leg followed by their left foreleg. Then they step with their right hind leg followed by the right foreleg, and so on. Animals differ from one another only in the timing of that stepping.
The reason that manner of walking is so universal, is that it provides the maximum static stability. In other words, when walking slowly, a dog's body is supported at all times by three feet on the ground, which form a triangle. The closer their center of mass is to the center of those three points, the more stable they will be.
57% of dog parents still admit to skipping dog walks each week. When asked for the reason why they would skip on their dog sometimes, the most common reasons given by the dog owners included:
Unsatisfactory Weather (56%)
Difficulties With Dealing With the Dog (31%)
Family Responsibilities (24%)
When it came to the motivations regarding dog walking, most dog owners claimed that dog walks made their dog feel:
More Energetic (46%)
Much More Relaxed (41%)
Regular exercise with your dog is good for both your health and your dog's health and can be great fun. There is nothing like an exercise partner who's waiting by the door with a wagging tail to keep you motivated! In the UK, The Kennel Club conducted a survey of 1,000 dog owners and found that one in five did not walk their dogs on a daily basis. Dogs are walked restrained by a collar around their neck or by a harness, or by simply following their guardian by familiarity and verbal control. Commonly, the dog is walked by the guardian, or by another family member, but there are also professional dog walkers.
Health Benefits A study by Michigan State University showed that people who walk their dogs are 34% more likely to meet expected levels of exercise, with a recommended level of 150 minutes of activity such as dog walking per week. There is no magic bullet in getting people to reach those benchmarks but walking a dog has a measurable impact. Research conducted by the University of Western Australia has suggested that a higher rate of dog walking within a community tends to cause more interpersonal relationships within that community. The research suggested that people in the community would acknowledge and greet other people in the street, and exchange favors with neighbors, which could possibly encourage more exercise in the community, by giving pets and owners a chance at a healthier lifestyle.
Dog owners enjoy numerous health and social benefits by walking their dog a few times a week. Benefits include improved cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, stronger muscles and bones - built up by walking regularly, and decreased stress. A regular walk is vitally important for your dog's health too. Obesity in pets is associated with a number of medical complaints including osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and insulin resistance.
Most dogs need to be walked at least once each day, though some dogs, particularly very active dogs, may require more. The breed of dog you have, as well as its level of fitness and age, will also determine how long and how vigorous your walk should be. A walk can make a dog very happy. They love to check out the sights and smells and will really look forward to spending time with you. A dog that doesn't receive sufficient exercise can easily become bored or destructive.
Although dog walking is not a high intensity work out it is great for cardiovascular development, strengthening of muscles and bones and lowering blood pressure. And there are many social benefits as well because people who go walking with their dogs are often believed to be friendly and approachable by others. For your dog, walking is essential for its long term health and fitness - keeping the muscles strong and supple and ensuring that it doesn't get overweight. With one third of our pets estimated to be overweight as a result of their owners' sedentary lifestyles, walking is an essential part of being a responsible dog owner.
DOG WALKING vs BACKYARD This article is proudly presented by WWW.PETMD.COM and Paula Fitzsimmons
Letting your dog use your fenced in backyard for potty breaks and exercise is convenient, especially when life gets hectic. It is also a great way for her to get fresh air and exercise in a safe environment. Walking your dog, however, is associated with a myriad of physical and mental benefits, which contributes to your dog's well-being. Learn how to balance the backyard with the sidewalk to make sure your pup gets the exercise and bonding time she needs.
Is a Backyard Enough for Your Dog? Letting your dog run around in the backyard is a beneficial supplement to walking your dog. But dogs thrive on variety. Most dogs enjoy seeing different things, smelling new smells, feeling novel substrates under their feet and hearing unfamiliar sounds. Relying solely on the backyard for your dog's exercise can lead to problems. It is not uncommon for these dogs to become bored and frustrated, which can lead to destructive behaviors, barking, repetitive behaviors, like perimeter circling, and even escape attempts. It is also common for many backyard dogs to begin showing territorial behaviors like barking, rushing at the fence and running the fence when people or other dogs pass by.
If solely kept in enclosed spaces, they can also become sheltered. As a result, They can become less confident and comfortable with new people, pets and experiences that they are not exposed to on a regular basis. While walking your dog does provide them with exercise, a fenced-in backyard can, too. The backyard is the safest option to let the dog run full tilt and burn off some steam, so both activities should be incorporated into a happy dog's lifestyle. Be sure that you have a secure, fenced yard so that animals cannot escape. You should also microchip your pet, as many animals get out through small holes or by digging under fences.
What Walks Provide That Backyards Don't? Aside from the physical health benefits, dog walking provides opportunities for enrichment, socialization and training that a backyard may not. Dogs are, by nature, curious explorers, so going on a walk or hike is a great way to let them explore. Walks are great for providing the mental stimulation that comes from visiting places outside of the familiar backyard. Sniff walks - allowing the dog to set the pace and stop and sniff whenever she likes are particularly gratifying to dogs. Walking your dog on a dog leash also plays an important role in developing her social skills.
They see, and perhaps even get to meet, unfamiliar adults, children, dogs and other pets. They become comfortable with motorcycles and bicycles zipping by, kids on skateboards, and just about anything else you can imagine! Leash walking requires you to be with your dog, providing an opportunity to strengthen your bond. It's no fun walking a dog that pulls on leash or zigzags back and forth all over the place, so you will be motivated to work on training your dog to be more mannerly while on leash.
Finding the Right Balance Between the Backyard and Walking Your Dog The right balance of yard and walk time is unique to every pet, family, home environment, neighborhood and lifestyle. Exercise is an important component of every well-rounded dog's life, but young, high-energy dogs, for example, will likely require more walks or runs than low-energy or geriatric dogs. Some dogs prefer the familiarity of a backyard, but still need the exposure that leash walking provides, while others quickly become bored and thrive when walked. Also, if you are in a hurry to make sure your dog is "empty" before heading out for a few hours, walking is by far the best option for encouraging the dog to empty his bladder and bowels. The sustained movement plus the novel vegetation that invariably contain the smells of other dogs' eliminations will quickly prompt your dog to urinate and defecate.
Walking Your Dog for Maximum Benefits How often should you walk your dog? We recommend at least one 15 to 20 minute session each day, and more if your dog doesn't have a backyard to be in. Any dog collar or harness you use should be comfortable, fit properly and be safe for your dog. It is not recommended to use products that cause pain or discomfort as these can inhibit learning, cause fear and harm the human-animal bond. If your dog has a tendency to pull, a harness has an advantage over a collar because it relieves pressure from her neck. In addition, many harnesses have a place in the front, on the dog's chest, to clip the leash.
When used in this way, a dog that pulls will find themselves turned back toward the person holding the leash. This makes pulling more difficult, as it causes the dog to be slightly off balance, and like training wheels, is a great aid while working on loose leash walking. If your dog does not typically pull, a flat collar may be a good option.
And if you typically walk your dog in the evenings, Collars and harnesses that are reflective will help dogs be seen better in lower light, which is especially good during the shorter days of winter. Learning how to properly exercise your dog includes knowing how to balance walks and yard time. Your veterinarian should be able to advise you on the best ways to keep your pet safe, exercised and socialized, based on their individual needs, characteristics and lifestyle.
HOW LONG & HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I WALK THE DOG? This article is proudly presented by WWW.BUSTLE.COM
Walking your dog is a necessary part of raising it. But, do you really know how often it needs to be done? The answer to how many times a day you should walk your dog is not actually so straightforward. According to PetMD, generally speaking dogs require 30 minutes to two hours of exercise each day. The Doggington Post suggests two 15-minute walks per day at the very minimum. If you want to balance these guidelines out with those provided by PetMD, maybe take your dog on two half-hour long walks per day if they are particularly energetic.
As dogs, like humans, are not all the same, the precise time for which a dog should be walked depends of a number of details. Breeds in the hunting, working, or herding groups - Labrador Retrievers, Hounds, Collies and Shepherds - will need the most exercise. If your dog is in one of these groups and is in good health, she should be getting at least 30 minutes of rigorous exercise along with her 1-2 hours of daily activity. But since many dogs are of mixed origin, how do you handle these guidelines? Well, PetMD explains, as a general rule if you have a pup with a short snout (bulldogs and pugs) they require the least amount of exercise. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, as breeds like boxers are notoriously energetic.
Less active and older dogs, the continue, may move more slowly and not show the enthusiasm a younger dog does for a walk, but hey still need daily exercise. You just have to be more patient with them. But, even special needs dogs with limited mobility need walks to ensure their whole body remains in shape. It may take some trial and error, but the perfect exercise routine for you and your pup is out there.
Even more difficult than actually taking a dog for a walk is figuring out how to work it into your schedule. Working 9 to 5 isn't super conducive to making sure your pup gets enough activity. With technology affecting almost every aspect of life nowadays, perhaps it will come as little surprise technology is in the process of offering new and inventive ways for talking your dog for a walk. Just a few years ago the internet learned of nonhuman dog walker.
Using technology to walk your dog? Like with an app? Sort of. A phone can't really walk your pup, but a DRONE can. Until drone walkers are easier to come by, though, your best bet for making sure your pup gets enough exercise is taking him or her on regular walks. Depending on your dog's breed, size, age, and abilities, the length of time that should be devoted to walks varies between 30 minutes and two hours. But, look at it not only as a chore, but as a way of bonding with your beloved furry friend.
BEST WALK TYPES FOR DOG WALKING This article is proudly presented by WWW.PURINA.CO.UK
Walking is an excellent way for pet owners and dogs to bond. This is especially true if both you and your dog love the outdoors. Let's face it - who does not love having a companion to explore the outdoors with? Some dogs love the physical aspect of walking whereas others simply love nature and being in the fresh air. This article gives you ideas for the five best dog walks for a dog who loves walking.
1. Mountain Walking We all have our favourite dog walking routes, but what if you wanted to experience something a little different? Mountain hikes may not be for every dog, but they are definitely a treat for those who are up for the challenge. If your dog is an athletic dog, then they will love the challenge of a mountain hike. There are several trails now that allow you to explore mountain slopes in safety. They should also explain the level of fitness required to complete the trail. You should take a look at the route and judge whether or not you and your dog are able to complete the hike before starting it. Dogs love the mental stimulation of walking a mountain trail because there is so much to look out for as you climb. The uneven terrain will also help develop their strength and balance. And let us not forget the reward for choosing a dog walking route in the mountains: the absolutely gorgeous view you get at the top of the mountain!
2. Coastal Beach Walking Not only do beaches give you the opportunity to walk in beautiful natural scenery but they also provide your dog with lots of entertainment. Your dog is bound to love the sea and will have plenty of fun chasing the waves. If your dog is well behaved and trained, you can even let him run loose and without a lead, since beaches are usually relatively uncovered, it will probably be easy to keep an eye on him. It is, of course, important to check if your chosen beach permits dog walking. If it is a dog beach, you should research their rules and ensure you follow them properly. The beauty of a beach means that a costal beach walk is one of the best dog walks. Your dog will have plenty of room to play. Moreover, the sand will be gentle on his joints.
3. Inner City Walks Most cities are full of great dog walking routes if you are willing to find them. A lot of owners walk their dogs in their neighbourhood, taking them down the same paths. Why not take your dog into the city so that you can explore new paths together? Old quarters in cities tend to be great for these kinds of walks. They are relatively quiet and have plenty of history which means you and your dog can explore where you live together. If it gets too crowded or your dog seems anxious, simply take them to a dog-friendly park where they can run in the grass, play fetch and make friends with new dogs. Walking your dog in the city has the advantage of allowing them to socialise, both with people and dogs. This means more play opportunities for your dog, as well as plenty of petting. It can also be an adventure and who does not love those?
4. Woodland Walks Several national parks have walking trails in their woods specifically for walking dogs. These trails are teeming on either side with plenty of flora and small fauna. Your dog will love the multitude of scents and small wildlife. It is likely they will be so excited that they will not know what to concentrate on first! A woodlands walk is definitely one of the best dog walks. Be prepared to be pulled along when walking your dog in the woodlands and allow them to explore to their heart's content. Most dogs love the woodlands because there is so much to discover there. The fresh air will also do both you and your dog good - it has been proven to reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression.
Do you know the difference between weather and climate? And do you know how weather and climate are like walking a dog? In this animated short, the relationship between trend and variation are explained with an excellent analogy to a man walking his dog. There is much more variation in the path that the dog takes as compared with the man, but they are both headed the same way. Similarly, weather can be highly variable and climate means long term trends.
Weather - is the current atmospheric conditions including temperature, rainfall, wind, and humidity. Weather can be highly variable.
Climate - is the mean atmospheric conditions, typically an average of 30 years of weather data. A mean, or average, is much less variable.
Hot Weather: Unless plenty of shade and water are available, dog parks can be brutal for active canines in hot weather. Symptoms of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Dehydration, canine sunburn, and overheating can result in serious health problems. On stiflingly hot days dogs must have easy access to water and should not be permitted to run and play for too long. It is best to take pets to the dog park early in the morning before temperatures rise.
Cold Weather: Except for puppies and old dogs, and hairless or short-haired dogs, most dogs don't notice the cold in winter. They may take up to a month to acclimate to cold weather, however, and it is advisable to keep them inside if the temperatures dip too far below freezing. Water might not be readily available at dog parks in winter, so owners should make sure that fresh unfrozen water is available. Barker Field in Richmond, Virginia notifies owners that the water tap is turned off during the cold months. After exercising their dogs in cold weather, owners should check tender paws and provide their dogs with warmth as soon as play time is over.
If you do come across a dog that appears to be suffering from hypothermia, call the vet and move the animal to a warm area, then cover the pet with warm water bottles, blankets or towels. Heating pads can burn your pet, so put several layers between your pet and an electric heat source. Transport the pet to medical care as soon as possible. As always, use common sense and go with your gut. If it's a "lime green" kind of day, but you still feel like your pet will be too cold, keep him in! Remember, you are your dog's best advocate, when in doubt, follow your heart. With cold temperatures and icy surfaces, winter can be a dangerous time for pets.
Walk your dog, do not let your dog walk you. If you allow your dog to walk in front of you while on a lead you are reinforcing in the dog's mind that the dog is alpha over you because the leader always goes first. This can lead to many behavioral issues that some regard as a "breed trait" or "personality," when actually it is your dog being in charge of its humans. When a dog walks in front, it does not drain its mental energy. The dog is not relaxed, as it has the big responsibility of leading the pack. This mental anguish can build up inside of a dog. When a dog is hyper or high-strung it means the dog is not getting the proper amount and or type of exercise.
If your dog runs laps around your yard or house, this is an indication that it is not getting enough exercise. If you take your dog for long walks daily and it is still hyper, ask yourself, when we left for the walk who led the way out the door/gate? Who leads on the walk? Was the dog following you, watching you for direction or were you following the dog? Was the dog smelling where and when it pleased? If you answered "yes" to these questions you are walking your dog while it is in an excited state of mind. Your dog is worried about leading which does not calm the mind. If you answered "no" to these questions, then you may have a super high energy dog that needs even more exercise. It is not a natural state of mind for a canine animal to be so hyper.
Keep in mind it is not solely the act of heeling, but also that you as the human are making the decision for the dog to heel. How often do you walk? Do you MAKE your dog heel or does the dog heel when it pleases just because it gets tired? Just because a dog walks well on a lead, not pulling, and for most of the walk walks beside the human does not mean the human is being a pack leader - it really is about who is making the decisions. Was your dog calm and in a submissive state of mind when you snapped on their lead?
When you left your home, who went out the doorway and/or gate first, you or the dog? Does the dog decide to heel when it wishes, but pull to the side to sniff or walk out in front when it pleases? Or is the human consciously making the dog heel? If the human allows the dog to decide, because after all he walks "pretty good," then the dog is making the calls and you are allowing your dog to be your leader. If it is all about who is making the decisions, can you decide to let your dog walk in front? No, since instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, your decision to allow your dog to walk in front will be communicating to your dog that you are allowing him to be your leader.
A pack walk is also the best way to introduce new dogs to one another or to get dogs who already do not like one another to accept each other. Any unwanted reactions from one dog to another should be immediately corrected. By the end of your walk they will feel like they are one pack. It is important that the dogs who are out on the walk are all heeling beside the person holding the leash. Any dog that is walking out in front of their humans will begin to regard himself as the alpha of the group.
By making the dogs heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, you are communicating to the dogs that the humans are above them in the pecking order and that all the dogs are on the same follower level. Remember, it only takes one alpha dog to set off any other dogs around. If you are walking multiple dogs that usually fight you may need more than one human to walk the dogs. Make sure all human walkers are making the dog they are walking heel and that they are correcting any signs of aggression towards the other dogs. You may allow the dogs to smell one another's back end, but make sure you keep walking in the process. The key is to keep moving forward. Keep the dogs walking and remain confident. The dogs will feel your authority or your weakness. Stay strong.
All dogs, regardless of size or breed, need to be taken on daily walks, jogs, runs, bike rides, rollerblading, or any other means you have to get your dog moving. Taking your dog for a walk is an important ritual in keeping your dog mentally stable. A dog, as an animal, is a walker/traveler by instinct. Packs of dogs get up in the morning and walk. Simply having a large backyard or taking your dog to the dog park is not going to satisfy this instinct in your dog. To your dog, your backyard is like a large fish bowl in which they are trapped. In nature fish swim, birds fly and dogs walk. Having a dog should not be about only fulfilling our human needs, we owe it to our dogs, to give them what THEY instinctually need. While this might seem like a daunting daily task, the good news is walking is mentally good for humans, too.
For a dog to be mentally stable, you as an owner must take your dog for daily walks to release mental and physical energy. The proper way to walk a dog is the dog walking either beside you, or behind you, and never in front of you. This may seem petty in a human's mind, however it means a lot in a dog's mind. When a human allows a dog to walk in front, they are sending signals to the dog that he is leading the human. Instinct tells a dog that the leader goes first. A lack of exercise allows the buildup of the mental energy which would otherwise be released in a proper walk, and permitting a dog to be pack leader can cause many behavioral problems in a dog, such as, but not limited to, hyper-activity, neurotic and or obsessive compulsive behaviors - all of which are signs of a dog that is not mentally stable.
An unstable dog is not a happy dog. When getting ready to walk your dog, call the dog to you, do not go to the dog to put the lead on. After the dog comes to you make him sit calmly before snapping on the lead or slipping on the collar. Retractable leashes are not recommended, as they give the handler less control. The way you leave your house and property is also important. Your dog must go out the door after you. If you put the leash on the dog and or leave the house while the dog is excited and leading you, then you are setting the mood for the rest of the walk to be in an excited state.
Take your dog to the front door and open the door. Make the dog sit quietly, do not allow the dog to bolt out the door. The dog needs to see you are the one who decides when it's time to leave. As soon as your dog is sitting quietly at the exit it's time to leave. Be sure you exit the house before the dog, even if it's just a step before the dog. The collar should be far up on the neck, which gives you more control over the dog. A body harness is not recommended for walking dogs. Harnesses were designed for weight pulling, sled pulling, etc. Harnesses go around the strongest point on the dog's body, making it difficult to control the dog. Keeping the lead high up on the neck, the same way they do in dog shows, will give you more control with less effort. A great tool for keeping the collar high up on the neck is the Illusion Collar. There should be no tension in the lead. Do not allow the dog to pull and don't constantly pull on your dog. Relax.
The lead should be short and hang loose. If the dog starts to pull, snap-tug the lead up and to the side, throwing him off balance, then hold the lead loosely again - a very quick tug. If the dog starts getting too excited and you are not keeping him beside or behind you, stop and make the dog sit. Wait until he is calm, then start again. Do not call to the dog when you start walking again, just start walking. Pack leaders do not call the pack to come with them, the pack instinctually follows. The dog needs to learn he is following you, and tune into you, the person walking the dog. Do not praise your dog for walking calmly. This only creates excitement and you are more likely to pull your dog out of his calm, submissive state. The dog should not sniff the ground and relieve himself where he pleases for the sake of marking - his job while walking is to concentrate on following his handler. When walking the dog you can allow it to tip you off of when it has to go to the bathroom and allow it to go if the spot is an acceptable place for a dog to relieve itself. The thing you need to watch for and use your judgement is whether or not the dog is relieving itself because it has to go to the bathroom or if it is simply trying to mark the area. It is ok if the dog tells you it has to go to the bathroom and to allow it to go, but it is not acceptable to allow a dog to mark its scent all over for the sake of marking on the walk.
If you pass a barking dog or other distraction, keep moving forward. If your dog averts its attention to the distraction, give a tug on the lead to avert attention back to the walk. If the tug does not work you can also use your foot, not to kick the dog, but to touch him enough to snap his attention back on you. If the dog is pulling, stop and make him sit. Correct any excited behavior from the distraction with a tug, and if that does not work you can also use a firm touch to the neck using your hand as a claw. Do this as soon as you see the dog starting to avert his gaze toward the distraction, or as soon as you see a look in your dog's eyes that tells you he is going to begin barking or growling.
Timing is everything. This must be done right before the behavior happens or at the exact moment it starts. You do not want to wait until it escalates. If you wait too long before correcting a dog, the dog may not even hear you - he will be too focused on the distraction. When correcting your dog, match your dog's intensity. Walk at a good pace, keeping your shoulders back and your head held high. Dogs can sense tension or lack of confidence. Walk proud, like you are a strong leader. A dog will sense this and respond to it. Notice in the photo how there is no tension on the lead and the collar is up high on the neck.
1. Put a leash and collar on the dog. There will come a time when your four-legged friend will recognize it is time to go for a walk by you simply reaching for the leash. Introduce this in your dog's mind early on by using a collar at a young age. Place the collar around the dog's neck and say "let's walk" with the leash in full view.
2. Keep the collar tight, but not too tight. You want to make sure the collar isn't too tight around your dog's neck. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you can place one to two fingers between the collar and your dog's neck. You also don't want the collar to be loose enough to slip over your dog's ears if it tries to back out of it.
3. Choose the side on which you want your dog to walk. Consistency is important when training your dog to walk. Choosing a side for the dog to walk establishes its spot in the activity. The puppy will become accustomed to walking with you by knowing what to expect. Just keep in mind that walking on a leash is not a natural occurrence for your pet. An adjustment period should be expected.
4. Pull the leash close to your body. The most important aspect of learning how to walk your dog is maintaining control so that your pet does not dictate the walk. You are the boss and this should be reflected in your walking relationship as well. Wrap your traditional leash around your hand until there is very little give between you and your dog. Pull the leash close to your body but allow enough give to allow your dog to walk naturally. Your dog will feel the resistance of the leash and realize that getting ahead of you is unacceptable.
5. Talk to your dog. Your dog understands the tone in your voice. Don't get frustrated. Encourage your dog with a "good job" or "way to go" when it does something right. Use a stern voice when instructing it not to do the wrong things, like bark at people passing by or growling at other dogs.
6. Reward your dog with treats. Use treats when teaching your dog to walk but especially when you want to teach your pet to not pull on the leash. Reward often and consistently. Reserve a treat that your dog especially likes for training purposes. Many dogs are quite enthusiastic about pieces of hot dog, cheese, or jerky. Make sure these treats are easy to eat and do not require too much chewing.
7. Know when it is too hot to walk your dog. The temperature will often determine the best time to take your dog walking. Earlier in the day or later in the evening are suitable times of day to walk your dog. Avoid high noon as the pavement may be too hot for your dog's feet. The best way to test if it is too hot is to place your bare hand on the pavement. If after only five seconds you have to remove your hand then chances are it is too hot.
8. Carry plenty of water. Along with poop bags and your clicker, carry a portable bowl and a bottle of water for your pet. Keeping your dog hydrated is important when walking for longer periods of time or during the hotter times of day. During summer months, it is extra important that your dog has plenty of water.
9. Carry healthy snacks to reward the canine. Healthy and easy snacks to carry include: Strawberries, Seedless Watermelon, Apple Slices, Blueberries, Carrots, Crushed ice for the hotter days.
10. Rest when necessary and get shade when you can. Do not overdo it when getting your dog used to walking with you, especially if this is the first time on a collar and leash. There will be a lot of pulling and resistance which may wear the little one out. Find a shady spot to rest for a couple of minutes along the walk.
What is Responsible Dog Walking? Being out and about with your dog is a blast, but also requires responsibility for your dog's behavior at all times. Not just when you are ready to pay attention or after your latte - At all times!
1. Dog Must be Leashed! Not on a devices that make you "feel" like you have control, a physical restraint.
2. Your Body should be between other Walkers, Cyclists, Joggers and Your Dog The decision to greet others is YOUR decision, not your dog's. Staying to the left does not matter, unless you are from the Wild West and do not want to accidentally shoot your dog.
3. Use your Cues Does your dog know Leave It or Let's Walk, use your training cues and reward for great responses – this does not mean using the leash to hold your dog back, the leash is back up, training cues is your first plan for success.
4. Assume No One Will be Nice to Your Dog By doing this you will automatically create a wonderful safety buffer for your dog.
5. Ask aloud, "Do you want to pet me dog" to People Who Seem like They Want to Pet. This way you know if they can listen to you and follow directions for a nice interaction with your dog. Just because someone approaches does not mean they want to be licked or jumped on, etc.
6. Poop Location Matters! Did you know schools do not allow dogs on grounds, there is a very good reason they try to keep contaminates as low as possible. Offer the same courtesy to your neighbors when possible.
DOG WALKING: HOW TO ELIMINATE BAD HABITS This article is proudly presented by WWW.HILLSPET.COM and Kara Murphy
Before you got your pooch, you likely imagined walking a dog would be a wonderful experience of long relaxing strolls, exploring neighborhoods and hiking trails. In those pre-dog fantasies, your four-legged sidekick likely trotted obediently by your side on a leash, following your every command and looking at you adoringly. Then you got your dog and the fantasy disappeared. Why does my dog have to stop and pee on everything? Why does he have to stop and sniff every blade of grass? It can be frustrating, but don't hang up the leash! Walks with you also strengthen your bond with your pooch and give him a chance to meet and interact with other people and dogs in a controlled environment.
Having a dog that is socialized is very important. Socialized dogs are typically happier and friendlier than unsocialized dogs, who can be anxious and fearful around new humans or animals. But what is with your pup's strange habits on your walks? Going on a walk is likely to be one of the highlights of your dog's day. By training your pup and understanding why your dog does what he does, you can enjoy your daily rambles just as much as your dog does. Always keep in mind that a walk is just as important and fun for your dog as it is for you. So, while his habits might be a little annoying sometimes, understand that it's also okay to let a dog be a dog... just maybe not roll in stinky things. Let's take a look at some weird and annoying things dogs do on the leash, why they do them, and how you can work to reduce the issue.
Peeing while Walking Dogs are territorial, and urine is a natural way a dog can mark his territory. It communicates to other dogs he has been there and that he has claimed this territory. Marking usually begins in puberty. First, consult your vet. You want to make sure the fact that your dog stopping to relieve himself every 10 feet is, in fact, related to marking and not because of a health issue such as a bladder infection. If it is a behavioral issue, you can train him to reduce his need to mark as much, but it might be impossible to get him to stop it all together. Also, dogs that have not been spayed or neutered have a larger tendency to mark territory than those that have.
Rolling in the Stink When you encounter a dead animal, garbage, or anything else stinky, does your dog stop, drop, and roll? While it's not known exactly why dogs have this disgusting habit, one train of thought is that it's a trait inherited from wolves. They roll in the scent then take it back to their pack for further investigation. Keep your stink-loving pup leashed on walks, this is an important tip regardless of whether he likes to roll in filth or not. Train him to recognize the command "leave it," then reward with a treat when he obeys. Never pull hard on his leash to yank him away from the smelly object to avoid injuring him.
Pulling on the Leash Because you are moving too slow! Because you are moving in the wrong direction! Because he wants to! This behavioral issue can be fixed with proper training. Use treats and positive reinforcement to get him to follow your pace instead. If you have a dog that pulls, you can also try a harness. A harness may help keep your dog from pulling away from you while leashed. Also, giving him less slack on the leash will help train him to stay close to you while walking. The more lead he has, the more he thinks that he has permission to explore the surrounding area causing him to pull on the leash.
Lying Down & Refusing to Move He could be hurt, sick, or just plain tired. What to do: Examine your dog. Are his paws rubbed raw? Is the cement too hot? Is he too hot? Let him rest and give him a drink. If that doesn't work and there is no obvious signs of injury, coax your buddy home with treats. Keep in mind your dog's abilities and exercise needs before embarking. An English bulldog, for instance, will likely have much different walk expectations than a Labrador retriever. Never force walking. If he truly is not having it, come back and try again later. Forcing your pooch to walk when he doesn't want to could lead to injury. If it becomes a chronic problem, consult your vet to see if there is a larger health issue that you might not be aware of.
Walking Back and Forth A dog's nose is much more powerful than yours. You can not sniff all the exciting smells of other animals and humans that he does. He is following scent trails when he is zigging and zagging in front of you and probably not even noticing he is tripping you. What to do: Teach your dog to walk at a heel and on a certain side of your body. You can use verbal cues and treats to teach your dog how to walk nicely on a leash. However, a dog thoroughly enjoys sniffing so giving him an opportunity to do so when you are both comfortable is a nice thing to do for your pup. Again, keeping the leash short and close to you will help reduce this behavior and hopefully keep you from getting tripped up.
Biting the Leash Your dog is soooo excited that you are taking him on a walk that he has to release that energy somewhere. Suddenly your leash becomes a tug-of-war toy. What to do: Teach your dog to relax at the sight of his leash rather than get overly excited. You can train him against being too rambunctious and rewarding him when he sits and stays nice and calm when you break out the leash.
1. First, know your dog's fear triggers. If your pet fears strangers, then walk somewhere that is private or without a lot of traffic or people. If they fear other animals, avoid busy parks or dog parks.
2. Keep your pet close to you, crossing the street if people or animals that would trigger anxiety start to approach.
3. If you can not avoid passing people or other pets, you can give them a wide berth when passing.
4. Routine is comforting to dogs. Choose a route that avoids their triggers as much as possible, then walk the same route every time.
5. Keep walks brief at first. Until your dog feels more comfortable, do not overstress him.
6. Treats are a great distraction, so buy some small treats for positive reinforcement. Choose something that your dog loves since fear can reduce interest in eating.
7. Choose lickable food like peanut butter in a tube or cream cheese since licking is soothing to dogs. The idea is to associate positive, happy feelings about eating a favorite food with walking, and it helps as a distraction.
8. Make sure they are on a sturdy leash or harness, with current identification tags and make sure your dog is microchipped. Some anxious dogs will try to slip their leash.
9. If possible, exercise your dog at home before you go, so they are a little tired when outside. This can help take the edge off of their anxiety.
10. Unless your dog is anxious around other dogs, invite your friends' dogs to go with you, since walking in a "pack" can help reduce your dog's fears.
11. You may want to try products like Thundershirt, flower essences like lavender or chamomile, Adaptil products, and Rescue Remedy which have calming properties.
12. Work with a professional trainer to learn techniques for a positive association with former fears or training a frightened dog to walk on a leash.
13. Work with an animal behaviorist to help your dog reduce anxiety and gain confidence.
DOG WALKING COMMON MISTAKES HOW TO PREVENT INJURE This article is proudly presented by WWW.RUSH.EDU and Mark Cohen and John Fernandez
Your dog's daily walk is likely one of the highlights of his day. Going for a walk can provide your dog with more than just a bathroom break. It can give him physical exercise, mental stimulation, and a chance to keep tabs on the neighborhood. To make sure your dog is truly enjoying his walks, be sure to avoid these three common mistakes.
1. Rushing Bathroom Breaks Where dogs choose to go to the bathroom is an important decision. It is not just about relieving themselves, it is about communicating with the world at large. Dogs use their urine to signal their presence to other dogs. And in turn, smelling other dogs' urine tells a dog all about the other canines in the community, including their gender, age, and health. This system of pee-mail keeps dogs up to date on what is happening in their neighborhood. While on a walk, dogs want to sniff out all the places other dogs have gone to the bathroom, so they can leave a fresh deposit on top. This is the equivalent of human graffiti, saying, "Rover was here." Male dogs specifically will lift their back leg as high as possible to get their urine up to the nose level of other dogs. If the urine or feces is not enough of a message, dogs sometimes scratch the ground with their feet to further emphasize their signal. Along with leaving an additional visual cue, they use special glands between their toes to leave extra scents on the ground as they scratch, adding even more impact to the scent mark. All of this sniffing and scratching requires concentration and time. Giving your dog the opportunity to sniff the pee-mail and leave messages of his own will help him get the most out of his walks. If you want to keep your walk brief, or limit the areas your dog does his business, consider teaching him potty cues. This will let you tell him when and where you would like him to go.
2. Not Letting Your Dog Sniff and Explore We have five or six million scent receptors in our noses, but dogs have up to 300 million, depending on the breed. They also have a far larger area of their brain devoted to their sense of smell, as well as a Jacobson's organ that helps them detect normally undetectable odors such as pheromones. All of this adds up to a sense of smell that is at least 10,000 times greater than a human's. It is almost impossible for us to imagine the complexity of the information they gather with their noses. So while we might advise a friend to stop and smell the roses when we think she needs to relax and enjoy herself, it is a far more accurate phrase when it comes to our dogs' walks. Dogs experience the world through their noses, and just as we might want to look around to take in the scenery, they want to smell all their environment has to offer. Dragging your dog away from an interesting scent, or asking him to heel the entire way around the block, prevents him from truly taking in everything around him and diminishes the mental stimulation a walk can provide. Some dogs seem to be ruled by their noses and think of nothing else while on a scent trail. Proper training can help regain their focus when out on a walk. Consider teaching cues like "Watch me" or "Leave it" to take their minds off the smell and put their attention back on you. Reward short bursts of heeling or loose leash walking with frequent sniffing sessions to help foster good walking behavior.
3. Pulling on the Leash From a dog's perspective, humans walk far too slowly. To follow interesting scent trails and get where they want to go, dogs will drag their people behind them as fast as they can manage. One of the most common responses we have to a dog pulling on the leash is to pull back. However, this rarely gets the desired effect of a loose leash. Instead, we end up in a leash tug-of-war, and with a large and strong dog, chances are the human will lose. This is because dogs have an opposition reflex, meaning that if you pull on their leash, they will pull back. If you try to drag them in the opposite direction, they will dig in and stop walking. They are not doing this to be stubborn or controlling, it is simply the way their body naturally responds. But all that pressure on the leash is hard on their throat, particularly for small dogs or those prone to collapsing trachea. It is also pretty frustrating for your dog because it keeps him from exploring and does not provide him with any direction about what you want him to do instead. Teach your dog to walk with a loose leash - having the leash hang down in a "J" shape between you by stopping and changing direction whenever he gets ahead of you. When he turns to catch up, reward him with praise, a small treat, and the chance to keep walking. Only let your dog walk when the leash is slack. The loose leash will eliminate pressure on his throat and prevent you from triggering his opposition reflex. If you already have a determined puller, consider using a training harness or head harness while you work on developing your dog's polite walking skills.
4. Don't let your dog walk you. They shouldn't be pulling on the leash while you walk behind them.
5. Give more positive feedback than negative. Dogs don't learn as well from mistakes as they do from successes, so try to keep your training fun and engaging rather than constantly correcting them.
6. Don't leave prong collars on for long periods of time As this will desensitize the dog to the collar.
7. Use a harness on dogs with smaller necks Using a collar can damage the dog's trachea.
8. Don't allow your dog to stop and sniff or pee on everything it sees!
9. Don't Wrap the Leash. It may seem safer to loop the leash handle around your fingers or wrist than to just hold it in your palm. But the opposite is actually true. If the dog takes off, it happens so quickly that you don't have time to unwrap the leash. By the time you realize there's traction on your fingers or wrist, you may already be falling down, or already have suffered a fracture. And these are not simple bone breaks, like you'd get from slamming your finger in a door. They tend to be nasty injuries because the leash viciously twists your wrist or fingers. The bones can separate, and there is also likely to be cartilage, ligament and tendon damage. Often, you need surgery and recovery can take anywhere from several months to a year. Some people never completely recover. If, however, you hold the leash in the palm of your hand, like you would a golf club or baseball bat - you will have more control over the dog. You will be more likely to pay attention if you have to keep a firm grasp at all times. And you can tighten or loosen your grip immediately if you feel the dog start to pull away.
10. Don't put Your Fingers Under the Collar. You can also suffer severe twisting fractures if your fingers are under the collar and the dog jumps or pulls away. It's similar to when a football player gets a finger caught in another player's facemask, and the facemask goes one way, the finger another. Do not try to to hook the leash to the collar, and they leave themselves vulnerable if the dog decides not to sit still. Try pinching the collar around the edges. Or grasping the attachment ring instead of the collar itself while fastening the leash. It may take a few attempts or some practice, but it's much safer. Do not grab the collar to separate your dog from another dog. Not only are you risking fractures, but you can get bitten because the dogs are in a more aggressive mode. If a dog clamps down on your finger, the finger can be horribly mangled. It's especially important to take care with larger, more muscular dogs that can generate more force and have stronger jaws. But even small dogs, if they make sudden movements that catch you off guard, can create enough torque to break your fingers.
11. Keep Your Dog on a Short Leash. The longer the leash, the more leash there is for the dog to pull and more potential for trouble if the dog takes off. Imagine 50 feet of rope. When the dog starts running, by the time it hits the end of the rope, there's a lot of energy built up - energy that will transfer to the rope and, ultimately, the person holding it. As a result, you could fall or get dragged, suffering severe bruises or fractures. The hard yank of the leash can cause not only hand and wrist fractures, but tendon or ligament damage or even dislocations - to your elbow or shoulder. It's also easier to trip on or get tangled up in a longer leash. Give the dog a little leeway when you stop to let the dog sniff around or do its business - just keep a watchful eye on the dog! But keep a shorter leash when you are walking, so you have more control over the dog's movements.
12. Walk - Do Not Roll. Regardless of your skill or comfort level, it is never a good idea to walk your dog while riding a bike, scooter, skateboard or Segway, or while rollerblading or rollerskating. When you are on wheels, you are already off-balance and less stable than if you are walking. Add the unpredictability of a dog into the equation, and it is a recipe for disaster. If that dog suddenly starts running, it's going to take you down and you are likely to suffer an injury.
13. Wear Appropriate Shoes. Just as you would not wear platform wedges on a hike, you shouldn't wear them to walk your dog. You have to have the right footwear. When it's icy or snowy - it's important to wear boots with good traction. But even when it's warm and dry, you need shoes that offer stability and won't trip you up if the dog pulls on the leash or suddenly changes directions. So leave the flip-flops, sandals, slippers, clogs, high heels and other potentially precarious shoes at home. It also helps to be aware of the terrain and weather conditions before you start your walk. For instance, if you know the ground will be muddy, opt for sturdy boots instead of sneakers.
14. Most Important: PAY ATTENTION! Many injuries which came from dog walking could have been prevented if the person was simply paying attention. If you are not distracted, you will be able to react faster to any situation - you won't be caught completely off guard. That means the following: Don't talk on your phone, text or engage in social media Don't wear headphones or a bluetooth headset Scan the surrounding area for things that might attract or frighten your dog, such as other animals or cars Watch where you are walking so you can try to avoid obstacles or unstable terrain.
When to See a Doctor? If you suffer an injury while walking or handling your dog, don't ignore it. When you get home, apply ice to the injury for 10 minutes. One hour after icing, seek medical attention if any of the following are true: You have significant pain and swelling, It hurts when you press on the injured area, It hurts when you move your wrist, hand or finger, or you don't have full range of motion. Even if your symptoms improve, see a doctor if they are not completely gone within 1 to 2 weeks. It is a common misconception that if you can still move your hand, wrist or finger, it's not broken. Use your judgement, but don't assume that just because the injury was caused by a dog, it can't be serious.
20 BEST DOG BREEDS FOR RUNNERS RUNNING WITH YOUR DOG This information proudly presented by WWW.HEALTH.COM and by Amanda MacMillan
Man's best workout buddy Your dog may be the ultimate exercise partner. Think about it: dogs are always eager to spend more time with you, they have plenty of excess energy to burn, and temptation to skip a scheduled sweat session melts away when your furry friend stands at the front door, leash in mouth, ready to log a few miles with you. Before you hit the pavement, though, you'll need to train your pooch to run with you. Here's how to make your run enjoyable and rewarding for both you and your best (furry) friend.
Do: Give it a try Just like humans, dogs need daily exercise for their health and happiness. And again, just like humans, American pets have a pudge problem: an estimated 52% of dogs are overweight or obese. Walking or running with your dog on a leash is one way to get you both moving more. Not all dogs are cut out to log multiple miles at once, but many can learn to be great running partners. Even if you think your dog is too hyper or too poorly behaved to jog alongside you, he may just need some training and some time to get used to it.
Don't: Assume your dog's a runner Before you hit the road, consider your dog's health, build, and breed. Older pups may have joint problems that can slow them down or make running uncomfortable. Dogs with short legs may not be able to keep up with the pace you'd like to maintain, while larger breeds are prone to hip dysplasia, an abnormal formation of the hip socket that can lead to arthritis, says Arumburu. Then, if your furry friend is a chihuahua, bulldog, pug, or other snort-nosed, flat-faced breed - also known as brachycephalic, running may simply require too much exertion. Their squished faces are cute, but they tend to have narrowed nostrils and partially obstructed airways, which make breathing difficult when they work too hard.
Don't: Start them too young Running on hard surfaces can damage a puppy's joints and bones that haven't fully formed yet. "You really should wait until a young dog's growth plates have started to close, and that time frame really varies by breed and size of dog," says Sharon Wirant, an animal behaviorist with the ASPCA. "A much smaller dog like a Jack Russell Terrier could probably start going on regular runs earlier than a larger dog, like a Great Dane, whose growth plates will take longer to seal up," she says. If your puppy is still growing or hasn't started running with you yet, ask your vet about when it's safe to start.
Do: Start out slow "A sedentary person can't just jump off the couch one day and run 5 miles, and neither can a sedentary dog," says Aramburu. "Too much too soon increases your dog's risk of injury, just as it would a human's." Find a beginner 5K training plan that will let you and your pooch progress at a safe, healthy pace. Many of these plans combine intervals of walking and jogging, so there's plenty of time for active recovery and catching your breath.
Do: Teach basic commands A dog that misbehaves on walks probably isn't ready to run. It's also important to teach a "Leave It" command, so that your dog will ignore or walk away from tempting items, like trash, roadkill, or sticks they might come across on a path. Teaching them to "Sit" and "Stay" is also helpful, especially at traffic crossings. If you have trouble training your dog any of these commands, consider an obedience class or dog trainer.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DOG TO RUN WITH YOU This information proudly presented by WWW.AKC.ORG and Stephanie Gibeault
Running with your dog is a fun way to spend time together and helps keep both of you in tip-top shape. Plus, having a running buddy can be an important source of motivation. To train your dog to be the perfect running companion, check out the following tips.
The Right Breed and Age Before you start your training program, make sure your dog is suited to long-distance running. For example, brachycephalic dogs - those with short muzzles, like Bulldogs or Pugs, should only sprint for short distances. Also, be aware that running is not safe for puppies, as their bones are still growing. For most breeds, wait until the dog is about one and one half years old. Even within breeds, every dog has his own personality, and some will take to running more than others. Consider your dog's temperament, research his breed, and take him to the veterinarian for a physical checkup to ensure that this is a safe activity for him.
Walk Before You Run Your dog should master loose-leash walking before you start training him to run beside you. A canine companion that pulls on the leash is frustrating when walking, but downright dangerous at faster speeds. Remember that the environment is full of rewards, like squirrels and interesting smells. So, if you want your dog to stay near you, with the leash hanging in a J shape, you need to be equally rewarding. Use treats, toys, and praise to reinforce your dog for keeping the leash slack. Keeping your dog on one side of you will be essential when you start running together. If he runs in front of you or weaves from side to side, he can trip you or tangle your legs in the leash. It does not matter which side you choose, left or right, but pick one and stick with it. Start training at a walking pace and keep reward placement in mind. Always give your dog his treats in the position you want to reinforce, so if you want him on your left, only offer treats at your left leg. Once your dog has mastered one side, you can train the other with a different cue.
Speed Cues Now that your dog is politely walking at your side, it is time to speed things up. When you are out for a walk, it is handy to have a cue, such as "let's go," that tells your dog it is time to move on and get walking. A different cue, like "get running" or "move it," can be used to tell your dog it is time to pick up the pace. The more information you can give your dog about what you expect, the better he will be at responding appropriately. To teach the running cue, intersperse short bursts of jogging or running with your normal walking pace. Simply give the cue immediately before you increase your speed, and then reward your dog when he hurries to catch up. In the same way, you can teach a cue such as "whoa" to slow your dog down.
Building Endurance Now that your dog knows to stay at your side and match your pace, it is time to get his body in shape. Just as humans need to build strength and endurance slowly, so does your dog. Start by adding small stretches of running into your walks. Then, on each subsequent walk, gradually increase the portion of your time spent running and decrease the portion spent walking. After several weeks, your dog will have adapted to running long distances.
Extreme Weather Conditioning Dedicated runners will head out in rain, snow, or heat, but sometimes the weather outside is simply too cold or hot for your dog. Even though you can not run together, you can still maintain your dog's physical conditioning with indoor exercise. Depending on his size, a game of fetch down a long hall or up and down a flight of carpeted stairs can get your dog's heart pumping and work his muscles. You can also set up an obstacle course with things you have lying around the house like a hula hoop or a cardboard box. Many training facilities also offer indoor agility classes that will get your dog running and jumping. Many dogs can even be trained to use a treadmill. Some treadmills are specifically designed for dogs, but if you already have one of your own, that will work fine too. Just be sure the length of the ramp is long enough for the size of your dog. The bigger the dog, the bigger the treadmill he will need. Even though this is one of the easiest ways to give your dog an indoor workout, you can not just drop him on and go. Research treadmill training or speak to your dog trainer so you can teach your dog to enjoy the machine and use it safely. And never tie your dog to the treadmill or leave him on it unsupervised.
Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Run Your dog is finally trained and conditioned to be your running companion. But to ensure that he is safe and enjoys running with you, keep the following tips in mind:
Warm up your dog before you run and cool him down when you are finished by walking for several minutes.
Be aware of weather conditions. Dogs can not handle heat and humidity as well as humans can.
Carry water on your walks and offer it to your dog regularly.
Give your dog frequent breaks, so he can recharge, go to the bathroom, and enjoy his surroundings.
Only allow your dog to run off-leash where it is safe and legal, and only if he has a reliable recall amid distractions.
Watch your dog for signs that he is had enough, such as excessive panting or lagging behind you. Dogs may run to please their owner, even when they want to stop.
Suiting up for a walk with your dog might seem like a no brainer - all you need is a dog, leash and collar, right? But there are a few more essentials that can help make your walks safe, comfortable and productive. Here are ten things you need to take your leash walks to the next level.
A Properly-Fitted Collar with ID The collar should fit so that you can get two fingers under it, meaning it's not so loose that it will slip over your dog's head but it's not so tight that it's uncomfortable. Make sure that your dog's collar has a strong clasp or buckle that won't pop open with pressure. Check that your dog's ID tag is visible and more importantly, that the information on it is current and legible. Many tags wear down over time, making your contact information difficult to read. Collars that choke, pinch or shock are outdated and unnecessary tools and do more harm than good. There's no need to train with pain.
A Fixed-Length Leash Although it is tempting to walk your dog on the longest leash available, using an extendible leash can lead to problems. From a training perspective, flexible leashes encourage pulling because the dog always feels tension around his neck, which translates to "a tight leash means I get to go forward" mentality and dogs should always walk on a loose leash. Plus, you and your dog aren't really connected when he's walking 15 feet in front of you - there' is no communication between dog and handler when there's that much distance between them. Extendable leashes also come with numerous safety concerns: the thin line can snap, the locking mechanism can jam and the leash can cause rope burns and other injuries to both dog and human. A fixed-length leash between four and six feet is more than enough room to roam, plus it's safer for everyone.
Waste Bags Poop bags are as essential to a walk as a leash and collar. Cleaning up after your dog is the neighborly thing to do, but more importantly, curbing your dog prevents the spread of disease. It's easy to shove a few bags in your pocket when you head out the door, so don't forget this critical part of leash walking equipment.
Treats It takes time to instill leash manners, so why not make sure that your dog maintains his polite behavior by rewarding him with a treat every so often while you walk? If you have done the groundwork, there are a million opportunities during a typical walk to let your dog know that he is doing a good job, and a well-timed reward will encourage him to keep up the good work. Opt for small soft, meaty treats that your dog only gets during walks so that they remain extra special.
Water and Water Bowl If you are planning a long trail hike with your pooch, you should pack water and a bowl. Your dog needs to stay hydrated when he is exploring at a brisk pace, and since he can't ask for a drink, it's up to you to monitor his need for water. There are many hike-friendly options available, from water bottles that double as bowls to small silicone bowls that collapse into a portable pocket size. Some even allow for hygienic sharing between dog and pet parent!
Long Line Leash A fixed-length leash is a must for walks in public spaces, but if you are off-roading with your dog, consider a long line leash, which isn't the same as extendible leashes – they are longer fixed-length leashes typically made of cotton or nylon. These leashes give your dog the feeling of freedom and allow him to explore without having to drag you along. Long leashes can range anywhere from 10 to 30 feet, but keep in mind that the longer the leash, the better the handler needs to be at puppeteering as the extra length can be unwieldy. Long leashes should not allow for canine lawlessness, though. Good manners still apply, like walking politely, coming back when called and avoiding rushing up to unfamiliar dogs and people.
Toys If you have got a toy-crazy dog, consider using a special toy as a reward during walks. Many dogs enjoy carrying a toy during their walks, so something you can keep in your pocket, like a tennis ball on a string, is a great option as a reward. Use the toy the same way you might use a treat by bringing it out when your dog has performed a long stretch of polite walking and play tug with it as you walk along.
No-Pull Harness Training a dedicated leash-puller to walk politely can be frustrating, so a quick way to prevent the habit from cementing is using a dog-friendly, no-pull harness. These harnesses gently prevent pulling by changing the fulcrum point of the leash and can turn uncomfortable tug-of-war walks into manageable strolls in an instant.
Illuminated or Reflective Collar Strolling at night? Keep your dog safe by making him visible with an illuminated collar or dog harness. Options include battery-operated pendant lights that dangle from your dog's collar, battery-operated light up collars or rechargeable LED leashes and collars. The goal is to make your dog visible from a distance, so make sure to test the strength of the light emitted.
Inclement Weather Gear Few of us enjoy walks in bad weather, including rain, snow and wind, and many of our dogs agree. Suiting your dog in appropriate gear, whether a rain slicker, warm coat or boots, can help keep him comfortable in ugly weather and make facing the storm a little more tolerable. That said, not every dog wants or needs to get dressed. The rule of thumb: small dogs, lean dogs, senior dogs with health issues and dogs with thin fur are less able to regulate their temperature in bad weather and can probably benefit from an extra layer.
Walking the dog does not have to be just another part of the daily grind. When it is part of your regular routine, dog walking has long-term benefits for both of you. We all know that we are supposed to walk our dogs at least once a day, and yet studies have shown that 20% of us do not walk our dogs everyday. If you want to start walking your dog every day it comes down to getting motivated and making it a habit. Every dog owner has a duty of care to make sure that their dog gets at least one walk every day. Unlike most activities dog walking is something that the whole family can enjoy and better still, it doesn't cost anything at all. Remember that walking is not just good exercise for you and your dog, it is important to your dogs overall well being.
Whilst walking your dog, it is important that you are aware of the Countryside Code to keep your pet safe, protect the environment and show that you are a responsible dog owner. You are obliged by law to ensure your dog wears a collar and an identification tag stating your name and address - Control of Dogs Order 1992. You can purchase tags and have them engraved online here. In addition, cleaning up after your dog is one of the key areas of responsibilities for dog owners, especially when in public spaces. You can face a considerable fine if you do not.
Here are some simple steps you can take to turn your dog walk into more of a workout:
1. Get in a Rhythm Tricia Montgomery, founder and CEO of K9 Fit Club, said the first step is "knowing your body and knowing your dog." A puppy's ability is different than a senior dog's, and a Bluetick Coonhound needs more exercise than a Min Pin. Getting into a rhythm that works for both of you matters.
2. Harness your Dog's Energy on a Walk Your ability to walk with your dog, rather than pulling each other, matters, too. JT Clough, author of 5K Training Guide: Running with Dogs, says "the way we have always been taught to control our dogs" causes serious "wear and tear on their bodies" and that I might try a harness instead. Both of you will feel the difference immediately.
3. Stick to a Dog-Walking Routine Angel Wasserman, founder of Raleigh's Paws in Training, suggested creating "a daily walking routine that fits into your daily schedule." Two 30-minute walks, three to five times a week, is ideal. No matter how far you walk, both you and your dog will be rewarded physically, mentally and emotionally.
4. Terrain and Pace Matter more than Distance Wasserman said a healthy dog walk "should be about focused, brisk-paced exercise." To Clough, that means walking fast enough that you are "just slightly on the edge of being able to talk normally." A walk around the block is OK, but, for Clough, "when you get on hilly terrain, grass, or trails - something that is not just flat surface," you build more strength and endurance.
5. Only have 10 minutes to Dedicate to Walking your Dog? Make them Count! Any time you spend exercising with your dog is better than none at all. Montgomery said that there are many "little things that you can add to improve not only the bonding time but also the exercise component for both you and your dog." Clough suggested "pushing the pace" and "walking as hard as you can" if you only have 10 minutes. Wasserman recommended throwing "tennis balls for the dog to chase while you are getting ready for work" as one way to make the most of your time together.
6. Add some Weight If you are comfortable with a hands-free dog leash, carrying small hand weights adds extra effort to your 10-minute workout. What about weighted dog vests? Montgomery insisted that you consult a veterinarian first, since improper use may lead to unnecessary back, hip and knee problems for your dog. It is better, Clough said, to engage your dog's mind by "breaking up the walk and putting some fun play into it," adding to both your exercise and enjoyment.
7. Switch things upon your Walks Any routine can become stale over time, so how do you keep the daily walk fresh? Vary your routine - a longer walk, a faster pace or more challenging terrain, adds physical and mental stimulation and keeps both you and your dog involved and motivated! How can you tell if your dog is getting the most out of your walks? Wasserman said, "Listen to your dog. Does he lie down to rest when he comes home, or is he still full of energy and racing around the house?" Adjust your efforts accordingly. The benefits of walking your dog pass up and down the leash. Exercise routines that become habits decrease anxiety and hyperactivity, increase energy, aid digestion, and help us sleep better.
8. Use a Front Clip Harness if Your Dog Pulls on Leash Does your dog constantly pull on leash? Try using a front clip harness. Dog collars and harnesses that clip on the back actually promote more pulling. Figuring that out was a major moment, and I am still not sure why it took me so many years to figure out. As you can see below we used to have a lot of problems with pulling. Getting a front clip harness is the best investment when it comes to making walks easier. Just be sure to check for a clip on the front when shopping for a harness. My local pet store had about 10 harnesses, but they were all single back clip ones. If you want a harness that will help keep your dog from pulling just be sure to search for "front clip" options. Keep in mind that the right harness won't solve everything. You still need to devote time to training your dog to walk nicely.
9. Let Your Dog Sniff Around for Mental Stimulation Did you know dog walks are about more than just physical exercise? Your dogs walk is usually the only time they get to go out and explore each day. Give them a little extra time to sniff around. If you don't want to stop every 5 seconds or have you dog sniffing around in your neighbors yard that's fine. You decide which areas are appropriate and safe for them to explore. When you want to give your dog a little sniff break just loosen your dogs leash for a few minutes and give them a chance to take in all those smells. I use a "go smell" cue for Laika, and a "let's walk" cue for when it's time to move on. All those smells provide your dog with stimulation and information, it is their way of keeping track of what's going on in the neighborhood. And you'd be surprised at how exhausting a nice "sniffer" walk can be for your dog compared to a brisk 15 minute one around the neighborhood with no sniff breaks. We often focus on just the physical aspect of walking, but keep in mind that extra mental stimulation your dog gets from sniffing really adds up. Some scientists argue that we are doing a disservice to our animals by not acknowledging the importance of smell for their well being. You can make walks more meaningful & enriching to your dog just by giving them a few extra minutes to sniff around.
11. Do not Use a Retractable Leash For Dog Walks When it comes to using the right leash for your dog walk I have one recommendation: avoid retractable leashes. Retractable leashes cause many unnecessary hazards compared to traditional leashes. The length of most retractable leashes makes it difficult for you to maintain control of your dog, especially in high traffic areas. Dogs can easily run into the street, and those leashes are not easy to reel in. And those locks on retractable leashes? Well they are known to disengage with enough pressure. Retractable leashes are also known for causing injuries to dogs and humans. Grabbing onto the leash itself for more support while your dog is moving can cause severe burns and in extreme cases digit amputation. And when your dog reaches the end of the leash that sudden jerk can cause you to fall over, and it can cause serious injuries to your dog. If your dog already pulls while walking a retractable leash will only it worse. Why would he stop? He is being rewarded with more freedom every time he pulls. Retractable leashes are a poor choice for normal walks, but I will admit that in certain situations, like the beach or potty breaks in the yard they are convenient. Just make sure to stick to your normal leash when walking your dog in any area with traffic.
12. Always Pick Up Your Dogs Poop Another dog walking tip to remember - pick up your dogs poop. Picking up your dogs poop is more than just being a good, tidy neighbor. Dog poop that is not picked up causes major health concerns to humans and pets alike. Pet waste may contain harmful organisms such as giardia, E. coli, roundworms, hookworms, and salmonella that can spread to other animals and humans. And when pet waste is left on the ground those diseases, pathogens & bacteria make their way into the soil and pollute water supply. Pet feces can be catastrophic to the local water table, contaminating nearby ponds, lakes, rivers and drinking water. And these nasty organisms can live a long time in the ground. Hookworm larvae, for example, can live for several weeks in the soil. Studies have found that 20-30% of the bacteria in urban watersheds is due to dog waste. I understand that picking up poop is not glamorous, but it is part of being a responsible pet owner. It is not just rude to leave your dogs poop laying around, it is a potential health hazard. You can buy poop bags in any pet store, and they are really easy to carry. Just shove a couple bags in your pocket before heading out, and if your dog gets a little poop happy on walks are there actually dogs that do not poop a lot on walks? Be sure to bring a few extras.
13. Bring Plenty of Water For Your Dog If you are going to be walking for more than a half hour or out in the hot weather bring plenty of water along for your dog. Dog's have a harder time regulating their temperature than we do, and it is easy for them to overheat. And since dogs sweat through panting they can easily become dehydrated during exercise, especially in warm weather. Dogs that drink during exercise stay cooler and are able to burn glucose more effectively. You can buy a collapsible water bottle, sold in pet stores or use a container of your own. We prefer using a water bottle with a lid since it is easy for my dog to drink out of, and one that has clips so it's easy to carry. You can also use a dog backpack if you want a nifty place to store extras for your walk.
14. Make Sure Your Dog is Wearing Proper Identification Every time you leave the house with your dog ensure that they are wearing ID tags. Unfortunately you can't control everything that happens, and sometimes dogs get lost. Be prepared by making sure your dog is wearing tags that are up to date. We use a personalized collar with our phone number as well since we have lost plenty of tags over the years. And since collars can break or be wriggled out of talk to your vet about getting a microchip. If you get a microchip for your dog be sure to register your information. As long as your information is current anyone who scans your dog for a chip can get in touch with you. If you have seen those stories in the news about dogs being lost for months & turning up hundreds of miles away they are almost always reunited because of a microchip.
15. Watch Out For Hot Pavement in the Summer Want to know if the pavement is too hot for your dog? Place your hand or barefoot on the pavement for 5 seconds. If it is too hot or uncomfortable for your skin it is too hot for your dogs feet. And hot pavement is not just uncomfortable, it can cause serious injuries to your dogs paws. On those really hot days you can walk in the grass, go to the park, or walk in the woods. If your dog is pretty tolerant you can even get them some booties to help protect their paws. Laika is not tolerant of booties, we stick to the grass on hot days. You could also walk earlier in the morning or evening stroll to avoid the hot sun.
16. Keep Your Dogs Focus By Bringing Along High Value Treats No matter where you walk there is going to be distractions. If your dog is like mine every single squirrel sighting becomes a major event. In those "oh crap" situations keep your dogs attention by having some high value treats on hand. And if you are cheap like me do not worry - you do not have to use store bought treats. You can make your own healthy DIY dog treats or use some fruits & veggies that you have already got on hand. My dog goes crazy for carrots so I have it easy, but not all dogs find veggies that appealing. Chopped up meat is almost guaranteed to get any dogs attention.
17. Ask Before Approaching Other Dogs Just because your dog is friendly does not mean every dog to dog meeting will be pleasant. Avoid any unnecessary risk by asking before letting your dog approach another dog. Not all dogs are dog-friendly, and there is plenty of dogs that do not do well with on leash greetings. So if you run into anyone else walking their dog please ask permission before approaching them. If your dog is the one that is reactive and does not do well meeting other dogs check out these 10 tips for walking reactive dogs.
18. Wear Reflective Gear if You Walk During the Evening If you have driven at night before we are sure you have had plenty of "oh crap" moments. Those times when you almost hit someone walking on the side of the road due to poor visibility. Do not be that guy. If you do not have sidewalks in your neighborhood make sure you give drivers the ability to see you from a distance. For the safety of you and your dog get wear something reflective if you walk at night. And if the majority of your walks are during the evening you can get a reflective collar or leash combo for your dog as well.
19. Walk in Front of Your Dog Walking in front of your dog allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he is the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your dog should be beside or behind you during the walk.
Use a Short Dog Leash This allows you to have more control. Attaching the leash to the very top of the neck can help you more easily communicate, guide, and correct your dog. If you need additional help, consider a great dog collar. Always keep your dog's safety in mind when giving corrections.
20. Give Yourself Enough Time for the Dog Walk Dogs, like humans, are diurnal, so taking walks in the morning is ideal. I recommend setting aside thirty minutes to a full hour. The specific needs of each dog differ. Consult your vet and keep an eye on your dog's behavior to see if his needs are being met.
21. How to Reward Your Dog During the Walk After your dog has maintained the proper state of mind, reward him by allowing him to relieve himself and sniff around. Then you need to decide when reward time is over. It should always be less than the time spent focused on the walk.
22. Keep Leading, Even After the Walk When you get home, do not stop leading. Have your dog wait patiently while you put away his leash or take off your shoes.
23. Reward Your Dog After the Walk By providing a meal after the walk, you have allowed your dog to "work" for food and water. And do not forget to set a good example by always picking up after your dog!
24. Puppy exercising Puppies need much less exercise than fully-grown dogs. If you over-exercise a growing puppy you can overtire it and damage its developing joints, causing early arthritis. A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age - up to twice a day, until the puppy is fully grown, 15 minutes - up to twice a day, when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer. It is important that puppies and dogs go out for exercise every day in a safe and secure area, or they may become frustrated. Time spent in the garden, however large, is no substitute for exploring new environments and socialising with other dogs. Make sure your puppy is trained to recall so that you are confident that he will return to you when called. You should never exercise your puppy on a full stomach as this can contribute to bloat.
6 NECESSARY TIPS FOR WALKING YOUR DOG AT RAIN This information is proudly presented by WWW.TRUPANION.COM and Amy Dyck and Kelli Rascoe
Walking dogs in rain - a bonding time to get outdoor together! The first day of spring is right around the corner, literally! Naturally, we are ready to embrace the sunshine and warm weather with our furry friends. Rather, the start of spring can play a number on us, since across much of North America it actually marks the start of rainy season. Granted, whether you have a new puppy in your household or a doting senior, walking your dogs in rain is one of the many responsibilities of pet ownership.
Do not worry sunny days are coming soon. As we look towards the start of the spring season. Walking dogs in rain is a necessary part of being a responsible pet owner, and getting outdoors is a great health benefit for all parties. By keeping your dog's health and safety in mind and wearing pet-appropriate clothing, your next spring walk will be the highlight of you and your dog's day. Certainly, a wonderful opportunity to bond together and enjoy everything the spring season has to offer with our best mates.
1. Weather-Appropriate Clothing The saying goes with, April showers bring May flowers. Rain is definitely in the forecast. Certainly, the unpredictability of inclement weather can occur anytime, even if it is not typical in your region this time of year. So, always make sure you have weather-appropriate clothing for your furry friends, as well as yourself. Also, raincoats and rain boots for your pups can keep them happy and dry, and not to mention adorable.
2. Keep Paws Dry If you opt not to put rain boots on your furry friend, definitely make sure to properly dry their paws after the walk. Some pups do not like wearing rain boots, but dry paws are imperative for their health. If you can convince them to don some footgear, it will keep your dog's paws dry and avoids slipping, falling, and keeps their paws in good condition. In addition, it also helps you keep your house clean, no decorative muddy paw prints!
3. Visibility Visibility is one of the most important safety aspects of walking dogs in rain. In essence, your visibility protects you and your pups from a potentially unsafe situation. In addition, wear bright colors or have reflective strips on your gear, to make sure you are still visible to traffic. Also, be mindful of what time you choose to take your walks, as it might be darker outside so plan accordingly.
4. Shorten the Walks While walking your dogs in rain, keep your dog's safety and comfort in mind. Likewise, if there is heavy rain, shorten the walks, and allow for interactive playtime indoors. Naturally, if it is a lighter rain, enjoy the fun outdoors. Essentially, monitor your dog's activity and if they are uncomfortable with the conditions, make accommodations for their health and safety.
5. Awareness of Puddles and Pet Health Safety Fresh rain can carry a lot of dirt, debris, oil, and other pet health safety concerns. In addition, your dog's wellness could be jeopardized from drinking out of contaminated puddles. For instance, diseases like Leptospirosis can be contracted from drinking from standing puddles. Be mindful of your dog's activity outdoors, and bring fresh water with you at all times to avoid over-heating.
6. Seasonal Allergies Alert The spring season is here, which means seasonal allergies are all around us. Certainly, be mindful of your dog's behavior and monitor for any signs of spring allergies. If you feel your pet might be affected by seasonal allergies, check in with your veterinarian with your concerns.
6 VALUABLE TIPS FOR WALKING YOUR DOG AT SNOW This information is proudly presented by WWW.DOGTIME.COM and Mike Clark
For those of us living in places where winter means snow, walking dogs outside becomes a big challenge. Snow presents new obstacles that make things difficult and sometimes dangerous for dogs. As the winter season approaches, make sure you are keeping your dog safe and as comfortable as possible on cold, snowy walks.
1. Humans And Dogs Should Layer Up Obviously, you will want to bundle up to head outside in the snow, but just because your dog has a fur coat provided by nature does not mean they can always go without extra layers. Different dog breeds have different tolerances for snow, and it's important to do your research before you let your pup play in it. Obviously, a Chihuahua won't handle cold weather and snow as well as a Husky. If you are not sure of your dog's breed and snow tolerance, it's best to just play it safe. There are plenty of coats available for dogs of any breed that are easy to put on and take off. Just make sure you take measurements and get one that fits.
2. Shovel And Use Pet Safe Ice Melt Before you head out, make things easier on you and your pup. Even though they are on four legs, they can still slip and fall on icy stairs or walkways just like you. Shovel the area outside your door and get a pet safe ice melt to prevent ice from forming. It is important NOT to use regular de-icing salt, as salt creates a reaction with ice that burns paws. These burns can be fairly severe if the salt is not removed right away, and at the very least, it will cause your pup a lot of discomfort.
3. Use Foot, Hand, And Paw Protection Speaking of salt, paw protection is extremely important to keep dogs safe from the salt used to melt ice on streets and sidewalks. Dog boots or paw wax will keep paw pads from suffering. Dogs need protection from salt even more than from snow and ice, though it is important to guard against frostbite, too. This goes for humans, as well. Your hands or feet may get numb while you are walking around and holding a leash, and you may not realize how much danger you are in. Always wear gloves and boots that guard against snow packing in around your feet or getting them wet.
4. Provide Plenty Of Water Winter is a dry time of year, and dehydration can sneak up on people and dogs. People don't realize how much they sweat in winter gear, and dogs tend to pant and breathe heavily when they exercise, giving off a lot of moisture. You and your dog should drink plenty of water before and after walks. Eating snow is not a good option, as snow can hide waste and bacteria, and it's usually salty due to all of the ice melt that is spread around streets. It will also lower your dog's core temperature. Your dog could end up sick or even more dehydrated.
5. Watch Out For Waste As I mentioned, snow can hide waste easily. Many dog owners do not act responsibly during the winter and think that dog waste will just dissolve with the snow. It doesn't. In fact, as the snow melts, all of that waste becomes very apparent, and it's a huge public health concern, as it attracts rodents and spreads bacteria and disease. Always pick up after your dog, even in the snow, but keep an eye out for other waste piles. They can come as a surprise, and if your dog makes contact with them, it is very easy to catch another dog's sickness.
6. Keep Towels By The Door Not only will a towel by the door keep your home from being a muddy mess, it will help you get your dog dry and warm. It will also allow you to knock off some of the snow that gets caught in your pup's fur, which can keep your dog cool for a lot longer after the walk. Snow caught in fur can also cause your dog to lick, chew, or scratch to remove the snow and irritate the skin that may already be dry from the weather. Try to remove as much of it as possible before letting your dog run around inside.
25 HELPFUL TIPS FOR WALKING YOUR DOG AT WINTER This information is proudly presented by WWW.BLOG HOMESALIVE.CA and Amy Dyck
Stay healthy and happy with your dog getting your daily exercise in the winter! It's not always easy walking with your pet in the winter, but the benefits almost always outweigh the risks.
1. Keep Toe Hair Clipped For more comfortable winter walking, keep hair between your dog's toes clipped short. Ice can accumulate on this hair, causing temporary lameness or making it difficult or painful for your dog to walk. Or, better yet, protect your dog from a variety of winter hazards by covering his paws with boots. For dogs who don't need extra paw insulation, there are thin rubber boots that can be easily slipped on the paw and still allow full movement.
2. Do Dogs Need Boots? Boots are a practical necessity for many dogs and can be beneficial for all dogs in the winter. Protecting from the harsh weather elements, such as snow and ice, which can dry out paws and make your dog chill faster. Winter dog boots also keep your dog's sensitive foot pads from salt and chemicals that are put on the street to remove ice. Dog won't wear boots? A paw wax can act as a barrier that is nearly as effective as boots.
3. Wipe Paws Always wipe your dog's paws after a winter walk. Use a warm wet washcloth and a towel to dry, or use a pre-moistened pet wipe for convenience. Washing removes salt or ice melt chemicals from your dog's paws before he licks them.
4. Moisturize After you have cleaned your pet's paws, use a pet safe skin conditioner on your dog's paws to prevent them from drying out. Dry winter air can make paws rough, cracked, and even split. Make sure the moisturizer you choose is non-toxic and safe for dogs, as your pet will likely lick her paws. Coconut oil is an excellent choice. Not only is it an effective moisturizer, but it is a healthy source of fats and vitamins when ingested, too.
5. Keep It Short On very cold days, limit your walks unless your dog can handle it. Pay attention to your dog's body language. If he keeps picking up his paws, licking his paws, whining, or shivering, take him home immediately. These are signs your dog is too cold! He may need a coat and boots.
6. Wear a Coat or Sweater Jackets and sweaters may look silly on dogs, but they can be very useful, too. While some dogs have a fur coat that can withstand cold temperatures and wick away moisture, many dogs do not. A dog winter coat can be a windbreaker, protecting your dog from windchill, can keep your dog from getting wet and chilled, and can add a layer of insulation to keep him warmer for longer.
7. Have A Few Sweaters On Hand A wet dog coat or sweater can actually make your dog colder outside than his dry, bare fur. Have multiple coats on hand so that you can alternate them on walks throughout the day, or dry your dog's coat in the dryer or over a heat vent after each use. Check out Canada Pooch if you are looking for a little extra style.
8. Stick to the Sidewalk Unless your dog is a cold-loving breed, such as a Siberian Husky or an Alaskan Malamute, you will probably want to keep him out of the deep snow for longer walks. If cold snow touches your dog's soft and unprotected belly, he will chill much faster. Many dogs do not have fur on their bellies, so wading in deep snow may be fun for a few minutes, but could make your dog much colder on extended walks. Stick to cleared sidewalks and trails, and leave the snow jumping for shorter time periods of backyard play.
9. Plan Ahead In the winter, it's important that you plan your trip ahead of time. Check the weather and windchill before you leave. Often, it can be colder outside than you initially thought. Rather than taking a long route with only one way back, choose a busy path with a few walk length options if you are unsure about the weather. Leave the exploring for clear, cool days.
10. Use Reflectors In the winter, there is a lot less sunlight in the day time. Make sure you and your dog wear reflective clothing or use an LED collar or leash for your dog to be more visible in the morning and evening. Alternatively, there are leash accessories such as lights you can attach to your dog's leash or collar. Vehicles can have a hard time stopping in the winter, so ensure that drivers can see you and your dog long before they have to stop for you.
11. Walk in the Day If at all possible, schedule your dog's daily walk in the daylight hours. Not only will it likely be warmer for you and your dog, but you will be more visible to vehicles in the sunlight.
12. Shovel Snow While not technically a walking tip, this is a friendly reminder of the golden rule. Be a good neighbour! As a common courtesy, shovel snow on your sidewalks as soon as you can once it falls. This makes your sidewalk much more hospitable to pets and their owners walking.
13. Use Dog-Safe Traction Most chemical ice-melts are not safe for pets. Choose a non-toxic, pet-friendly traction product and encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same. Most chemical ice-melts are not good for children or lawns, either, so it is not just your pet who will benefit. Stay away from salt, too. Unlike table salt, road salt can include contaminants as well as high amounts of minerals and heavy metals that could prove toxic to your pet. Salt can also be damaging to sidewalks, corrode metal wiring, and can irritate pet paws, causing them to dry out or have a burning sensation.
14. Stop Grazing While it may seem logical, take extra precautions to ensure that your dog is not ingesting anything he finds while on his winter walk. Chemical ice melting products, road salt, and antifreeze are all very common finds on the winter sidewalks, and each can be quite damaging to your pet. Even dog-safe versions of these are toxic in certain amounts. Have your pet eat before you leave the house, so that she is not hungry during her walk. Bring along some treats for distraction if you need it. If you are going to be gone for a half hour or longer, bring along some fresh water for re-hydration.
15. Lobby for Change Does your municipality have a bylaw against using toxic ice-melting products? Or against traditional antifreeze - ethylene glycol, that can be deadly for pets who ingest it? There are safer, effective solutions out there and many cities have already made the switch. The best way to initiate change is to raise awareness. Not sure how to go about it? Connect with a local shelter to find other interested parties and to spread your concern.
16. Apply First Aid If your dog's paws do happen to split and there is an open sore, taking appropriate dog first aid care is crucial. Clean your dog's wound first with water. Use an antibacterial first aid spray or lotion for pets to prevent infection. Wrap area with a clean gauze or pet bandage. Keep walks to a minimum during the healing process. If you are walking your pet while her paw is still healing, make sure she wears boots to keep irritants out and to protect the wound from reopening.
17. Alleviate Arthritis Cold, winter weather can aggravate conditions such as arthritis in your dog. If your pet suffers from arthritis, you may want to keep winter walks shorter and avoid slippery or rugged terrains. Natural dog health supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, are helpful for lubricating joints and soothing pain associated with arthritis. If your dog limps or seems stiff in the morning or on walks, try a dog arthritis supplement, particularly if your dog is a senior.
18. Try Alternative Exercise If it's really cold outside, don't let your pet's exercise suffer. In the coldest months, try signing up for an indoor class with your dog or using an indoor walking area, make sure dogs are allowed first, to boost your pet's winter activity levels. If your dog is getting her required exercise in, she's less likely to turn to destructive behaviour out of boredom.
19. Look for Cues While you should know what your dog's breed says about his cold-threshold, you should also pay attention to individual cues. Dogs will let you know when they have had enough of the cold. While you can let your dog play outside in the cold weather, never leave your pet unattended for long periods of time, particularly if they are a small breed or a breed with little cold protection, even if they have a coat and boots. Watch your dog for signs that she is getting too cold, such as whining, begging at the door, lifting or licking paws excessively, and shivering. Even though some breeds are more cold-tolerant, no dog should be left outside for prolonged periods of time with no warm shelter to retreat to.
20. Watch for Frostbite Frostbite can be a real threat to pets, who, like kids, may be having too much fun in the snow to notice frosbite while it is happening. Watch ears, nose, foot pads, and tail, as these are the most common places for frostbite to occur. Frostbitten skin is cold, pale, and hard, and it often turns red and puffy after it warms a bit. If you suspect your dog has frostbite, apply a warm, not hot, rag to the affected area once inside, and also cover with a blanket, though not an electric one. Don't let your dog lick, scratch, or chew at the affected area, as this can lead to infection or cause permanent damage. If you are concerned, call your vet.
21. Keep a Tight Leash When walking around ice-covered areas, such as frozen lakes or ponds, keep your dog on a tight leash and don't allow him to roam onto the ice. There's no way to easily tell how solid the ice is and your dog could fall in, pulling you along with him.
22. Have Up to Date ID Does your dog have proper identification on his collar or a microchip? Make sure that you keep your information current in case your pet gets out. Winter weather is sometimes harder for pets to navigate in, which could make it harder for your pet to get back home if he gets out. Up to date information on an engraved dog ID tag, microchip, or city licence may be the difference in your pet getting home safely or not. Going away on vacation in the winter? Have an alternate tag with a temporary contact or address that you can use.
23. Adjust Food if You Need To Dogs who are spending more time outside in the winter will require more energy, so you should adjust their food accordingly. However, if your dog is mostly spending his time indoors, you may actually need to cut down his portions slightly. Your dog should maintain a steady weight year round. Too much fluctuation seasonally can be hazardous to their health. Monitor your pet's weight regularly and adjust your dog's feeding for proper weight maintenance.
24. Avoid Metal Everyone knows not to lick metal objects in cold weather. While this can pose the same threat to your dog's tongue as yours, it's not the only metal you should be concerned about. If you are walking your pet in winter, steer clear of metal lampposts, metal plates, man-hole covers, electrical boxes, and other metal objects as these carry with them the risk of electric shock. Melting temperatures, ice salt on the roads and sidewalks, and faulty wiring can all contribute to electric shock when your pet is near or around metal objects. For the safety of your pet - stay away!
25. Limit Snow Intake It may seem harmless, but snow is not good for your dog to consume in large amounts, and we aren't just talking about the yellow kind. A little snow is unlikely to do any damage, but eating snow does have its risks.For one thing, you never know what may be in the snow - antifreeze, chemicals, or some other contaminant. In excessive amounts, snow can cause intestinal upset, including diarrhea and vomiting, in some dogs. There's even a name for it : Winter Blap Disease. Hydrate your dog before leaving for your walk and if you will be out for a while, bring along some fresh water for drinking. Water will be way more thirst-quenching than snow for your dog, anyhow.
HOW TO WALK TWO DOGS AT ONCE This article is proudly presented by WWW.DOGTIPPER.COM and Paris Permenter
Walking two dogs at once can be twice the fun or twice the challenge! When the dogs are large and strong, the task of one person walking two dogs is one that has to be taken on like any job: deliberately and with a plan. The first consideration is that the two dogs get along well. At all costs, even if it means taking separate walks with each dog, you don't want two dogs literally your arm's length apart to be fighting!
If your dogs are friendly to each other, you will want to make sure each is leash trained. If one needs a little refresher in leash manners, it's best to leash train the dogs individually so you can start and stop to reinforce behaviors as they happen in that particular dog - not because his walking partner was getting off track! You can train the dogs separately or have someone else walk with you and take the second dog, keeping the training independent.
One Leash or Two? Once your dogs are leash trained, it's a matter of how will you accomplish the walk. Some walkers and dogs prefer two leashes. However, two dogs and two leashes can quickly become a tangled mess, not to mention a hazard for the owner trying to walk down the sidewalk.
Using a Dog Leash Coupler to Walk Two Dogs on One Leash Some dog lovers use a dog leash coupler to walk two dogs using one leash. A coupler is made up of two short leads that snap to each collar, with a ring in the middle that attaches the two leads to one leash.
Using a coupler is generally easier for the dog walker, but some dogs dislike couplers because being connected restricts each dog's movement. The dogs must walk very close to each other and, if you stop to correct one dog, you will be correcting both dogs. You will need to make sure that the smallest or oldest, or least energetic dog in the pair does not just get dragged along if the larger or more energetic dog decides to investigate something along the way.
With the age and size difference of our dogs, I generally don't use a coupler on our walks. However, I always carry a coupler attached to my dog walking bag to use as a tie-out. You can run it through the handles of the leashes to attach the dogs to your chair when you are at a patio restaurant or to the legs of a picnic table when at a park! Introduce a coupler slowly, with initial walks going just a short distance. As the dogs become accustomed to the feel of being connected, gradually lengthen your walks.
How to Train Your Dogs to Walk Together? Just as with getting your dogs accustomed to walking on a dog leash coupler, the same is true when using two separate dog leashes: start slowly. Start by walking your dogs for a short distance to make sure they remember their leash manners and understand that the rules still apply to them as a pair. Assuming you have taught some basic commands, such as "sit", "wait" and "stop", work on these with the dogs together before stepping out on a walk. Dogs who know "heel" and walk right at your side are great candidates for walking in tandem. But even if your dogs don't heel, it's extremely helpful for your dogs to be in the habit of walking on one side of you or slightly out in front, not moving from side to side to explore. Even with the best trained dogs, you might find a little adjustment period when you start walking two dogs at once. The "you must be talking to that other dog" syndrome is common so there may be a little period of retraining - bring extra treats and extra patience! You may also see a competitive nature that surfaces, causing well-mannered dogs to suddenly start pulling as both dogs strive to reach that interesting smell first. The correct training response is the same as it is for one dog: stop dead in your tracks as soon as the leash goes tight.
How to Hold the Leash When Walking Two Dogs? In walking two dogs at once, you will also have to do some readjustment yourself, especially if you are using two leashes. Some walkers prefer to put both leashes in one hand while others find the weight is better balanced with a leash in each hand. Others choose to put one dog on a waist leash and the second dog on a traditional leash. You can put both leashes in one hand, this leaves one hand free for picking up poop or pushing brush to the side if we are off on a trail. See what feels comfortable and safest to you.
What NOT to do when walking two dogs at once What you definitely do NOT want to do is walk two dogs on retractable leashes. Not only will the long retractable leashes become tangled easily but the nature of the leash handles makes holding two very difficult for the dog walker. Remember, too, that walking two dogs together can be a physical challenge: two dogs make up quite a force and not everyone can handle this situation without landing face down on the ground! When you are walking two dogs, you will want to be extra mindful of potential distractions BEFORE they become an issue. Keep an eye out for those squirrels and redirect your dogs before they start to pull. Take stock of both your dogs' training and your physical state to decide if two separate dog walks or one tandem walk are best for you and your dogs.
Meet the Needs of each Dog Before you start, it is very important that you know each dog individually. If you have decided to adopt several dogs at once, it is recommended that you walk with each of them individually at first and see how they behave, paying close attention. See if the dog stops often to smell, if it tends to pull the lead, if it needs more exercise than others. It is essential to take into account each dog's walking pace and their individual exercise needs: The more you know about your dogs, the better the experience will be when walking them. It can be very harmful to walk your dogs in different groups. Even if you have several and it is difficult to get into a smooth rhythm of walking, it is preferable to walk them all at once. It is unfair for others to stay at home wondering if they have done something wrong. If you can't take all of them out, ask for help from friends or family if you think it may be tricky at first.
Physical Ability Size, age, and breed of the dogs in your pack doesn't matter, but physical ability does. You could walk a prancing little Pomeranian with a bounding Golden Retriever as long as they can both handle the distance and speed. If a small dog has the energy, their short legs can carry them just as far as their taller pack mates. But dogs with injuries, heart conditions, or low energy levels might not be able to keep up. You should always base your walk off of the physical capabilities of the least athletic dog in your group. You never want to overwork a dog, but that might mean another, more active dog doesn't get all the exercise they need.
Two Groups of Dogs Before talking about accessories that can make walking several dogs at once more comfortable, it is important to organize the dogs before heading out onto the street. After analyzing the needs of each dog, divide the pack into two groups. You need to be able to use both hands. Especially when it comes to large dogs, you should divide the dogs into two groups of similar strength. Group your dogs by walking pace, according to their behavior on the street or their particular tendency: The groups can change after a few walks as you will find the right combination.
Anti-Pull Harness Its recommended the use of a harness because it prevents dogs from choking and frees them of a collar, among other advantages. To conduct the walk properly and without incident, you should pay attention to those dogs that could pull you over. Knowing how to walk several dogs at once means knowing that you must have power and control over your pets. If you think this may be a problem or you doubt your ability or strength in walking multiple dogs, we recommend an anti-pull harness. This is a very useful tool that significantly reduces the strength of their pulling. The harness is placed in a certain way that stops the front legs from moving freely, keeping them closer together so they cannot pull as hard. We must emphasize that the anti-pull harness does not cause discomfort or pain. Remember that dogs considered dangerous must wear amuzzle at all times if they are in a public space.
One Lead, Two Dogs To reduce the number of leads and improve the quality of the walk, you can make groups of two dogs and join them together in one lead for two dogs. These leads are especially meant for smaller or quieter dogs, although if they are long enough they can be used for any type of dog. It will help to make the walk smoother and more comfortable.
Multi-Dog Leash Walking: Same Side or Different Sides? All parties should be happy and comfortable during multi-dog walks, so deciding where your dogs should orient themselves in relation to you on the left side or right side of your body is a matter of personal preference. With well-mannered dogs that do not pull, it's possible to comfortably hold both leashes in the same hand, which encourages your dogs to walk closer together. This also allows you to keep one hand free for occasional treat delivery. Keep in mind that holding the leashes in separate hands might lead to zig-zagging in front of you as your dogs attempt to check in and keep up with each other.
Dealing with Leash Tangles No matter how well mannered your dogs are, you should expect occasional twisted leashes. Teaching your dogs a casual "wait" cue will get them to stop moving while you make the necessary adjustments. To teach it on the go, simply come to a stop and tell your dog "wait." Capture the moment your dog stops moving with a click or marker word - you are basically acknowledging the absence of movement, then continue walking. Perfect it with each dog individually and then give it a shot when you have to unknot the mess.
TIPS FOR WALKING A FEW DOGS AT ONCE The longest walk of the day should be first thing in the morning.
Walk calmly: Try not to run or finish quickly.
Respect the older members of the group. If you have an elderly dog, you should adapt the pace of the other dogs to theirs.
If there is a dog with high exercise needs in the group, take them all to an off-lead area so that they can move more if they need to.
Let them sniff wee and poo even if it seems disgusting. It helps to keep the walk calm.
Have them all chipped with an identification tag in case one escapes.
Always carry treats or rewards, as it is the best way to capture the attention of the entire group in any situation.
Monitor and observe all members of the pack. If the group is large you may accidentally overlook certain behaviors or health problems.
Treat them all equally. They all deserve the same quality of walks and affection.
Reading the "Pee Leaves" Did you know that the way your dog is peeing or not can give you some important information about their urinary, and even overall health. This article will highlight some of the signs you may notice when your dog pees that could indicate that a vet visit is needed.
Straining While Peeing If your dog is struggling or straining while they are peeing, it could actually be a very serious emergency condition. Both male and female dogs can have their urethra - the tube that connects the bladder to the outside world blocked by a urinary stone, scaring, inflammation, or even a tumor. Male dogs can also suffer a urethral blockage from an overly enlarged prostate, more of a problem in male dogs that haven't been neutered, as the prostate grows under the influence of testosterone. You should always err on the side of caution if you see your dog straining to pee and bring them for immediate veterinary evaluation. Even if they are not "blocked," your dog will be happy that you had them checked to be sure.
PRO TIP: - When heading to the vet for an evaluation of urine dribbling, it's helpful to be able to tell them if your dog is dribbling only when they are laying down or asleep, or also when they are walking around or even following regular urination. It's also helpful if you can let your vet know if your dog seems to have "conscious control" over their urethral sphincter, which is actually quite easy to test. Just startle your dog the next time they are peeing and see if they can "cut off the stream" when startled. Typically a simple clap, call of their name, or even gentle touch of their back will do... you don't need to try and scare them, that's a whole other test! Oh, and speaking of "other tests," marijuana toxicity, which is getting increasingly common in dogs, can also cause sudden urine dribbling. Learn more about marijuana and CBD in dogs.
Dribbling or Leaking Urine, after peeing or even when just laying down The cause of urine dribbling often depends on the age of the dog. With puppies, it's more likely that they are dealing with an anatomical problem that they were born with. Two of the most common are a "patent urachus", basically dribbling out of their "belly button" from a ligament that didn't properly regress and an "ectopic ureter" - on one or both of the ureters, the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder, doesn't insert exactly where it should within the bladder wall. With adult and older dogs, it is often more of a problem with their control over their urethral sphincter, the muscle that helps keep pee in the bladder until the dog is ready to get it out. And, of course, dogs of all ages can get urinary tract infections that can sometimes result in urine dribbling. Either way, persistent dribbling should be evaluated by your veterinarian. It's typically not an emergency condition, but you shouldn't let it go on for too long.
Discolored Urine Normal dog urine should be yellow. The "shade" of yellow can range normally from pale or "straw-colored" to amber, based on your dog's hydration status and a few other factors, but it should be yellow nonetheless. Urine gets its yellow color from a substance called urochrome, which is a metabolized breakdown product of red blood cells. Here is what some of the "non-yellow" colors of urine could mean:
Orange: Dog urine that is orange, or "orangish," is typically a sign of icterus or jaundice, which is a result of too much pigment from the inside of red blood cells being present in the system. This can be due to a problem with the liver or some of the other organs and structures around the liver, including the pancreas, or it could be a problem with the red blood cells themselves or something causing abnormal breakdown of the red blood cells. It could also be due to dehydration or the foods your dog is eating or medications they are on. Either way, because of the potentially very serious causes listed first, a sudden appearance of orange or "orangish" colored urine warrants an emergency trip to the veterinarian. If your dog's urine is orange, check their gums, the "whites" of their eyes, and the inside of their ear flaps. There is a good chance that you will notice a yellowish discoloration of those structures, too.
Red If your dog's urine is red or pink it means that there is blood, either the intact red blood cells themselves, or the pigment from within the red blood cells, in their urine. Some of the most common causes of red or pink discolored urine in dogs are inflammation and or infection within the urinary tract, anywhere from the kidneys to the end of the urethra. Other possible causes could be urinary stones, urinary tumors, trauma, foreign bodies like foxtails, or a bleeding problem, like from rat poison, cancer, liver failure, dysfunctional or too few blood platelets, and other possible causes. Red or pink discolored urine warrants a veterinary visit, immediately if there is a lot of red discoloration or if your dog is otherwise not acting normally.
Brown or Black: If you are noticing a brown or black color to your dog's urine it most likely means that there's been some significant damage to their muscles, like from trauma, prolonged seizures, or even from a metaldehyde-based slug and snail bait poisoning. It could also indicate toxicity from ingestion of acetaminophen, the active pain-relieving ingredient in Tylenol®, Excedrin®, and several other products. If you are seeing brown or black urine from your dog, it's time for an emergency trip to the vet!
Increased Volume or Frequency of Urination
Increased Volume A dog peeing a larger volume of urine can be normal, like if they have been drinking more recently because of the weather or increased exercise, or if you have started adding canned food or water to their meals, or if your dog is pregnant. However, an increased volume of urine can also be a sign of a problem. If you are noticing your dog peeing larger volumes, and it's going on for more than a day and isn't easily and reliably explained with one of the "normal reasons" mentioned above, then it's time for a visit to your veterinarian for an examination and some blood and urine tests and possibly even some X-rays. Some medical problems that can cause an increased urine volume in dogs:
Kidney Failure Liver Failure Heart Disease Uterine Infection ("Pyometra") Excessive Blood Levels of Calcium Brain Tumors Cushing's Disease Addison's Disease Diabetes Mellitus ("sugar diabetes") Diabetes insipidus ("water diabetes") Certain Medications (e.g., Lasix or other diuretics, steroids, phenobarbitol)
Increased Frequency If your dog is asking to go out more frequently, is peeing more often when outside, or has suddenly started having accidents in your home, it is likely that they are battling with inflammation - possibly due to stress or urinary stones and or an infection within their urinary tract. In most cases this increased frequency is typically accompanied by smaller volumes at each voiding. This is because the presence of any urine within an inflamed or infected bladder is quite uncomfortable for a dog. For this reason, increased frequency of urination warrants a veterinary visit for evaluation. When dealing with an increased frequency of urination, you might be tempted to start your dog on a "urinary" or cranberry supplement. While they may help in some cases, they certainly don't in all. And in many cases, delay in seeking veterinary evaluation and care prolongs the discomfort that your dog is experiencing.
Excessive Licking of Genitalia After Urination
While a little post-piddling "clean up" is normal in dogs, excessive genital area licking after urination, or even throughout the day, should be evaluated and worked-up by your veterinarian. Here is a list of some of the things that could cause excessive genital area licking in dogs:
Urinary Tract Infection Perivulvar (area around their vulva) Infection Trauma of Genitalia Tumor Foreign Body Constant Urine Dribbling or Incontinence Preputial entrapment - condition in male dogs where fur, or even a rubber band, if you have got young kids, gets wrapped around their prepuce causing pain, possible infection, and the inability of the dog to urinate normally.
When bringing your dog into your vet's office to have a peeing or urinary issue evaluated, try not to let your dog pee for a few hours before the exam. This is because your vet is likely to want to collect as fresh of a urine sample as possible, and may even want to collect a urine sample directly from your dog's bladder, especially important if they want to submit a sample for a bacterial culture and sensitivity. So try and arrive to your vet appointment with your dog's bladder full, as that will make collection at the office easier for your dog and the vet team and more likely successful. In some cases, your vet may ask you to actually bring a sample of your dog's urine to the appointment or drop one off before hand.
If you struggle with your dog pulling on the leash every time you take a walk, you are not alone. It's probably the most common problem dog owners complain about, especially for those people with larger dogs. Teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash will eliminate leash-pulling during walks, which is safer for your dog and more enjoyable for you. This technique is not a perfect "heel," which keeps your dog strictly by your side, but instead allows your pet room to sniff and explore as long as it leaves some slack in its leash.
Leash issues are a huge problem for the dog-owning public and a leading culprit for why so many otherwise healthy dogs are doomed to life or usually more accurately, an early death, in animal shelters. Whether it's simple leash-pulling or more significant leash reactivity and leash aggression, the primary thing to keep in mind is that these issues are almost always preventable and manageable when using positive training methods. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not pull on the leash while being walked because they want to be pack leader, top dog, alpha or dominant over their human.
There is a much simpler explanation that does not give credence to the myth that dogs are on a quest for world domination!
Dogs love to be outside, and the walk is a stimulating and exciting part of their day, so the desire to push ahead is very strong. Humans do not make ideal walking partners since a dog's natural and comfortable walking pace is much faster than ours. Having to walk calmly by a person's side when the only thing a dog really wants to do is run and investigate his environment requires a degree of impulse control that can be very difficult for some dogs to utilize. That being said, all dogs need to be taught how to walk on a leash in a positive way without pain or discomfort so that a walk becomes enjoyable for everyone. Gradually you will reduce the number of treats and the amount of troubleshooting that your puppy needs during a walk, but it's a good idea to keep some on hand at all times so you can randomly reinforce good leash-walking behavior.
Why Dogs Pull on the Leash? The biggest reason dogs pull on the leash is to get to where they want to go. Pretty simple, huh? The problem with letting them pull ahead to investigate an alluring scent is they quickly learn that pulling is rewarding.
Dogs often pull because of opposition reflex from the tension on the leash.
A dog's natural pace is much faster than our walking pace. Dogs normally like to trot rather than walk slowly, so it takes some training to keep them beside us while walking.
We normally walk in a straight line and at a steady pace which isn't natural for dogs. Dogs enjoy exploring their surroundings by chasing things or following interesting scents with their noses.
Fearful dogs may pull to get back home because it's where they feel safe.
How To Stop Your Dog From Pulling On Leash: Introduce the puppy to the collar or harness and leash. Start out by letting him get used to wearing a collar or harness and a leash. Let him wear them for short periods of time in the house while you are playing with him and giving him treats. The puppy should love collar-and-leash time because it represents food and fun.
Make the puppy come to you. While he is on his way to you, still wearing the leash and collar, back up a few paces and then reward him when he gets to you. Continue the progression until your puppy, upon hearing the cue noise, comes to you and walks with you a few paces. Remember that puppies have a short attention span, so keep your sessions short, and end them when your puppy is still eager to do more, not when he is mentally exhausted.
Practice inside. Now that your puppy understands how to come to you, practice walking a few steps in a room with little distraction. Feeling and seeing the leash around him will be enough of a challenge. Offer treats and praise as your puppy gets used to coming to you, as described above, with a leash on.
Take it outside. Finally, you are ready to test your puppy's skills in the Great Outdoors. There will be new challenges with this step because all the sounds, smells, and sights your puppy encounters will be intriguing and new to him. Be patient and keep the first walks short. While you are on a walk, if your puppy looks as if he is about to lunge toward something or is about to get distracted - you will notice this because you will keep your eyes on him at all times, make your cue sound and move a few steps away. Then reward him with a treat for following you.
If you are overpowered by your dog's pulling and cannot start the teaching process for fear of being pulled over, then there are humane equipment solutions to help modify the pulling while you teach your dog to walk appropriately.
A chest-led harness is a perfect training aid, as it takes pressure off a dog's sensitive neck by distributing the pressure more evenly around the body. When the leash is attached to a ring located on the chest strap and your dog pulls, the harness will turn his body around rather than allowing him to go forward. I recommend this kind of harness for anyone who needs extra help, as safety has to come first.
Leash pulling is often successful for the dog because the person inadvertently reinforces the pulling by allowing their dog to get to where he wants to go when he pulls. But you can change this picture by changing the consequence for your dog.
When he pulls, immediately stop and stand completely still until the leash relaxes, either by your dog taking a step back or turning around to give you focus. When the leash is nicely relaxed, proceed on your walk. Repeat this as necessary.
If you find this technique too slow you can try the reverse direction method. When your dog pulls, issue a "Let's Go" cue, turn away from him and walk off in the other direction, without jerking on the leash.
You can avoid yanking by motivating your dog to follow you with an excited voice to get his attention. When he is following you and the leash is relaxed, turn back and continue on your way. It might take a few turns but your vocal cues and body language will make it clear that pulling will not be reinforced with forward movement, but walking calmly by your side or even slightly in front of you on a loose leash will allow your dog to get to where he wants to go.
You can also reinforce your dog's decision to walk close to you by giving him a motivating reward when he is by your side.
Once your dog is listening to you more, you can vary the picture even more by becoming unpredictable yourself. This means your dog has to listen to you at all times because he never knows when you are going to turn or where you are going to go next. Instead of turning away from him when you give the let's go cue, reverse direction by turning towards him. You can turn in a circle or do a figure of eight. Any of these variations will get your dog's attention. Do not forget to praise him for complying, because the better you make him feel walking close to you, the more he will chose to do so.
Loose Leash Walking Techniques
Use High Value Treats! This is all about rewarding your dog to stay at your side rather than pulling ahead. I could have had strips of filet mignon hot off the grill and it wouldn't have mattered to Haley. Besides, some dogs might not be motivated by treats.
Become a Tree The idea is to stop when the leash becomes tight, then don't move again until your dog creates some slack in the leash. We tried this for a few weeks, but as soon as I would move again, the pulling continued.
Reverse Direction With this technique, you change directions while calling your dog to you when they begin to pull on the leash. This worked slightly better than becoming a tree, but it still wasn't very effective in the long term. I am sure plenty of people got a good laugh while watching me do this for a few weeks though.
Walk Faster But slow down if your dog pulls ahead - The idea with this strategy is that dogs like to walk a faster pace than us humans so they will be rewarded for staying closer. Haley would pull less at the faster pace but she was still pulling.
Make sure your dog walks behind you This is related to the dominance theory of keeping your dog slightly behind you so you are perceived as the pack leader. I never bought into this theory but I did try keeping her close to me on a short leash. It did not help with the pulling issue.
Tips on Dog Leash Training
Choose a Leash and Collar You will need a 6-foot leash and a collar. If your dog is in the habit of pulling, it may be able to easily slip out of a regular flat buckle collar. In this case, a martingale collar is a good option. This collar is ideal for training a dog to walk on a loose leash. It looks like a regular flat collar but has an extra loop that pulls tight when your dog pulls. This keeps dogs from slipping out of the collar. However, the martingale collar has a stopping point and will not close too tightly the way a choke chain does.
Give the Command Choose a word or phrase that lets your dog know what is expected of it. Since this is not a formal "heel," something like "with me" or "let's go" works well. Start out on your walk with your dog at your side, give the cue word or phrase, and begin walking.
Stop and Go When your dog pulls at the end of the leash, stop immediately and do not budge. Never allow your dog to move forward when it is pulling or lunging. This way, you are teaching your dog that the only way to get where it wants to go is by leaving some slack in the leash. As soon as there is some slack in the leash, you can begin again. Give your dog the command "with me" and start moving forward. If your dog seems relentless about pulling on the leash even when you stop, try changing directions instead. You may find yourself turning in circles at first, but soon your dog will learn that it's not going anywhere if it pulls. It will learn to pay attention to you to figure out which way to go.
Reward the Canine! Once you step out of your house, you have a lot of competition for your dog's attention. You have to make staying close to you more rewarding and fun than running off to explore all the sights and smells of your neighborhood. For this, you can use treats, praise, and a happy tone of voice. To start, any time your dog turns and looks at you, praise it and offer a treat. This is also a good time to use a clicker if you have decided to try clicker training. When your dog's attention turns to you, click and treat. In this way, you are teaching your dog that it is rewarding to pay attention to you. You can also speak to your dog in a high, happy tone to keep its attention on you. You may need to use a lot of treats in the beginning to get your dog's attention. Keep your hand by your side and give it treats continuously, as long as it is walking near you with some slack in the leash. As your dog gets the idea of what you expect, you can slowly phase out the treats by waiting longer between treats.
Problems and Proofing Behavior Leash training can take time - you will probably not have your dog walking on a loose leash the first time. There may be times when you simply cannot get your dog's attention. It might find what's going on elsewhere more interesting than your treats or happy talk, and stopping and starting may not be enough to distract it from whatever is holding its attention. In this case, it's best to move away from the distraction. Walk in the opposite direction, saying "let's go." There is no need to pull your dog - simply walk away while holding the leash. Your dog will have no choice but to follow. Once it is walking with you, offer a treat and plenty of praise. To "proof" your dog's ability to walk on a loose leash, take frequent short walks, varying your routine and direction. Once your dog is comfortable with your local neighborhood, practice loose-leash walking in locations where distractions are likely. Be consistent and positive. In time, your dog will learn how to walk properly on the leash.
To teach an "off-duty" walk: This will be used in relaxed moments when the dog does not need to be in "heel" position. The only rule will be, "You can not pull forward."
Pick a word to signal this new kind of walk. You might use, "free time," or "hike," or "at ease," or another word of your choice, as long as it is different from your formal walk cue.
Decide how much leash to give your dog. If you walk your dog on a 6-foot leash, you might simply hold the loop end and let the rest hang loose. If you hold some of the leash in your hand, plan on doing so throughout the walk, rather than releasing and gathering it several times. This is to teach the dog how much leash will be available to them.
Give your dog the cue ("free time") and start walking. They can sniff, change sides, look around, lie down occasionally - anything but pulling.
If your dog pulls forward, stop moving and call him back toward you before starting again.
If your dog fixates on a person, dog or other animal, call your dog's name and if possible, move in the opposite direction. Getting closer to the distraction will be harder, and will most likely set your dog up to pull.
If you'd like your dog to walk in "heel" position, due to an approaching walker, bike, etc., bring him back to your side and cue him "heel".
Ditching Ditch the retractable leash for a regular six foot leash. Unless a retractable leash is locked, it always has tension which works against a dog's opposition reflex and the ability for them to know what a loose leash feels like.
Treat Pouch Consider buying a treat pouch that attaches to your waist so you can easily give rewards at the right time while walking.
No Prong or Choke Collars Avoid using choke or prong collars which can be dangerous for dogs that pull hard.
Head Collars Head collars are helpful for dogs that pull hard because they cause the dog's head to turn towards you if they pull. However, many dogs don't like to wear them and they are not recommended for short-nosed dogs.
Chest Harness A front-attaching chest harness is a great alternative which uses the same principle as the head collar. When the dog tries to pull forward, the harness causes their body to turn sideways towards you instead. A harness has the added benefit of taking the pressure off the dog's neck.
If Your Dog Lunges If your dog is going after something while on a walk - another dog, a car, a skateboarder, for example, be proactive. Try to redirect his attention with a treat before he has a chance to lunge, and increase the space between your dog and the target. Stay alert and be prepared before the target of his frustration gets too close. This type of behavior may be more common in herding breeds, but any dog can be startled by something he is not used to or finds exciting.
If Your Dog Barks Some dogs have the habit of barking at other dogs while on a walk. Oftentimes, this behavior comes as a result of lack of exercise. Make sure your dog gets the proper amount of mental and physical stimulation for his age and breed. If this is still a problem, use the same process as you would if your dog is lunging, as described above - create distance and offer treats before he starts to bark, so every time he sees a dog he gets used to turning his attention to you.
If you decide to visit a dog park, it is important to be able to read the body language of your dog and the other dogs present. The ideal body language is playful, but dogs will exhibit a variety of behaviors as they contact new dogs and spend more time at the park. Overall you are looking for balanced play between dogsm, sometimes one is on top and next time he's on the bottom. Sometimes he's the chaser, and next he will be the chased.
It's always wise to leave the park if your pet shows signs of tiredness, stress or fear or if there are dogs present who seem threatening.
Playful actions to watch for: Back and forth play - dogs change position - role reversals Bouncy, exaggerated gestures Wiggly bodies Open relaxed mouth Play bows Twisted leaps or jumps Pawing the air
Signs of Anxiety/Stress to Monitor: Fast wagging low tail Whining or whimpering Ears may be back Hiding behind objects or people
Signs of Fear: Dog will try to look small Tail tucked Hunched over, head down Tense May urinate submissively
Red Flags that Require Intervention: Excessive mounting Pinning (holding another dog down and standing stiffly over them) Shadowing another dog (following) incessantly Bullying: repeatedly bothering another dog that does not want to interact Fast non-stop running with a group - high arousal situation Full-speed body slams Putting head repeatedly onto another dog's neck or back Staring with a fixed gaze directly at another dog Snarling or raised lips Showing teeth Hackles up at the shoulders
Signs of Potential Illness While not necessarily related to behavior, you will want to remove your dog from a park where dogs are showing the following symptoms:
Coughing or gagging Vomiting Sneezing Diarrhea
In theory, dog parks are a wonderful way for dogs to socialize with other friendly dogs. It is important that owners who frequent dog parks know the limitations of their pets and act accordingly to keep playgroups interacting in a safe and responsible manner.
In an ideal world, the dog park is a place of joy and relaxation where people and pups come together for some healthy running and romping in the great outdoors. However, all is not always wine and roses at the dog park as not all dogs like eachother and get along. If you have ever witnessed a dog fight at the dog park, you understand how scary and dangerous they can be.
Breaking up a dog fight is serious business and it can go bad in a heart beat. It is important to know your limitations and don't get into the middle of something you can't physically deal with.
A dog fight is one of the most frightening things a dog owner can witness. Learning how to keep a dog fight from happening in the first place is one of the best things you can do for you and your dog. In some cases, human intervention can fuel the fire and it is best to let it fizzle out. If a play session seems to be getting too rough, start by calling your dog in an upbeat, relaxed tone. A well trained dog should respond to you and heed your command. This is probably a good time to take a break. Note: a dog without a reliable recall should not be allowed to play off-leash with other dogs.
To prevent play sessions from escalating to fights, it is essential that your dog have a strong foundation of training and socialization before you allow him to play off-leash with other dogs. You should be able to call your dog away from other dogs and be sure he will listen.
Know that shouting, screaming, hitting and kicking dogs usually ignites their rage towards one another. If two dogs seem to be truly fighting for more than 30-60 seconds and it seems to be getting really serious, it may be time to physically intervene.
First things first: NEVER physically get in the middle of two dogs fighting!!!
If you put your hand or other body part, anywhere near the heads of these dogs you WILL be injured. This includes trying to grab their collars. Don't be foolish enough think a dog will not bite its beloved owner. In the heat of a dog fight, your dog does not see who is intervening. He will bite any and everything in his way. DO NOT underestimate your dog. It's not personal. Remember, if your dog is injured, he will need you to take care of him.
There are a few ways to try and break up a dog fight. No matter what method you use, be sure to remain as calm as possible. Avoid yelling at the dogs and other people.
SEVERAL WAYS TO BREAK UP A DOG FIGHT
1) Circle behind one dog and grab his back feet or legs, and raise them into the air. Without the use of his legs, he won't be able to continue fighting.
Pull the dogs apart and back slowly away, continuing to hold their legs. Move in a backward arc so that the dog can't reach around to bite you. He'll be walking on his front legs only, so he won't be able to maneuver with much agility. When you've reached a safe distance, perhaps 20 feet, hold the dog safely until he calms down, which is easiest if you turn him so he can no longer see his opponent.
2) Hose them down. One of the simplest ways to break up the fight is to throw a bucket of water or hose down the dogs. It will break their attack instinct immediately, and each will forget about their aggression toward the other dog. No harm done, and in most cases the dogs will walk away, a little wet but not worse for wear.
3) Startle them with a loud sound. Bang two pieces of metal together near their heads, or use a tiny air horn to startle them. If you don't have any props on hand, clap loudly or give a shriek. Startling the dogs with sound will do the same thing startling them with water does. They will forget why they were fighting and walk away from each other.
4) Hit a latched on dog in the face with a hose or a heavy stick.
5) Use a barrier to split them up. Look for something you can use to stick between the dog and separate them. A large piece of cardboard, plywood, a garbage can lid, a big stick - any of these can be used to separate the dogs without putting your hands in harm's way.
6) Throw a blanket over the dogs. Some dogs will stop fighting when they can't see each other anymore. If you have a large blanket, a tarp, or another piece of opaque material, try tossing it over the fighting dogs to calm them down.
7) Break them up with a partner. If none of the easier techniques are proving effective, you may need to separate them physically so they don't end up ripping each other to pieces. You and another adult should each approach one dog from behind - it's much safer to do this with a partner than all by yourself.
8) Grab the attacker's collar and twisting it to cut off dog's air. This will finish the fight immediately.
HOW TO WALK SENIOR DOG This article is proudly presented by WWW.DOGTIME.COM and Mike Clark
Our senior pups may not move as fast as they used to, but they still benefit from regular exercise and walks. It is important to keep older dogs moving, even if they do not have the same physical abilities and needs that they did when they were younger. Weight gain contributes to stress on the joints and bones, which is especially harmful to seniors who suffer from arthritis.
Staying active can prevent obesity and increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the joints and muscles, which may reduce the effects of arthritis. Outdoor walks also provide dogs with an opportunity for mental stimulation, and that is important for combating the symptoms of dementia in aging dogs. Even though regular walks are great for dogs of all ages, there are some big differences when it comes to walking a senior dog.
1. Prepare For The Weather You probably already take precautions when it comes to the weather, no matter how old your dog is, but it becomes even more important when your dog gets older. Storms and pressure systems can affect the joints, as can extreme cold and heat. Symptoms of medical conditions can get worse in unusually dry or moist air. Make sure you are prepared for the weather, and take care of your dog's needs. Take a look at the forecast to get ready. If the weather is cold, dress them in appropriate gear. They may need extra warmth now that they are older. If it is hot, stick to the shade and take more breaks. If the weather is too much for your senior to handle, consider doing some indoor exercises, instead, and limit the outdoor time. Do not take bad weather as an excuse to skip exercise altogether, though.
2. Shorter, More Frequent Walks Young dogs might enjoy a nice, long walk to burn off energy, but seniors do not necessarily need to be worn out by physical activity. The point of exercise for your senior is to get the blood moving, the joints and muscles working, and the brain thinking. Walks should be short enough to avoid putting too much stress on the body. Going for shorter, more frequent walks instead of long walks will allow your senior to rest and recover, and it will probably help if they have to go potty more frequently in their old age. The length of the walk may depend on your dog's breed, size, and individual medical needs, so consult your veterinarian to come up with a good walk schedule for your dog.
3. Pay Attention To What Time It Is Maintaining a regular walk schedule is important for aging dogs, as they are less anxious when their routine is more predictable. Try walking your dog at around the same time every day. You can add more walks as needed, but keeping a schedule can reduce the symptoms of dementia and prevent anxious behaviors. It is also important to check the time because your senior may find it easier to walk during certain times of day. The temperature is usually warmer during the middle of the day when the sun is high and cooler in the morning or evening when the sun goes down. Depending on where you live, you may want to time your walks for when temperatures are most appropriate for your dog's needs.
4. Take Breaks And Bring Water Older pups especially need breaks during walks, and you should have some water handy for when they get thirsty. Many dogs do not know their own limitations, and even in old age, their excitement for going on a walk may cause them to ignore the fact that they need time to relax and recover. Take some breaks to stop and sniff for a while before continuing, and offer your senior some water, even if they do not show outward signs of being thirsty. Stopping to sniff can also be a great mental exercise. If your dog has a favorite spot, make it a point to stop there for a moment before you continue.
5. Walk On Easy Surfaces It can be hard to find a good place for dogs to walk that won't put stress on their bodies or create too much of an impact on their joints and bones, especially if you live in the city where there is a lot of concrete and pavement. It is best to stick to short grass or dirt as much as possible to soften the impact of steps if you can. Long grass or sand may seem like good choices because they make for softer steps, but it also takes more effort to walk through them, so your senior may get tired quickly. Sometimes paved surfaces are the only option: mostly in winter when softer ground is covered in snow or when the ground is too wet and muddy to walk on. If that is the case, you may want to limit outdoor walks and, instead, exercise inside where there is softer flooring. You can find orthopedic shoes or booties for senior dogs, but check reviews before you decide to use them.
6. Make Sure They Eat Right And Get Medical Attention There are plenty of supplements and foods that can help reduce inflammation and the effects of arthritis on dogs, and there are several dietary changes you can make to combat symptoms of other medical conditions, such as allergies, that can be especially stressful to seniors. Talk to your veterinarian or nutritionist about creating an appropriate diet for your senior that will help prevent weight gain that can worsen arthritis, and make sure your dog is getting the supplements they need to ward off other conditions that affect older dogs.
Also, talk to your veterinarian about any medications your dog should be taking to address any symptoms that prevent them from exercising. If your dog has trouble moving, see if hydrotherapy or acupuncture might help get them back on their paws. These steps will make sure that your walks are helpful to your dog, rather than causing more harm than good.
7. Take Special Needs Into Consideration Some senior dogs may need assistance when getting around. They may need wheelchairs or other devices to help with mobility, or they may need special boots to prevent injury if they drag their paws. If your dog has a lot of trouble even walking short distances, it may be worth it to discuss how to keep them moving with your vet.
Even if your dog can not walk very far, they may enjoy the fresh air and new smells that come with being outside, which will help keep their brain working and provide mental stimulation. There is no harm in bringing along a wagon or stroller so your dog can still enjoy the outdoors without the physical stress. Some people may give you funny looks or judge you for walking your dog this way, but do not pay any attention to them. You are doing what is right for your best friend, and that is all that matters. Let your dog walk for as long as they are able to do so comfortably, but do not deny them the pleasure of being outside if that is something that they enjoy.
8. Listen To Your Dog One of the most important things you can do is to listen to what your dog is telling you. Even though they can not actually speak, they can still say a lot with their body language, and you will have to pay attention. If they show signs of discomfort, such as limping, slowing down, or refusing to move, it means you need to stop, rest, regroup, and address their needs. If they show signs of needing a break, such as panting, drooling, or whining, you should pull over and offer them some water and a chance to catch their breath. You may need to take them home right away if they are not able to continue the walk. Know your dog. If they show signs of stress, it is time to stop. What other tips do you have for walking senior dogs? Do you take your gray-faced pup for regular walks every day? Let us know in the comments below!
How much should you get paid to walk a dog? In general, expect to pay a dog walker about $15 to $20 per 20-minute walk and $20 to $30 per 30-minute walk. For two walks a day, expect to pay between $30 and $45. Own more than one dog? Adding a second dog to the walk typically adds $5 to $10 per walk.
Walking dogs for a living is more than just pulling on a leash and getting some exercise. You need to be a dog-lover who is in tune with the canine ways and ready to run a business. Yet, it can be a rewarding job for a dedicated person who is well-organized, professional and human and furry client-oriented. Here are some suggestions on how to start your professional dog walking career. Professional dog walkers, both individuals and businesses, are paid by dog owners to walk their dogs for them. Some dog walkers will take many dogs for a walk at once, while others will only take a single dog.
The length of a walk might vary by breed or owners request ranging from short relief walks to longer walks with a specific amount of time set by the owner. Also growing in popularity is "dog running". Dog runners are professionals who run with dogs, rather than walking with them. In some jurisdictions, dog walking businesses must be licensed and have employees trained in animal first aid. Professional dog walking services can be obtained locally or through online referral services. Obtaining a position as a professional dog walker has become more difficult, with applicants having to pass rigorous exams and go through extensive training. In the United States, the first professional dog walker is believed to have been Jim Buck, who in 1960 launched his dog walking service in New York City.
HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL DOG WALKER?
1. Start dog walking or pet sitting for friends and neighbors. Apart from it being a fantastic way to make some extra cash, you are resume building, too! Ask those in your neighborhood or family friends at even the slightest mention of a vacation or being too busy to walk the dog. And when you do it once successfully, you will likely be asked to do it again. Mention to your new network that you are considering making this a career, so if they could drop any of their other soon to be departing or dog-owning friends of your interest, that could be great! Right now is the time for shameless advertisement. In time, you won't have to do it at all. This stage is all about building up a reputation. Whatever you do, don't risk damaging it by abusing your powers. Having the key to someone's home is a serious gesture of trust: be as responsible to your new clients as you would yourself, your grandma, or the President. That means no throwing parties, no forgetting to feed the dog, and no raiding the refrigerator, unless they allow it, of course.
2. Consider joining an agency. Point blank, the easiest way to start making money walking dogs is to join an agency. Sure, they will take a cut of the money that's charged, but you will get experience and they will handle the legal routine. Whether the agency is for pet sitting or walking, join. It's a simple Google search away. The only downfall of this is that you are not your own boss. Relax, that can come with time. But right now you are meeting people, networking, learning the ropes, and getting a feel for the dog walking market, not to mention beefing up your resume. Joining an agency is not an absolute must-do. You can get around it by building up your dog-walking network yourself. However, it's a lot easier to get experience and clients and meet other people with acumen in the dog-walking business, if you join an agency.
3. Consider licensure or certification. Obtaining a dog handling certification would build some serious credibility with clients. Some schools, such as the Canine Club Academy, offer full-tuition scholarships. And the best agencies may even require you to obtain it, either before becoming a full-time employee or after hiring. Certain academies will help you in starting your own business too - if that interests you, in addition to dog handling and protocol. Their classes last 4 days and are in locations all across the US and British Columbia.
4. Look into the certification requirements where you live. To determine whether you need to be certified, check with Animal Care and Control or an equivalent local organization. In some cities, you only have to be certified if you are walking a certain number of dogs.
5. Know the ins and outs of your city. First off, you have gotta know what your city's laws are when it comes to canines and their walkers. Some cities require dog walkers to be insured; if you are working with an agency, hopefully they took care of that for you. But if you are thinking about doing it on your own time, it's something not to be taken lightly. Get to know your city's layout, too. The less you are driving around wasting money on gas, the better. Know the parks, the hidden hideaway spots, the dog parks, and back trails you can frolic with your new furry friend. You want to spend as little time commuting and as much time "working" as possible.
6. Get in good with your human clients. It may seem like dog walking is the perfect career for a surefire introvert, but the humans are where your bread and butter is. Make small chat with the doormen, the guy who works from home, and your coworkers and bosses. The better rep you have, the more professional contacts you will have in the future. In addition, realize that your human clients will have all sorts of expectations, based on their own beliefs in dog-care and often with a dose of guilt that they can't spare the time to do what you are doing for them. Be generous in your compassion for their concerns - after all, they know their own pooch best and be tolerant of the more difficult requests. Gentle persuasion and negotiation will often win the human client over!
7. Love and understand your canine clients. You need to love dogs to have a successful career with dogs. It is as simple as that. Dogs sense non-dog people and it won't be smooth riding if you aren't truly comfortable around them. There are some important considerations to think about: Do you know as much as possible about dogs? Know as much as you can, not just from your own experience with them but also from reading and speaking to the owners and to your local vet. How many dogs will you walk at any one time? Some dog-walkers can walk as many as ten dogs at once, all shapes and sizes. Consider whether you think this is a good thing or even achievable for you! Do you know which breeds of dogs might not be compatible or will be compatible with one another? Know this before teaming them up for a walk. Do you know what to do if a dog is in heat? It will attract more than its fair share of attention and you will need to be prepared. Do you know how to handle a dog that suddenly turns aggressive on you? Or on passers-by around you? Do you know how to poop-scoop? Do you know the local by-laws on walking dogs in certain areas etc? Read up! Your being well-informed will impress clients and will reassure them that you are not amateur and will help them to feel you are going to have their dog's best interests at heart.
8. Be able to withstand the not so glamorous side of dog walking. While it may sound like a dream come true and it very well could be, not all dog walking is a glitzy, paid way to gallivant the sidewalks. You will be dealing with poo in its very literal sense, in addition to ornery owners, ornery dogs, and ornery pedestrians. Are you ready? You will also need to consider your climate. If this is going to be your main source of income, can you dog walk in the winter months? How do you feel about rain? If you are ready to tackle the less than stellar climes, be prepared! Boots, rain jacket, snow gear and maybe some for the pooch, too.
9. Get in shape. Being relatively fit is obviously a necessity to dog walking for a living. If you find that you get tired after a dog or two, use your free time to get in shape. Adding cardio like swimming, walking, tennis, to your list of activities will make the hours spent trotting along with Fido much more enjoyable. Get a good pair of shoes. When you are on the job, you will probably be on your feet for hours on end. You don't have to go running triathlons to get accustomed to it, but it is a good idea to get a nice pair of shoes so you don't go home every night crawling on all fours like FrouFrou over here. A decent pair will make the new physical stressors much more manageable.
TIPS FOR PROFESSIONAL DOG WALKER (by David Levin)
Keep a raincoat handy at all times. It will bother you more than the dogs if it starts to pour.
Get police checks and clearance papers to show potential clients that you are trustworthy and that you are taking a professional approach. This is an important consideration since you are entering their homes during their work hours to take Fluffy for a walk, you have access to their keys and everything else and they will be very aware of it.
Insurance is a must, you never know what may happen. Dog walker's insurance is cheap.
Be sure to have a signed service agreement to be sure your business is covered against liabilities.
Check with the owner about the dog's behavior and acceptable forms of punishment, if it misbehaves.
If you have had a dog before, or have one, make sure to include it in the flyers or face to face.
Have extra leashes, collars, dog toys, dog treats, water, etc. Get a good backpack for storing extras as you walk, something that your dog clients can't reach.
Always make sure to get the client's advice on certain things you want to do in a walk.
Be sure to have a good grip on the leash.
Make sure you have a backpack that has provisions for the dog as well as yourself.
Bring enough water for both you and the dog(s), as well as a bowl to pour it in.
Allow yourself a jacket for cold weather, and a raincoat for rain or snow. If the owners have them, bring along a raincoat or jacket for the dog. If they are a large dog or one with long hair, it will most likely not need any extra clothing.
Certain dogs are harder to walk than others. Consider having criteria of certain breeds on your flyer.
Take a moment to pet the dog and give him or her some love.
Make sure you do not charge too much, or to little.
Walk dogs solo, to build their trust, then gradually introduce new dogs, if group walks are desired. Confirm walking details with the dog owner. They know best about their dogs.
Remember this is not your dog. Take care of it like it is.
Always be cautious around the dogs that you are not familiar with.
Know your limit with the number of dogs you walk at any one time. This is not just about you but about the dog's energy levels, personality mix, and safety.
Don't let the dog off the leash until you have really gotten to know them and they listen well to you. It may be useful to discuss this aspect with the owner, as well.
Be certain that you have good physical fitness, dog-walking can be a strenuous activity, especially with medium to large dogs.
Consider how large you want your dog walking career to be. Be realistic - you will probably need to start small, and allow yourself time to grow. Do you want it to be a part-time or a full-time career? How much time can you devote to dog-walking? If you are young and want to make money by dog walking, make flyers and offer around your neighborhood, or put up notices on notice boards or in shop windows.
If you are a student who needs income during studies, you will have crunch times around exams and essay due dates but you will likely be fairly flexible during the rest of the time. Be honest with a potential client and explain your availability, including the possibility that there may be certain times when you will be very busy and may need to reschedule temporarily at such times. Always let them know you will make up for it during vacation.
If you want to start a permanent business, consider whether it is something you want to work 9 - 5 (or extended hours) 5 - 7 days a week, or is it something that only interests you part-time, say 2 - 3 days a week of a few hours here and there? These are important considerations that will either expand or limit your options and availability. More hours means more clients and a likelihood of referrals. Less hours will mean more devotion to a small corps of clients and a need to make it clear to them that your availability is limited to them.
Running a Dog Walking Business While you will be spending a great deal of your working time walking dogs, a dog walking business is like any other business. Like other small business owners, you will be required to wear a number of other hats - you are in charge of invoices, banking, advertising and marketing, and the myriad of other tasks that keep a business running smoothly. From the small things, such as answering the phone, returning calls and replying to emails, to the larger things like getting your taxes done, maintaining your website and creating and implementing advertising campaigns, the responsibility lies on your shoulders. Whether you do these things yourself, or create enough room in your budget to get someone else to do them, they are all things that need to get done. Despite the additional responsibilities of running your own business, though, there are certain advantages, which may make it worthwhile for you to start a dog walking business. High on the list is doing something you love. Be sure this is something that you love and care about!
Research So you feel comfortable with all the non-dog walking aspects of starting a dog walking business, and you know you can provide your clients with the kind of pet care they want and need. What is next? Before you start looking at the practical aspects of how to start a dog walking business, research should be at the top of your action list. When it comes to dog walking, there are a number of things you need to check out initially, in order to determine whether your business will have a chance of success. One of the most important things you will need to find out is whether there is any demand for dog walkers in your area, and also how much competition there is. After all, if there's no demand, or there's too much competition, it may not make sense to open up a dog walking business in your area. To get an idea of the demand for dog walkers in your area, talk to the people at your local pet store and pet grooming services. Classified ads, both online and locally, are another source of information, as people will sometimes post ads offering dog walking jobs. If the demand seems high enough to support your business, it's time to look into the competition. Search online for local dog walking businesses, and check places like Craigslist and other online classified sites to see how many people are offering dog walking services.
Training You love dogs, and you know you are good with them, but as a dog walker you should have both the skill of and experience in maintaining control over the dogs you will be walking. Whether you volunteer at the local shelter or take a formal dog training course, gaining experience in interacting with a variety of different dogs will help prepare you for the most important part of your new business, and also allow you to offer your dog working services with confidence.
Insurance As a dog walker, you will be responsible for the dogs you are walking during the time they are in your care. This includes not only damage done by the dogs, but also any damage that may be done to the dogs. Accidents are unpredictable, and it's best to safeguard yourself by purchasing proper insurance coverage. There are insurance policies available specifically for people and businesses that deal with pets, so check around for the policy that will be best for your needs. If you intend to hire people as dog walkers, you should also consider bonding for your business, which will protect you in the event of an employee theft of client property.
Legal Considerations There are also a number of legal issues you will need to consider in starting up a dog walking business. You may be tempted to skip these steps "until my business grows," but doing so can expose you to major fines and penalties if, for example, you are caught not having the proper business license required by local authorities.
Choosing a business entity. While it's certainly possible to run your dog walking business as a sole proprietor, and it's a choice many dog walkers make initially, you may want to consider choosing a different legal form of business. Because you will be responsible for the dogs you will be walking, including any damage done by them or done to them, a form of organization such as a limited liability company or a corporation will give you more protection by separating your business assets from your personal assets. These business entities do generally require more in terms of costs and maintenance, for example, you will have to check to see if your state requires annual filings, and the tax forms for a corporate entity are more complicated than those for individuals, so you will need to weigh the additional costs in both time and potential fees to determine if it's a choice you should make.
Licensing issues. Most jurisdictions don't require dog walkers to get a license specific to dog walking, but many states do require business owners to get a general business license. Licensing requirements, whether for dog walking specifically or for businesses in general, will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and you will need to investigate the requirements that apply in your specific area.
Local rules and regulations. As a professional dog walker, you will need to be knowledgeable about any local regulations that may affect you. For example, many jurisdictions have dog sanitation regulations, which require people to clean up after their dogs. There may also be leashing laws, which state where dogs have to be on leashes and where they are permitted to run off-leash. Check with the local authorities to see what rules and regulations will affect your business. If you decide to offer dog sitting services in your home in addition to dog walking services, you should also check your local zoning regulations to make sure this is permitted.
Dog walking contract. It's important to have a written contract between your business and each of your clients. A contract will set out, among other things, your responsibilities in walking your client's dog, the nature of your relationship with your client and the terms of your compensation. It's also a good idea to have your contract cover other items specific to dog walking, such as an authorization for you to obtain emergency medical care for your client's dog as well as the owner's responsibility for damage done by his or her dog.Having a written contract with each client does not mean you have to go to a lawyer every time you sign on a new customer. Many dog walking businesses use templates such as this sample dog walking agreement, which can be customized for each individual client.
Franchise Opportunities Another thing to consider before you start up your own dog walking business is the option of purchasing a franchise instead. With a franchise, you get the benefit of the franchise's business plan and systems, along with any marketing or advertising the franchise does. While purchasing a franchise can be costly, you may decide that the benefits outweigh the costs. What are some of the advantages of going with a dog walking franchise? - Almost immediate revenue stream! Running your own dog walking business, whether you start your business on your own or purchase a franchise, can be a very rewarding career. But before you take the plunge, do the research, make sure you have met all the legal requirements and protect yourself with proper insurance. You want your business to prosper, and putting together a solid foundation before you start out will help you on your road to future success, and of course again - you have to love dogs!
While millennials may not own cars or homes, three-quarters of Americans in their 30s have dogs. The startup world's cuddly, cutthroat battle to walk your dog! Wag and Rover are cashing in on our obsession with pets - and they are not without controversy. Wag and Rover are two of the newest and largest players in the booming pet industry, each with more than $300 million in venture capital funding.
Both companies are digital marketplaces where pet owners can find dog walkers, pet sitters, and boarders via an app, with most services ranging from about $20 to $50. Wag is often referred to as "Uber for dogs," since it assigns on-demand walkers and sitters, similar to the way Uber's algorithm assigns drivers, though pet owners ultimately approve or decline the worker they are offered. Rover has earned the nickname "DogBnb," as users can sift through hundreds of available workers who set their own prices.
Don't let your dog's shoulders go past your leg when walking your dog, you need to be the leader of the pack; learn more tips on dog walking in this free pet obedience video. Dogs prefer to be outside rather than being cooped up in the house all day? - Not true! By nature, dogs are pack animals. They'd prefer to be with their pack. Since you are a part of that pack, that means that the'd rather be wherever you are. If you are outside, they will want to be outside. If you are inside, they will want to be inside. Of course, you can't have your dog with you all the time, such as when you are at work or at the grocery store. So why not have him outside while you are away?
In truth, most dogs behave better when they are inside. When outside and on their own, many dogs are prone to barking, whining and digging. Your home is your dog's den and, further, it smells like you. It's often comforting for him in a way that being left outside can't be. In fact, your dog may believe he is being banished from the den if forced to stay outside.
A dog needs its freedom on the walk? This might include taking them off the lead, or using a flexi lead. Although dogs probably enjoy running around and acting like the good balls we all know they are, they don't necessarily need this. A dog will be just as happy going for a long walk, all the while staying on a fairly short leash, trotting happily besides its owners. It is the walk itself that is important, not the lead or rather lack of one.
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