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WALKING YOUR DOG

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Dogs are a lot of fun as pets. Having a furry friend run towards you wagging its tail and licking you all over the face when you come back home from work is a great way to be welcomed any day of the week. However, keeping dog(s) as pets puts a lot of responsibilities on you and is a serious commitment. Contrary to popular belief, dog owners need to be aware of a lot of things apart from just feeding and loving their dogs. Walking your dog regularly is one of the activities that most dog owners tend to overlook.

Firstly, Nepal doesn’t really follow a culture of walking their dogs because most homes have a decent amount of space for their dogs to run around. But there are many people who have dog(s) in their homes but aren’t lucky enough to have acres of land at their disposal.

Also, people don’t walk their dogs as often as they should because their dogs tend to turn into demons once they leave their premises, tugging and pulling on the leash. Nevertheless, these problems should not keep you from taking your dogs out on its daily walks.You need to walk your dog.

Here’s why.

Research shows that walking your dog falls amongst the top 10 ways to meet hot girls, but that’s besides our main point of concern. Your dog requires daily exercise and putting him/her outside doesn’t mean it’s going to be enough. Believe it or not, young dogs need around an hour of exercise daily and the time duration might be more for breeds bred for sports or herding activities. You also don’t want your pet to become overweight. Overweight dogs are more prone to health problems.

Dogs that have pent up energy also tend to be more destructive while tired dogs behave better. If your dog runs laps around your yard or house, this is an indication that it is not getting enough exercise. Dogs that are walked daily are less likely to be destructive, obsessive, have separation anxiety and/or dominancy issues, among many other behavior problems.

Overweight dogs are more prone to health problems. Dogs that have pent up energy also tend to be more destructive while tired dogs behave better.

IT’S NOT ALL FUN AND GAMES

A walk with your dog can be fun for both you and your pooch, but there is more to it than what meets the eyes. You need to make sure you keep a few things in mind before and during your walk. The first and foremost is to establish that you are alpha. Ascertaining dominance isn’t just for you but for your dog as well. An alpha dog is always in an excited state of mind and is worried about leading which does not calm the mind. Instinctually, dogs move in packs and a pack always has a leader. Here, you need to be the pack leader.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG THINKS HE IS THE PACK LEADER

  • Your dog heels at will, not on command
  • Your dog leads the way out of the house
  • Your dog leads your walks
  • Your dog doesn’t look for you to get directions and does as it pleases
  • Your dog decides when and what to sniff by pulling on the leash
  • Your dog relieves himself where he pleases for the sake of marking Don’t start marking your territory with your wiz just yet because there are better ways of establishing dominance.

WAYS TO BECOME THE PACK LEADER

1)Make him come to you:

Ca ll your dog to you to wear the leash instead of going to him.

2) Collar Placement:

Place the collar higher up on the neck. Placing it lower will give the dog more leverage and he will pull and tug.

3) Walk in front:

Take your dog to the front door and open the door. Make the dog sit quietly; do not allow the dog to bolt out the door. The dog needs to see you are the one who decides when it’s time to leave.

4) Never in front:

Make sure your dog is walking behind you or beside you, never in front of you.

5) Use a short leash:

Before you get the hang of the whole walking the dog thing, use a shorter leash to maintain more control.

6) Command & Communicate:

Be authoritative when you walk your dog. Teach him to heel on command. Using short grunts or commands is more effective instead of calling your pet’s name. The dogs will feel your authority or your weakness.

7) Correction: If the dog starts to pull, snap (tug) the lead up and to the side, throwing him off balance,  then hold the lead loosely again (a very quick tug). If the dog starts getting too excited and you’re not keeping him beside or behind you, stop and make the dog sit. Wait until he is calm, and then start again. Do not call to the dog when you start walking again, just start walking. Pack leaders do not call the pack to come with them, the pack instinctually follows.

Believe it or not, young dogs need around an hour of exercise daily and the time duration might be more for breeds bred for sports or herding activities.

8) Stray Dogs & Distractions:

If you pass a barking dog or other distraction, keep moving forward. If your dog averts its attention to the distraction, give a tug on the lead to avert attention back to the walk. If the tug does not work you can also use your foot, not to kick the dog, but to touch him enough to snap his attention back on you. (Carry a stick for the first few times just in case situations get out of control.) Tell the dog to walk because that is part of life, be sure to keep moving. Stopping and making a big deal out of the other dog creates anticipation. It is teaching the dog that other dogs are indeed something to be concerned about. When you continue to walk you help the dog’s mind move onto other things.

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