Walking your dog is an integral part of his exercise routine and is supposed to be a fun bonding activity between you and him. But some pet owners admit that they are the ones being taken for walks with dogs that pull, jump, stop and sniff, bite the leash and run ahead.
Source: Your dog's friend
Here are 4 ways you can improve the quality of walks and make it stress-free, from dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich of the Pooch Coach.
1. If your dog pulls: Make unpredictable movements
When your dog pulls at the leash so hard that you have trouble holding him back, it's often because he's distracted by all the smells and sights and overexcited about the walk.
In this case, it is best to keep the leash short and to make unexpected movements, like stopping, turning and slowing down suddenly. This is how your pup will realise he has to pay attention to what you are doing in order to keep up. Once you start doing a more interesting walking pattern than just slowly ambling along, he will have something more fun to focus on than the trees and cars.
Source: K-9 coach
2. If your dog keeps sniffing: Keep a short leash
All pups stop abruply every few metres to sniff at trees where other dogs have been before, or to mark the territory as his own. Here, again, the problem could be the type of leash you're using. Make sure the leash is short so you have control over when he stops.
Teach him that there is a right place and time to sniff, and that you decide when that moment is. Stop deliberately to let him sniff for a few moments, before starting to walk again. When he decided himself to stop, keep walking so he will know that he is not in charge.
Source: Perfect pooch
3. If your dog freezes: Distract him with a toy
Some dogs tend to freeze in one place for a long time. In this case, it is a bad idea to feed them, as they will think they are being rewarded for stopping. It is also a bad idea to pull on the leash, as your dog is stubborn and has decided he will not move.
Try whistling or squeaking a toy to get him out of the daze, or poke him in an unexpected area. This is not the same as affectionately petting, but rather a soft poke on his back to give him the fright he needs to get moving again.
Source: The Dogist
4. Useful tip: Start training early
As with all type of training, leash training starts when your dog is just a puppy. If he is not made used to being walked on a leash from early on, he will see it as something scary and intimidating.
Start by walking them on a leash in the house, then in the yard, and then slowly venture outside for very short distances. If your puppy is pulling on the leash, stop dead. Note however, that this method only works when they are puppies, and not if they learn the habit later on.
Source: The Dogist
If your dog goes without exercise for more than a day or two, there will be behavioral problems, so make sure to train him well and walking will be a fun, safe and special activity for both of you, because how you walk is just as important as how often.