There’s nothing better than spending some time outdoors with your furry best friend, but walks with your dog can sometimes be frustrating. If you’re making any of these five mistakes, your walks are probably not going as well as they could be. Don’t worry – we’re here to help! Read on for tips on how to make your walks more enjoyable for both you and your dog.
1. Thinking your dog should say hello to everyone
One of the most common mistakes people make on walks is assuming that their dog wants to say hello to every single person and dog they pass. While some dogs do enjoy meeting new friends, others may find it overwhelming or even scary. If your dog seems uncomfortable or starts to lag behind when you approach someone else, it’s probably best to just keep walking. Your dog will thank you for it!
2. Not paying attention to your dog’s body language
Your dog is trying to tell you something – are you listening? Paying attention to your dog’s body language is one of the most important things you can do on a walk. If your dog starts to pull ahead, slow down or change direction, there’s a reason. Maybe they’ve caught a whiff of something interesting or they’re just getting tired. By paying attention to your dog’s cues, you can make sure both of you are happy and comfortable on your walk.
3. Not letting your dog stop to sniff
For dogs, smelling is one of the most important things they do on walks. It’s how they learn about their surroundings and take in the world around them. If you don’t let your dog stop to sniff, they’re not going to have much fun. Instead of dragging them along, try to give them a few seconds at each new smell. They’ll be much happier – and you might even learn something yourself!
4. Holding the leash too tightly
We get it, dogs can be unpredictable. But holding the leash too tightly is not only uncomfortable for your dog – it can also send them the wrong message. If you’re constantly pulling on the leash, your dog may start to think they need to walk in front of you or that they’re not allowed to explore. Instead, try to relax and give your dog some slack. They’ll be much happier – and so will you!
5. Not being consistent
Dogs are creatures of habit, which means they thrive on consistency. If you’re constantly changing up your walking route or the time of day you go for a walk, your dog is going to get confused. To make things easier for both of you, try to stick to the same route and schedule as much as possible. That way, your dog will know what to expect – and you’ll be able to enjoy your walk without any surprises.
6. Not rewarding good behavior
Rewarding your dog for good behavior on walks is a great way to reinforce the things you want them to do. If they stay by your side, sit when you stop or come when you call, give them a treat or some extra attention. They’ll learn that these are the things you want them to do, and over time, it will become second nature.
Walks with your dog can be one of the most enjoyable things you do together – as long as you avoid these common mistakes! By paying attention to your dog and being mindful of their needs, you can make sure both of you have a great time on every walk. Happy walking!