Give your dog a break
If you are having struggles with your dog out on walks, our first tip is not to take your dog for a walk. Contrary to popular belief, your dog doesn’t need a walk every single day of the week. We’ve mentioned the stress bucket before and by going out for a daily walk can be a massive bucket filler for some dogs, either due to positive or negative events that your dog encounters when out and about. Ditching the walk and utilizing the time instead to work on calmness, emptying the stress bucket and play games to boost your relationship is a real game-changer.
Mix up on and off lead
Mix on and off lead walks. Remember, being off-lead is a privilege for your dog and sometimes within an off-lead walk, pop your dog on lead for some of it to truly mix it up and so that your dog doesn’t predict that the lead only comes out and goes on when the fun is over! Also as an additional tip, when popping your dog back on lead, make the experience fun, so while they are back on lead play some games, take the lead off and then back on again whilst rewarding your dog, and repeat! Truly make the experience of being back on lead just as fun as being off lead!
Visit lots of different locations
Vary where you take your dog on a walk, visit and explore lots of locations to keep it interesting. Keep things unpredictable and ditch the routine. Routine can lead to a dog predicting certain outcomes in certain locations, so keeping things varied with the places you take your dog and the type of walk you take your dog on will help to combat this.
Avoid walking spots that stress you and your dog!
If you have visited a particular location and you’ve not had a great experience; perhaps there were too many dogs or people, perhaps your dog wasn’t too keen on the rambunctious nature of the other dogs. Rather than go there and get annoyed… avoid! Or go at times when you know it’ll be less busy.
If you need help with a dog training struggle that you just can’t seem to crack why not look at coming along for a Stay & Train holiday here at Bowerland where our super awesome trainers can help you to come up with a training plan so that you can turn those struggles into strengths.
Photo courtesy of Mel Taylor