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Leading the way – Top tips for on lead walking

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Louise – Dog Behaviour Expert

Louise – Dog Behaviour Expert

Walking your dog regularly provides a basic foundation for physical and mental health. Like a child, your dog wants to know the world.

This is why it’s also good to vary the places you take your dog as much as possible. You’ve probably noticed how busy (and excited) your dog gets when he or she is walking, so let them enjoy every opportunity to discover what is in front of them.

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Setting off

Setting off

Your dog will be very excited to get going and this can make it difficult for them to focus and listen to commands.

Be sure to allow time to settle into the walk before trying any focus work. Remember to pack some treats for rewarding good behaviour.

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Focus work

Focus work

Focus work is a great way to build that all important bond.

Whilst out on your walk, call them back to you every so often and give them a treat. This is great for practicing recall work. Even when your dog checks back with a look, give plenty of praise.

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Pulling

Pulling

Pulling on the lead can be a tricky problem, with some dogs always wanting to get to that end point.

Teaching them that the journey is just as fun as the destination is very important. If you engage them with treats and recall, over time the journey will become just as exciting!

Ensure you praise your dog every time they are behaving and walking well. This can be verbal praise as well as treats.

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Collar and lead

Collar and lead

Ensuring your dog has the best collar and lead to suit their walking style is important.

If your dog is a destination sort of guy, a long line can be a great fit. This allows you to keep control while your dog explores, but it’s gentler on their neck.

A flat collar can help reduce strain on the neck. A harness paired with a long lead works even better at reducing neck tension.

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The big sniffathon

The big sniffathon

This is such an important part of your dog’s daily walk.

Some dogs seem to take forever to smell something and there are good reasons why. When a dog sniffs a dog or another dog’s motions it gets a whole story, not just a smell. It can find out whether the dog is male or female, where they have been, what they have eaten, what they have touched and more!

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The meet & greet

The meet & greet

You will more than likely meet other dogs and people out on your walk, so it’s important to allow your dog to engage as this helps with socialisation.

The key is to try and have a loose lead at all times. If you tighten the lead your dog will react to that movement and become more alert. Relax and your dog will too.

Good lead skills will build confidence in your dog and will make that lead walk more enjoyable for the both of you.

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