Walking your dog may seem basic and straightforward, but it’s not. Sure, you’d see all those videos and photos of happy dogs and dog owners going on afternoon walks. Some owners can have their dogs climb up ladders. But, no one tells you about the struggles of cleaning after their poop and dealing with a dog that won’t even budge or one that pulls you instead, making it a struggle for you to hold it together.
As you can see, many things can go wrong when walking and hiking with dogs. Unfortunate scenarios can start when you make one mistake while walking. If you want to avoid being stuck in those unpleasant situations, you’ll have to know those mistakes to avoid committing them in the first place.
That begins today with this list of the four most common dog walking mistakes.
Walking Your Dog On A Retractable Leash
Retractable leashes may seem like the best accessory to make dog walks easier for you, but it’s not necessarily true. When your dog is on a retractable leash, you give them much freedom to move as far as the leash allows. The longer the leash is, the less control you’ll have. This situation will only make it harder for you to control your dog and pull them away from moving vehicles, young children, bicycles, or baby strollers.
A better option is to use a dog leash with handle. This is safer for you, your dog, and even the surrounding pedestrians where you’re walking your dog.
Not Training Your Dog To Walk On A Leash
One of the most common misconceptions new dog parents may believe is that it’s OK to go on long dog walks immediately without training them to be on a leash first. This common mistake can ruin your walk, as you could end up carrying your tired and untrained dog home. Or your dog walk won’t be as smooth as you initially envisioned, as you’ll tug on your dog every so often when they refuse to move.
This situation holds for many dog owners; the only remedy is to train your dog to walk on a leash from reputable shops like Neewa Dogs. It’s not as hard as you may think, with doable tips such as:
- Fill your pocket with dog treats to reward your dog occasionally while on a leash. To do this reward system correctly, increase the distance when the reward is offered so that you can eventually go on longer distances without being treat-dependent.
- Train your dog while still a puppy. Like babies, dogs are creatures of habits. You can get them to love their leash and be comfortable when you train them to be on a leash while walking early.
- Use commands. ‘Come” is one of the most basic commands to get your dog to obey you and continue walking rather than be stubborn and stop along the way.
Not Walking Your Dog Consistently Enough
Bringing a new dog home is a big responsibility you have to be willing to commit to. One of those commitments is taking your dog for a walk, no matter how busy your days may be.
Building a schedule or routine is crucial to getting your dog excited to be out on a walk. If you’re not doing this consistently enough, your dog won’t learn to look forward to those walks.
Make this your one-on-one bonding time with your dog. Soon enough, they’ll learn to love it. They’ll give you hints and signals that they’re waiting for their walk. Think of this as a bonus, too, as you get your daily minimum required exercise during these walks.
Not Considering The Temperature When Walking Your Dog
If it’s too cold for you to go outside without your layers of thermal clothing, it’s too cold for your dog. You may be comfortable enough to walk them outside even when it’s cold, but it’s not the same for your dog. They may have fur around their body but not the same protection on their paws.
This same principle holds with heat. Choose another hour if it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot. You could burn your dog’s paws if you force it.
Dogs can’t verbally express their discomfort. Hence, you may treat their unwillingness to move forward with the walk as a stubborn act of rebelliousness. Unfortunately, it may be because the temperature is too much for your dog to handle.
Final Thoughts on Mistakes To Avoid Walking Your Dog
Taking good care of your four-legged family member isn’t always the easiest thing to do. However, keeping your pooch active and healthy will help avoid him destroying your house. It comes with many learning experiences whereby even dog parents with the best intentions may commit mistakes along the way. The mistakes above aren’t meant to scare you away from being the best dog parent and committing to regular dog walks. Instead, they should serve as eye-openers to make dog walks pleasant for you and your dog.