Walking Your Dog

Daily walks are an important part of your dog?s physical and emotional health. Dogs should be walked twice a day. Walking your dog will assist you in preventing many behavior disorders such as separation anxiety, destructiveness, and elimination problems. It also provides the perfect opportunity to practice or reinforce obedience skills. The best benefit of all is that you are able to spend quality bonding time with your pet. Walking your dog soon after meals can give him the opportunity to eliminate. While it is perfectly acceptable to let your dog out in the yard, walking will allow you to reinforce desirable behavior. If you are a runner and plan to run with your dog, do not do so immediately after a meal unless you want your dog to be sick all over your running shoes! Obedience is critical to an enjoyable walk. One of the most common problems owners face is the dog directing the walk while the owner is dragged along desperately trying to hold on. This is not only frustrating for you but could prove hazardous to the dog, other pets, and people. Using the right leash and collar will help you and your dog have a safe and happy walk. When you purchase a collar, you should also invest in a leather leash. Nylon leashes can slip and burn your hands. Buckle collars are ideal for young puppies. For older puppies and dogs, you can use a training or head collar. Your choice will depend on your personal preference and your dog?s behavior. Chain slip collars work well for dogs that have wide heads, such as the Labrador Retriever and Akita. The clip-on nylon slip collar is good for dogs that need their confidence raised. You will not want to use the nylon slip collar that fits over the dog?s head as these make corrections nearly impossible. Prong collars look awful but are very effective for dogs that are more aggressive. Many veterinarians and dog trainers prefer the Gentle Leader. Even dogs that have been difficult to train respond well to the Gentle Leader, and children and adults find it easy to use. Practice proper etiquette on your walk by taking along a bag or container with you - to clean up any waste. Teaching your dog good manners and practicing them yourself will make you a welcome sight around the neighborhood on your daily walks.

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