Walking is something all dog owners do (or at least should do), regardless of the breed or size of dog they have. While it used to be that walking the dog was seen more as a chore for some, more and more people are looking forward to taking their dogs out longer and more often. But not all walks are equal and some owners seem to have a much harder time enjoying the exercise and quality time together with their pooch. So how can you get the most out of your walks? Try these tips!
#1 – Obedience
Obedience is your friend. You don’t need to have the next competition champion, but basic house manners are a must if you’re going to have a good time walking your dog. Your dog shouldn’t be pulling you down the block and they should be able to sit, lie down and stay if needed. You should practice good manners all the time, especially when meeting people. If you don’t let your dog jump up on people that walk in the door, you don’t want them to jump on people they meet on the street either. Some people are afraid of dogs, so keeping your dog leashed and under control is important. Besides, walking at a pace that’s comfortable for both of you and not having to worry about your dog darting into traffic is going to make for a much more pleasant experience.
#2 – Change of Pace
We mean this both literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, you can actually pick up or slow down your pace. Some owners find that their dogs lag behind them and this may because they’re walking too fast for their dogs. Others have active pups that would rather run! Find the pace that’s most comfortable for both of you. Figuratively, you’ll want to change up the scenery! Take different routes with your dog, explore different parts of the city or neighborhood and even take a moment to enjoy some dog-friendly trails for a hike. Just as it can for us, the same old routine can get boring for our dogs. Spice it up a bit with different locations and views!
#3 – Pay Attention
That’s right, pay attention! Too often do I see people trying to multitask while walking the dog. They’re texting, talking on the phone or simply just ignoring their dog on the walk. Walking is a special time you can spend together and your pup likely wants to savor the quality time they have with you. Enjoy your dog’s company, put the phone away, and take the 20 or 30 minutes to connect with your dog and enjoy the outdoors. A walk should be relaxing for both of you and exercise serves no purpose if you’re still focused on your work or social schedule, so take a minute and appreciate your alone time together! Notice how your dog feels, how you feel, and really enjoy these precious moments.