If you dread walking your dog, you're not alone. It happens to many of us. Here are some common issues:
Your dog pulls, either forward, sideways, or in all directions.
Your dog barks, lunges, and/or growls at people, other dogs, bikes, vehicles, strollers, runners, traffic, trash carts, etc.
Your dog ignores you on walks.
These issues often result in dreading walks, then going on fewer walks. Fewer walks can make your dog's behavior even worse.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I'm here to tell you that your dog walks can get better. But I'm also here to tell you that there is no single magic secret to better dog walks. Here are 3 things to consider:
1: Give Yourself a Break. Then, Give Your Dog a Break.
It's normal to be frustrated. And with all the conflicting information out there, no wonder it's challenging to figure out how to improve things.
Your dog isn't being purposefully difficult to drive you crazy. Dogs walk faster than us; they find the world very interesting; and they might not have been taught (and paid) for attending to us on walks. (And most importantly, they may be stressed or afraid.)
2: Shift Your Mindset
It can be easy to get into an adversarial mode with our dogs when they're not doing the things we want them to do. Instead, cast yourself as your dog's teacher. Think about motivating your dog to learn and rewarding their successes. Not only will this help with walks, but in your overall training.
3: Keep Showing Up and Refining Your Skills
I'll be sharing tips to get started on working with your dog inside and out on walks.
There will be good and bad days as your work with your dog on improving your walks. Pay attention to what works, what doesn't, and keep refining as both you and your dog improve on the job!