Walk the Walk: Three Things To Know About Taking your Dog for a Walk
Like toddlers, most dogs have tons of excess energy to burn. When left to their own devices, energetic dogs can become destructive dogs. Before you get angry at Fido for chewing up your favorite shoe or the leg of the new sofa, consider how it must feel to be confined inside all day.
1. A tired dog is often a well-behaved dog. If your dog digs, chews barks or has separation anxiety, taking them for a long walk in the morning before you leave for work and when you get home can help curb their anxiety and any bad behavior. If you don’t have time in your busy schedule to take your pup for one or two long walks each day, consider hiring a dog walker that you can trust. Follow this link to Rover.com to get $30 off of your first walk!
2. Running off leash burns energy more quickly. One of the best ways to tire out your dog on a walk is to let them run off leash. If you don’t know where you can take your dog to safely walk off leash, check out www.bringfido.com. Just type in your location and this super fun website can help you find the best local dog friendly places. If your dog likes to play fetch, finding a nice long, steep hill can be a great way to tire your dog out quickly. Toss the ball down to the bottom of the hill and let your dog run down to retrieve it and run back up the hill to give it back to you. Just a few throws and your pup will be panting! Hill running takes stamina so be sure to build your dog’s strength, one hill at a time. Swimming is also a great workout for your dog. Swimming is easy on the joints and is a super way to tire out arthritic (or non arthritic!) pups.
3. Brainwork is exhausting. If off-leash activities aren’t possible, try enriching your dog’s on-leash walks by asking them to use their brain too. Bring some tasty bite sized treats in your pocket and ask your dog to sit at every intersection and crosswalk. If you want to step up the level of difficulty, add in the command “heal.” If your dog does not know “heal” here’s how to teach them: When out on a walk, get your dog’s attention by holding a treat between your fingers and bringing it up to their nose. Keep the treat in your fingers and with your dog following the treat, lead them in a half circle motion next to your leg. Now that your dog is standing next to you facing forward, bring the treat upward and their nose will follow, leading them into a sit. Now bring the treat up to your eye, make eye contact with your dog and say “good heal,” “good sit!” Feed your dog the treat the moment eye contact is made. When you’re ready to continue your walk say “okay!” and walk on. Teaching your dog “heal” is a great way to keep his/her brain and body working when out on a walk.
No matter what kind of activities you chose to add to your dog’s daily routine, it’s a win-win. Brain or body, exercise will help your dog stay well behaved and it will keep both you and your dog happy and healthy.
Need some more on leash walking tips? Check out our post Training Your Dog to Walk on a Leash: Tips and Benefits
Look Both Ways
Teaching your dog to sit and wait at crosswalks and intersections isn't just a brain game. If your dog somehow gets loose on a walk, the more conditioned they are to stop at intersections, the more likely that they will sit and wait for you to catch up before running across a busy street.