The 4 Rules For Walking Your Dog

The most common form of exercise that most dog parents embrace is walking. We have all seen the owners that are being walked by their dog, the owners that ‘forget’ the dog poo bags or that owner that manages to walk six dogs in a perfect line. When it comes to dog walking there are rules all dog walkers should follow, to ensure the safety of your dog and others around you.

 Let’s face it nobody wants to be that ignorant dog walker.

RULE #1 (It goes without saying): Always have ENOUGH poo bags for your journey. Your dog may need to eliminate multiple times and if you have multiple dogs then you could be packing up to 6 bags for the journey. Don’t rely on the free bags supplied by the council as there is often a delay in re filling them.

RULE #2: Set a walking goal and have the correct walking tool for your dog. For example, my goal when I walk my dogs, is to achieve loose lead walking; therefore, I ensure I have the right walking tool for my specific dogs; whether that be a flat collar, a check chain, a halti or a harness. What ever tool you have chosen, make sure it is fitted correctly, you understand the specific functions of that tool and you know how to use it correctly. For example, retractable leads have a very specific purpose; tracking and recall training, so when using this tool consider if it is appropriate for what you are planning to achieve on your walk. The market can be incredibly flooded with opinions about the right or wrong tool to use, the truth is every dog is different and may require a different tool. Make sure you do your research first.

RULE #3: Know your dog. Know the limitations and boundaries of your dog before you begin the walk. For example, I like to create calmness whilst walking my dogs, therefore allowing my dogs to be put in situations that enable them and me to be calm is a key priority. If your dog does not cope well with large groups of people, then avoid high density areas such as shops and schools etc.

RULE #4: Don’t let your dogs approach others without asking. Whilst you may have the world’s friendliest dog, the other person passing may not or they could be specifically training abstinence. For example, I specifically focus on my Labrador, Pepsi and her ability to walk past another dog without pulling or jerking. If she successfully pays no attention to passing dogs she is rewarded. Whilst I don’t expect another dog owner to know that we are doing this training, it helps if they do not let their dog rush over to us to say ‘hello’. This rule not only applies to dogs; it applies to people as well. The person passing whether it be an adult of a child may scared of dogs.

Understanding and applying these 4 simple rules when walking your dog can make the walking experience a lot easier and more enjoyable for both you, your dog and other fellow dog walkers. Happy walking!