Dog Walking FAQs
We at HappyDogz, have always stressed the importance of taking your furry buddies on daily walks.
If you haven’t heard yet then let us tell you that walking your dog is a great pastime with numerous benefits in both the health and happiness for you both. Carrying out this activity for 15 – 30 minutes for smaller to medium sized dogs and 20 – 45 minutes for bigger dogs provides great exercise for both you and your dog.
Because we regularly answer questions about teaching a dog how to walk properly with their owner, we have put together a FAQ list. This may also help you or someone you know.
Let’s get started…
1. How do I protect my dog from other stray dogs during our walks?
If you live in a place where stray dogs are common then we would advise that you carry a long stick or a cane. If you see a dog angrily trying to come close to you and your dog you can simply shoo them away and swing the stick so they don’t come too close.
Never physically engage the other dogs in this situation though, just swing the stick and continue walking.
2. My dog gets too excited and starts jumping around when he sees the leash. How do I calm him down?
It’s important that you don’t attach the leash to an over excited dog as it can cause them to believe that the behavior is acceptable. In this situation it’s better to wait until your dog gets tired of jumping and behaves. When they calm down you can then attach the leash and offer some treats as a reward.
3. When can I start walking my puppy?
The best time to start walking your puppy is when they are at least 7 – 8 weeks old and have had all of his basic shots (check with your vet first). It’s easier to teach a puppy to walk properly rather than an adult dog so teach them the proper way as soon as possible.
4. Do I let my dog walk in front of me during walks?
No, never let your dog take the lead. If they do start walking in front of you, stop and position them beside you. Remember that you should be in charge and not your dog.
5. My dog gets easily distracted during walks. How do I get his attention?
If you notice that your dog starts getting distracted during your walks, gently tug on the leash to get your dog’s attention back to the activity and continue walking.
6. Is it wrong to have my dogs run leash free?
No, there is nothing wrong with allowing your dog some freedom from the leash in a safe controlled area where this is allowed, but only when they are able to follow basic commands like “come” and “stay”.
Walking your dog teaches them patience, good manners, being a good follower and can also strengthen your bond. It’s better if you expose your dog to both activities.
7. How do I deal with dogs or puppies that are afraid to go outside for a walk?
Dogs or puppies that are afraid to go for a walk are usually unsure and insecure. Never ever carry them outside to have them walk with you. They have to make the decision to go out on their own so that they overcome their fear.
You can try coaxing them with some treats or if you have another dog you can show them by example.
8. Will walking my dog increase the likelihood for him to escape and roam on his own?
Well, some of the reasons why your dog will likely roam are if they are male is if there’s another dog in heat and if they have too much pent up energy. Remember that dogs are built to roam.
This is another reason why it’s important to take your dogs out for regular walks. Taking the dog out for walks gives them the feeling of accomplishment for having done what they’re programmed to do.
9. How often should I walk my dog?
It’s recommended that you walk your dog daily at least once or twice a day. This is not possible for all dog owners so do what you can. The length of the walk however will depend on where your route will be, the age of the dog, how active your dog is and their weight.
If you have a dog that is overweight or has not been walked yet then a 10 – 15 minute walk would be a good start.
10. Is it ok if I skip walking my dog for a day or two?
There are certain instances when you should definitely not walk your dog like bad weather, etc. It’s not bad if you skip walking your dog a day here and there but it shouldn’t become a habit.
Remember that dogs love a good routine so if you have already established walking as part of it, then you should try and do it regularly.