The walk is one of the most important moments of the day, absolute sharing between human and dog, not only serves to make the needs, but also to get distracted, possibly lower your stress level and do some exercise. In this article we want to give some advice to make sure that the walk is not essentially a race with carts pulled by your dog.
Why does my dog drag me as if he were a lion?
There really isn't a short answer to the question, every dog is different from another, we will try only to mention some general issues.
The first cause is excessive excitement. If we have newspapers, television and the internet to distract us and keep us updated on what's happening in the world, a dog has only his walk as a moment of leisure and opportunity to acquire new information. On one side, if we were in their shoes, it's understandable that he cannot wait to get out!
What to do? First of all we need to break this involuntary association which now he has acquired and which became more and more strong. Sometime might be useful just to hold the leash on the hands and ignore the jumping for joy of our friend and casually put it back in its place.
Go for the walk without particular emphasis… so slowly we will make it clear that at the sight of the collar/leash the right attitude, which pays off with the dreamed walk, is calm.
The second reason could be lack of exercise. Dogs that spend most of the day alone at home or go out to walk only long enough to make the needs, don't have the time to vent their energies. The frustration of this situation leads to a frantic jerk whenever they get a chance.
Obviously in these cases, we must devote more time to our dogs to let him burn off all the calories accumulated and we also have to keep him busy on a mental level with simple games to play at home. A satisfied dog is an happy dog. (see our article "ugh... I'm bored")
The third motivation can be traced back to anxiety. Some dogs who have accumulated special forms of stress, are startled by any noise andin open spaces they tend to not relax at all. It is obvious from the fact that they don't stop to smell, accelerate the step in a nervous looking around. In these cases to prevent problems from becoming real phobias it’s better to be helped by a professionist, because the dog is not in mental status to learn anything.
My Dog walks with me
First of all we must have patience. We have to consider that the leash keeps your dog not only physically but also emotionally, as a kind of umbilical cord, then any situation which produces nervousness and frustration in us is unwittingly sent to the dog that will suffer for this situation, not feeling at ease and not acknowledging any instruction correctly.
We will try to make suggestions in a very generic way, we understand that every dog is different and therefore each case should be analysed specifically by an educator.
The main goal is to walk with the leash not stretched as if it were the most natural thing in the world and how effectively it should always be. We should choose a very peaceful place with no distractions and start practicing ten minutes a day without forcing him.
At first we could teach him a command to call him back to make him walk close to us… can be a Word, a whistle or a simple noise with your mouth. We use this command and when the dog will be back close to us we’ll give him the reward (positive reinforcement).
At the beginning this will serve to capture his attention and attach it to this action, then in the future the prize will be tight in the hand and he’ll follow the odoriferous trail, in this way he will learn then to move according to the desired distance.
A dog that goes before us during the walk, just like a horse, does not have any other visual reference of our presence and therefore will feel entitled to choose the pace and direction to him more palatable.
To avoid this, we should try not to disappear from his field of vision while making him feel our presence. When his steps become more rapid we should stop and become a kind of impediment, the dog will realize that the human has a role (finally!).
Stop, wait for the dog to turn around and leave again, stop again and then move in the opposite direction, these are all small exercises to make the dog aware of our presence in the walk.
Of course we should not expect a little robot on our side but we must have the right mental flexibility to create our own balance. Once you have managed to come into harmony with this idea, no squealing, tugs or pointless reprimands, the satisfaction of being able to understand the dog, like a small herd, will be immense.
Exploring the world is beautiful if you do it in two, with the right knowledge about each other ... is even better!