Walking and running your dog

No matter how big or small Fido is, he’ll need daily exercise and while walking and running your dog might seem like child’s play, there’s a right way and a wrong way. Yes, really!

22 Aug 2016 By Leanne Philpott Comments

Walking and running your dog is essential; if you don’t Rover is likely to start tearing up the house—in the same way that kids turn into crazy coconuts if you don’t wear them out with some outdoors fun.

Failure to exercise Fido can actually result in more sinister issues, like behavioural problems—which are likely to send you barking mad! So to avoid all dog-related issues, it makes sense to get the exercise thing down pat— and here’s how…

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Walking your dog

Walking your dog is not only about giving its body a workout; it’s about exercising its mind and reinforcing the fact that you are the boss. If your dog is walking in front of you, he or she sees itself as the leader—this can lead to big behavioural issues in the future.

Allowing your dog to walk ahead of you also affects the level of exercise they get. The dog believes it’s leading its pack; this takes responsibility and can lead to mental stress and anguish, which can turn your dog in to a crazy canine.

So if you’re finding your dog is hyper and constantly running laps around your yard, hone in on its exercise and ask yourself, ‘do I walk the dog?’ or ‘does the dog walk me?’

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How to walk your dog (properly)

Don’t rush

If you’re going to give your dog a proper walk you need to allow enough time. Thirty minutes to an hour is ideal but you’ll need to take into consideration your dog’s size, age and health.

Use a short leash

A long leash allows the dog to run-a-muck so make sure you have a short leash as this gives you the authority. Attach the leash to the top of your dog’s collar (as opposed to under the chin) as this gives you better control.

Walk in front

The golden rule of dog walking is to walk in front of Fido. Now you are the pack leader, the head honcho if you will!

It’s okay for your dog to walk besides you but don’t let them overtake and gain control.

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Reward good behaviour

If you dog toes the line and walks behind you, as he should, without pulling and tugging—he gets a Scooby snack. You can also allow him a bit of extra rope to sniff around and explore but make sure you let him know when it’s time to focus on the walk again.

Be a lasting leader

To ensure your dog really knows who’s boss maintain head honcho status when you get home. Don’t allow your dog to go bolting through the front door ahead of you—stay as the leader and make your dog sit and wait while you take your coat and shoes off.

Running your dog

Running with your dog is an awesome way for both of you to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors—but not if you keep falling over your dog! This is likely to result in injury (to you and Rover) and embarrassment.

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How to run with your dog (the right way)

Firstly, check you dog is capable of running. Believe it or not some dogs don’t take well to running (those with short, little legs; dogs with short snouts and any dog that has joint or heart issues).

Slowly does it

Don’t just make a sudden sprint for it; walk first and build up to a run. Interval running is a good way to get your dog used to running (good for your health too). Allow your dog a rest after about 15-20 minutes and finish up with a walk.

Practice this routine for a couple of weeks.

Introduce cues

When you shift from walking to running and from running to walking, try introducing cues to help give your dogs the heads up on what’s coming next. For example, you could say “speed up” as you transition to a run and “slooow” as you return to walking.

You can use any words you want but make sure they sound quite different and be consistent.

Running with your dog can be rewarding for both you and your four-legged friend, so what are you waiting for?

22 Aug 2016 By Leanne Philpott Comments

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