It’s normal to have a well-behaved dog that really doesn’t walk well on a leash. Dogs get super excited when they find out you’re taking them for a walk, so there are steps you can take to keep them composed. Additionally, pay attention to your dog’s behavior while walking them. Make sure they have plenty of time to stop and smell the roses, an ample amount of water, and it’s not too hot or too cold for them. Likewise, if you notice your dog walks in front of you and pulls you, this is unhealthy behavior, as you are the owner, you are the alpha dog. Your dog should walk next to you or behind you. Your dog should be following YOUR lead and not the other way around.
People know their dog loves walking. A frequent mistake is getting your dog excited with high-pitched, “who wants to go for a WALK?!” Your dog will get super hyper and make it difficult to get their leash on. The best thing you can do is keep calm. If your dog is laying down, quietly grab plastic bags and their leash, approach them slowly but don’t sneak up and scare them. Act like you’re just coming over to hang out and pet them, and then quickly and calmly clip their leash on their collar. They will most likely figure out what is about to happen, but if you keep composed, your dog will follow your energy and not spazz out.
Dogs’ strongest senses are their hearing and smell. They experience the world around them through their nose, so don’t pull them away from interesting scents. If your dog spends eight hours a day inside while you’re at work, stop and let them collect data about the outside world, it’s super fascinating to them! The numerous scents make for excellent stimulation. If you notice you’re spending longer than usual in a spot, make sure they aren’t rolling in feces or a dead animal.
Before you venture out on your walk, fill up their water dish or bowl all the way up with some water. You don’t want your dog to get dehydrated. When their water is full before they leave, all you have to do is let your dog off the leash when you get inside and they’ll have plenty of water to rehydrate instead of having to wait for you to refill it. If you are going out and won’t be sure when you’ll return, be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your dog. It would be wise to bring a plastic bowl so you can fill it up with water for them while you’re away from your apartment.
Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold, Just Right
Just like Little Red Riding Hood’s porridge, be mindful of the temperature of the pavement. If it’s too hot, it’ll burn your pooch’s paw pads. If it’s too cold, it will likewise hurt your dog. If it’s a hot day, consider trying to take them out before it gets too hot or waiting until the evening when it cools down. If you have to take your dog out during the heat of the day, try to find a sidewalk or walking path where your dog can walk on the grass so you don’t burn their paws. If it’s incredibly cold, consider investing in booties for your dog’s paws.
It’s vital to make have your dog’s tags up to date with all their required vaccinations as well as contact information. If your phone number or address has changed, you need to update their tags so people are able to get ahold of you or bring them to the correct address. You would like to think people would try to do the right thing, but if they contact the wrong number, the people that have been reached my steal your dog. Likewise, if your dog gets brought to the wrong address, the tenants in that apartment unit may end up receiving a free dog!