Here are a few things to remember and practice when preparing for a walk with your dog:

1) Make sure your dog is in a calm state before opening the front door to leave, and be sure he remains calm once the door is open. A calm dog is much more pleasant to walk than an excited one!

2) Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. If it’s dark out, reflective gear (for you and your dog) is a must! Make sure your dog is wearing his city tags, and keep extra poop bags on hand at all times.

3) Keep your dog on a short leash – this makes correcting simple and quick. Make sure there is no tension in the leash or in your body.

4) Your dog’s head should be next to you or behind you, not in front of you. Remember, you are leading the walk!

5) Walk tall and proud. Do not stare at the ground or hunch your shoulders. Your energy and stance should make it clear that you are leading the walk.

6) If your dog is easily excited/distracted by dogs, people, etc., be sure to remain in control of the situation. Treats are a great distraction to engage your dog, refocus his attention on you and keep things moving forward. Once your dog is attentive and calm, you can reward him with a treat.

7) If you have to correct your dog during the walk, try to avoid being vocal or yelling. Dogs don’t understand our verbal language – but they do understand our body language! A quick pop of the leash at the right moment can be used to refocus your dog’s attention on you. Remember, always keep things moving forward (in a calm state).

8) Last but not least (and one of my favourite tips): Leave your cellphone at home. This is your time to bond with your dog. He waits all day for his walk! Take this time to focus on him and yourself without any distractions.

Now go out and have fun!

Tonia has owned her own dog walking company and been a full-time professional dogwalker for over 4 years. She is a member of Pet Sitters International and the Pet Professional Guild (the Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals). She volunteers weekly at a local dog shelter where she gets to feed and spend time with many furry friends.
She started Dogwalker World to share her knowledge and passion about dogs and their natural instinct to walk and explore. She believes (and knows) that walking your dog can be a fun activity that will only strengthen your bond with them. This website is her dedication to you to ensure that you find the tools and advice necessary to make walking your dog a success!

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