As Boston’s premiere dog walking service (serving Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, Roxbury, West Roxbury, Brookline & Roslindale predominantly), it’s incumbent upon us to ensure your dogs safety, while also providing for a fun and engaging environment during dog walks!
Here are some quick tips to make sure your dog walks are as great as your pups:
Pulling: It’s always tricky to ‘untrain’ pulling. As dogs become used to this behavior they start to associate leash tension with forward motion. The trick to teaching your dog that pulling doesn’t work, is to come to a complete stop during walks to dissociate this learned trait. Be sure to reward your dog during walks with a treat if he/she circles back to you once you’ve stopped! Then continue giving occasional treats if your dog remains close to you without pulling.
Zoning out: While multiple daily walks can become monotonous, and you may want to pull out your phone to read the news, or maybe find your favorite dog walking service to take over some of the walking for you… it’s always best to stay focused to ensure you are praising/rewarding your dogs good behavior. It’s also important to pay attention to potential hazards on the path ahead which may cause a dangerous situation if your dog ingests something it shouldn’t, or is spooked and pulls out of your hand!
Strictness: It’s certainly important to enforce good behavior during walks and instill the proper leash manners, however don’t lose sight of the fact that dog walks are often for your dog! Meaning, it’s a time when your dog gets to enjoy, experience, and explore new environments! It’s easy to forget that your dog can get massive benefits from expending brain-energy, and that putting your dog in mentally stimulating environments can ultimately be just as tiring for your dog as exercise! This is why it’s important to make sure your dog gets some time to sniff around as well during walks.
Proper Equipment: Having the correct tools is also important during dog walks. Guiding factors when choosing which equipment is best for you and your pup means looking at both comfort and safety! A short leash for instance gives you more control, however it can just as easily encourage pulling! Flex leashes that extend can also be dangerous, causing rope burn or can put the dog in unsafe situations. We typically recommend a 6 foot long leash and a flat dog collar (no prongs or chokes), or a sturdy harness!