Contributed by Neil Copeland at Seven Lakes Kennels.
We should think about the cues we are giving our pups and how we set them up for going for walks. We will discuss how we can set up a time for relaxation, friendship, and fun. Setting up our walks can have a real impact of success.
First, start with the getting ready process. We all experience in some way when we grab the leash and the pup gets excited and cannot wait to go.
Maybe it is just putting on our shoes. Try using a routine that provides a positive reinforcement for performing some restraint. You may be able to have the same treat jar needed for potty training at the door to help shape the pup going to a specific area, get their leash on, then getting their treat.
Many pet owners struggle with the excitement of just going for that walk. Why not just get a good routine that gives direction and routine before the street shenanigans.
Once outside and headed down the drive for our walk, we should let the pup “use the restroom” and get their business out of the way before getting on to the street.
Unfortunately, many use the walk for emptying out before the end of the day. This kills a pleasant walk because now it is all about the pup and not about you. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. Get the business end of things done before hitting the street shenanigans.
We have now started down the street and we are excited to enjoy that morning sun, cooler temps and meet our friends. Well, I should say in Seven Lakes you may just get all three in one morning and that is great.
You are trekking down the street and your pup is possibly on a retractable leash. A retractable leash is easy to use but only makes the pet more confused.
Remember, the pup should be with you, not you with them. Try using a six-foot leash and some treats to limit confusion and to have more control. Over time you will experience success.
We all experience different behaviors on walks and that is ok. The way we approach them will make a difference that can help for a lifetime.
If you have not started with a puppy, these tips apply to any age. Reach out to professional dog trainer if you are experiencing some unwanted behaviors and get some tips. Most of the time behaviors can be fixed with gathering some knowledge concerning cues. Street shenanigans can once again be positive.