Dogs are great personal trainers, good walking companions, and brilliant nags. When you begin walking with a dog, you will soon discover that the dog is on control of your walking program. Dogs are typically ready to walk when you are, unlike family and friends, and will let you know when it is time to lace up your sneakers to head out.
What About Dog Training?
Regarding dog training, it is always more beneficial to use formal training classes if they are available and affordable. Begin while the dog is a puppy and continue until the dog can be trusted to walk off their leash. When finishing training, the dog will earn the AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate indicating an attained level of training and obedience.
If it is not possible to attend classes, you may want to use training books such as Mother Knows Best, Dog Training in 10 Minutes, or Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence by Carol Lea Benjamin. The result of correct dog training is that the dog is a pleasure to walk with. He or she will be able to sit, down, and heel as necessary and on command.
Walking the dog on a leash is one of the most important aspects of dog training. If your dog is on a leash, it cannot move away or cause problems. If the dog is constantly pulling on the leash, it may be worthwhile to consider a pinch collar as this will increase your level of control and comfort. Some walkers choose a harness, while others find that retractable leashes are the best method to offer dogs more slack, and then reel them in as required.
Can Dogs Walk Where You Plan To Travel?
Before walking a dog, it is important to check with the organizers of the walking event you plan to attend. If walking in a park, try calling ahead or checking the website to identify any restrictions regarding dog walking. Note that dogs may be allowed on certain trails, but not necessarily in visitors' centers or in shuttle buses.
1. Carrying A Pooper Scooper
If you do not have or wish to purchase a pooper scooper, then you should consider using a disposable plastic bag. When the plastic bag is placed over your hand, you can lift what you need to and then turn the bag inside out tying the end of the item closed. Dispose of the bag with the item correctly to avoid any penalties. Another secure option for this task is using zip-closure sandwich bags.
Carrying water for both you and your dog is essential when walking. You can utilize your hand as a type of water dish if no dishes are available; however, some dog walkers recommend using collapsible cups, zip-closure bags, and inflatable water dishes.
3. Taking Time To Rest
It is vital that you take time to rest in a shady spot when on a dog walk. Playing with the dog and talking to other walkers can be tiring; therefore, it is recommended that you cool down with your best friend. Dogs cannot sweat and keep cool via panting, so finding a shady spot and allowing him or her to drink water will help reduce body heat. If you are walking near water during summer, find a secure place to let the dog go swimming. If you drove to the walking spot, do not leave the dog in the vehicle unattended if it is warm outside and you are making several stops on the way home.
4. Dog Identification
All dogs should present with at least two forms of identification. As name tags and collars can become lost, embedded microchips and tattoos can be beneficial as 'back up' ID options. You should also carry a clear photograph of the dog or have one stored in your mobile phone to help recovery should the dog stray. In some areas, dog owners are also required to carry their dog's rabies certificate at all times.
5. Comfortable Shoes
If you’re going to start walking your dog long distances then you’re going to need to invest in a pair of comfortable walking shoes or even a pair of powerstep insoles. These will help you feel more comfortable when walking and are a sure fire way to get fitter and healthier.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Ready?
Before heading off on a long walk with your dog, considers if the dog is healthy, has the desire, and is well-trained to complete the set walk. You should obtain an 'okay' from the veterinarian before walking if the dog has any medical issues, such as being overweight. Walking up long distances can be tiring, so it is recommended that you opt for the shorter distances to begin with.
Dog walkers will often opt for trails that have sidewalks, paths that are off the road, or country walks.
While you may want the dog to roam off-leash, this act does present with several risks. One risk is that you cannot control the dog if it encounters another aggressive dog. You may not be able to prevent the dog from chasing other animals or approaching people who do not like dogs. One of the greatest risks is that the dog could run into traffic.