At Rover’s Rest Stop & Ranch, I sometimes walk about six to eight dogs at time. People are amazed by this, but it is not so complicated. The dogs see me as their “pack leader” and want to take direction from me. Here are six tips on how to master the walk.
1. Always walk in front of your dog. Walking in front of your dog allows you to be seen by the dogs as the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one back in the door. Your dog should always be beside or behind you during the walk.
2. Use a short dog leash. You have more control with a short leash, four feet. Attach the leash to the collar at the very top of the neck. Keep your arm down at your side just slightly behind you. This will allow for you to easily communicate, guide and correct your dog.
3. Give yourself enough time for the dog walk. Taking walks in the morning is ideal. Specific needs of each dog differ but 30 minutes to a full hour is usually sufficient. Consult your vet and keep an eye on your dog’s behavior to be sure his needs are being met.
4. Rewarding your dog during the walk. After your dog has maintained the proper state of mind on your walk for a bit, you can then allow him to relieve himself and sniff around. Then you decide when the break is over. It should always be less than the time spent focused on the walk.
5. After the walk, keep leading. Have your dog wait patiently while you put away his leash or take off your shoes. Do not stop leading just because you walked in the door.
6. Reward your dog after the walk. By providing a meal after the walk, you have allowed your dog to “work” for food. All dogs need a job.
Here at Rover’s Rest Stop & Ranch, we love our walks. If you have questions about walking your dog, stop by our event March 10 at Cottonwood. You are always welcome to call, too. Don’t forget that Rover’s fundraiser is Yankee Candles this year! The Kids LOVE a smelly house! Thank you for loving the Kids.