For a dog to be balanced, you must take your dog for daily walks to release mental and physical energy. The proper way to walk a dog is with the dog walking either beside you, or behind you, never in front of you. This may seem petty in a human's mind, but it means a lot in a dog’s mind. Instinct tells a dog that the leader goes first. A lack of exercise can cause many behavioural problems in a dog, because a proper walk is need to release mental, as well as physical energy. Getting a dog to walk properly on a lead is not as hard as it may seem. (You can walk more than one dog properly on a lead.)

When getting ready to walk your dog, call the dog to you. Do not go to the dog to put the lead on. After the dog comes to you, make him or her sit calmly before snapping on the lead or slipping on the collar. Retractable leashes are not recommended, as they give the handler less control.

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 that you are the one deciding when it's time to leave.

As soon as your dog is sitting quietly at the exit, it's time to leave. Be sure you exit the house before the dog, even if it's just a step before the dog.

The collar should be far up on the neck, giving you more control over the dog. Body harnesses are not recommended for walking dogs. The harness goes around the strongest point on the dog’s body, making it difficult to control the dog. Keeping the lead high up on the neck gives you more control with less effort. There should be no tension in the lead. Do not allow the dog to pull and don't constantly pull on your dog. Relax.

The lead should be short and hang loose. If the dog starts to pull, snap the lead to the side, throwing him off balance. 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, than 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 instinctively follows. The dog needs to learn that he is following you. Do not praise your dog for walking calmly. This only creates excitement and you are more likely to pull your dog out of his calm, submissive mind.

The dog is not to sniff the ground and relieve themselves where they please; they are to concentrate on following their handler while walking. The person walking the dog decides when the dog is allowed to sniff or pee, not the dog. It is ok to allow your dog to sniff around and do his business, but only when you decide it is ok. The dog needs to see you are leading him, not the other way around.

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 bring his attention back to the walk at hand. 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. If you find the dog pulling, stop and make the dog sit. Correct any excited behaviour with a tug and or an assertive touch to the neck using your hand as a claw, as soon as you see the dog starting to avert his gaze toward the distraction, or as soon as you see a look in your dog's eyes that tells you he is going to begin barking or growling. Timing is everything. This must be done right before the behaviour happens or at the exact moment it starts. You do not want to wait until it escalates. If you wait too long before correcting a dog (were talking seconds), the dog may not even hear you; he will be too focused on the distraction. When correcting your dog, match your dog’s intensity.

Walk at a good pace, keeping your shoulders held high. Dogs can sense tension or lack of confidence. Walk proud, as though you are a strong leader. A dog will respond to this; they will sense it. Notice how there is no tension on the lead and the collar is up high on the neck.
Dog Coat Care & Grooming
Keeping Your Dog Warm
Dog Walks & Exercise
Diet for a Healthy Dog
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