Leash Skills 101: Tips to Keep You Sane During a Dog Walk

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As you’re headed off to work, you have Fido’s leash in one hand and a million (well, maybe not a million, but a lot) of items in the other hand. As you’re walking out to the car, Fido sees a squirrel. As your eyes enlarge, you realize you’re about to be walked by your dog. As Fido is happily chasing the squirrel, you are being tugged around and dropping everything out of your hand.

Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Walking your dog can be a fun bonding experience, or it can be a nuisance. The thin line that rests between can easily be obtained by following some simple steps.

Containing the Beast

Tugging and pulling on the leash can lead to a load of stress and the excitement of seeing a squirrel can drive Fido nuts! So, how do you contain the beast within?

  • Avoid certain times of the day - Dawn and dusk are the two times that wildlife can be really active. These animals are called “crepuscular,” also known as your typical deer, coyotes, porcupines, rabbits, some birds, etc. The early mornings and partially dark nights make it a great time for these animals to hunt food, while remaining less visible. A recent study also found that many dogs and cats even exhibited crepuscular behavior, with their most active times of the day being around dawn and dusk.
  • Gentle leader – Want something that is an alternative to the shock collar, but provides the same amount of control? A product by Premiere Products called The Gentle Leader Headcollar provides a pain-free way to guide and lead your dog. It is a positive and safe way to reduce pulling on the leash. The leash is formulated into a loop around the dog’s snout, allowing you to steer the dog by his nose.
  • Easy Walk – If you’re a fan of harnesses, but noticed that your dog still tends to pull, the Easy Walk might be a product for you. Also made by Premiere, the Easy Walk is a harness with a twist. Its front-chest leash attachment tightens slightly across your dog’s chest and shoulder blades, never causing coughing, gagging, or choking. Unlike traditional harnesses that just pull the dog’s body, the gentle pressure of the Easy Walk steers your dog to the side and redirects his attention back towards you.

Beware the Jabberwocky

Well, maybe there is no such thing as the Jabberwocky, but there are plenty of creepy crawlies that your pup should avoid. Certain animals like snakes, spiders, scorpions, or bees can pose a serious threat to you and Fido. It might be a good idea to avoid areas where you know one of these scary dangers might be lurking.

Save the Jumping for Treat Time

While your pup may jump for joy for a tasty treat, it is important to make sure your dog knows that jumping should be reserved for just that. Many dogs love people and greet them with a tail wag and some with a jump. Jumping may not bother you, but you have to remember that not everyone wants to be tackled by your pup.  Training your dog to sit when he greets people can be done through positive reinforcement, a.k.a. lots of treats for good behavior.

Keep Paws Out of the Tulips

A pretty bed of flowers may look quite inviting for Fido, it actually can have hidden dangers that you may not be aware of. Insecticides and certain types of mulch can be dangerous to your pet’s health. You might not know the last time the flowers were sprayed and a freshly coated flower bed can be a disaster for your pup.

Spring bulb plants like tulips and daffodils are beautiful to look at, but they can be treacherous to your dog. Many aren’t aware that these plants can cause severe stomach problems for our furry companions. Much like children, puppies tend to want to stick everything in their mouths. If you know you have a nibbler, it is best to keep them away from your neighbor’s flowerbeds.

All of these tips can help protect your pup and keep you a happy doggy parent. Ensuring your dog’s safety and keeping your arm from being pulled out of socket, can lead to much happier walks.

Do you have any suggestions? Comment below or on our Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of quinn.anya

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