Have you ever wondered, while walking your four-legged friend, who is actually walking whom? The question, whether it’s the person walking the dog or vice versa, is an old issue among dog lovers. Some days walking the dog can even become a challenge of everyday life: Sometimes your sweetheart pulls wildly on the leash because you walk too slow, sometimes you want to burn out energy while your furry nose would rather take a closer look at a interesting looking bush. With a few simple tricks you can arrange your walk without stress, so you and your darling pet can enjoy a relaxing time together.
Mostly people go for a walk to enjoy nature, to consciously perceive the environment, to let their soul dangle and to be physically active. In short: for relaxation and recreation. Our dogs also appreciate the movement in nature and love to explore all the different smells and impressions for fun and health.
If you feel restless or stressed at the moment and your darling is pulling impatiently on the leash, the walk has missed its beneficial purpose. Therefore you should never go for a walk with your darling under time pressure. A nice, relaxed walk takes time.
Under time pressure you walk much faster, the dog is therefore often not correctly noticed and sometimes even simply pulled along on the leash.
When you go for a walk with your beloved dog, it is important to concentrate on your dog and give him enough attention. Otherwise several problems will arise. If the dog is pulled to and from on the leash or is not allowed to sniff a seductive spot, this experience can quickly become unpleasant for him.
In the end you decide when and where you go for a walk, not the dog. Therefore you should – at least at the beginning of your relationship – decide consequently for your treasure in which direction you are going and when the dog is allowed to sniff around extensively. After all, using the nose and sniffing the surroundings is part of a species-appropriate attitude.
Why is my dog stressed when we go for a walk?
For some dogs every walk seems to be more stress than fun. This can have many causes. Most often the dogs feel overstrained, for example with their surroundings. If the dog has not been sufficiently familiarized with the surroundings (e.g. the city), the equipment (leash, chest harness, muzzle), this can contribute to great stress.
Some dogs simply never learned to walk correctly on the leash and may have yet scored by pulling permanently on the cord. But also fear, for example of strangers or even conspecifics, can stand in the way of a relaxed trip.
If you want to find out the cause and work on it, you can get help from a qualified dog trainer.
Making the walk more interesting
Especially for dogs that are not yet used to a leash, there are small useful tips that will make the walk interesting and instructive for your darling.
- As far as possible, try to walk mainly in nature and parks. In the city, traffic often causes additional stress. Nature offers more relaxation for humans and animals.
- Practice walking on the leash: Take your darling on a short leash again and again and teach him to walk on a loose leash. To confirm this, you then let him walk on the long leash and sniff to his heart’s content. Instead of punishing the dog for not walking “nicely” on the leash, you reward him with more freedom and your trust. Such alternating exercises lead to relaxation and well-being.
- Incorporate impulse control exercises: Just drop some treats on the ground in front of the dog, but do not allow him to take them immediately. After you have taken a few steps, your sweetheart may run back and get the treats.
- Let your sweetheart wait at a designated spot and go hide a treat. Only when you allow him to do so, he may run to look for the treat.
- Take a 5 to 10 meter long leash, so that you can easily practice the proper signals to depose plus call over the dog (stop, continue walking and then call your faithful quadruped to you) and move freely without taking him off the leash. For dogs that like to “break out” it is advisable to use a rather shorter leash (5m) and to keep it always firmly in your hand. So you can move everywhere safely with your fur nose.
- Allow social contacts: A walk becomes a real highlight for your four-legged darling if he is allowed to cultivate social contacts. However, playing with conspecifics and other friends is only allowed if the dog is easily accessible and controllable. As soon as he is able to stop his behaviour on-call and react correctly to the recall signal, a lot of fun and games are on the agenda. Contact with conspecifics on the leash is to be avoided, since the dogs are physically and motionally restricted and thus tension and conflict situations can easily follow. Train your pet regularly to make him react correctly to your recall signal and observe his behaviour while playing. In this way possible scuffles can be avoided.
- A pleasant, relaxed walk also includes pausing. Sit comfortably on a bench, stroke your darling and consciously enjoy the time together. This will strengthen the bond between yourself and your beloved dog and make the walk a wonderful time for both of you.
- Incorporate exercises: If you take a walk in the nature, you can practice useful tricks with your dog – like balancing over tree trunks or jumping over small obstacles. In this way, taking a walk remains exciting even in your usual vicinity and your darling has less of an idea to do his own thing.
- Also note the general do’s and dont’s when walking your dog.
Where can I walk my dog?
Use the map to find nice places where your dog can run around. Here you can find all the places near you where you can walk your dog.
Dogs should be familiarized from the puppy age with the most important rules of behavior for social contacts and proper behavior during an excursion (in nature and in public places). With the right attitude and the right recall training, nothing stands in your way going for a relaxed walk with your furry friend. Then, it will be no problem to let your sweetheart play with other dogs or run on the loose in the open air, but please only in places where it is allowed.