5 Easy Steps To Improve Your Dog Walks

Problems during walks are among the most common complaints I hear from dog owners.  But the thing that they all have in common is that most dog walking problems are casued by what I call BOHS, or Bad Owner Handling Skills. This occurs when owners communicate the wrong thing to their dogs by keeping their leashes tight when they encounter distractions such as other dogs. The owner’s anxiety travels down the leash to the dog – and the dog reacts with anxiety.

Instead of getting anxious and sending tension down the leash, try this when confronted with a problem while walking your dog.

  1. If he begins pulling on his leash, simply stop. Become immovable until he stops pulling and allows some slack in the leash.
  2. The minute there is slack in the leash, praise your dog and begin walking again. Continue your walk until the dog starts pulling again, stop dead in your tracks once again.
  3. Remain neutral. Wait for slack, praise.
  4. Sometimes, if you simply stop, change your direction and start walking, your dog will have to stop pulling and try to catch up with you going in the other direction. This strategy will also teach your dog to pay attention to you when you walk.
  5. Do not let your dog go sniff and investigate whatever he wants. You must control the walk.

The solution is to learn to walk your dog on a slack leash and check your anxiety at your front door before the walk. Be confident in your handling skills and read your dog. Like kids, dogs respond to leadership, so be as comfortable with the trainer of your do as you are with the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

(C) Jim Burwell 2011

6 replies
  1. leila_admin
    leila_admin says:

    Fred: find what motivates YOUR dog and use that as incentive in your training. Also body language on your part is important. Get in front of him, bend over at the waist and in a
    very happy voice tell him” Let’s go” and then get him walking. Walk at a brisker pace.

  2. Fred
    Fred says:

    How about dogs that randomly stop and refuse to go further for several minutes? I’ve recently adopted a 6+ y/o Great Pyrenees mix with no background information and he does this at least once a walk. He’s not interested in treats and I don’t want to drag him by the harness so there’s little I can do but wait it out.

  3. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Joanne: go to our website, do a search for sibling rivalry. read the article, then opt in to get the recording of the teleseminar. tons of good info on that

  4. joanne beechey
    joanne beechey says:

    I have two german shephards sisters, they are 6 months old. I was in the park and they knocked me over , they ran straight towards me and knocked me flying.

    I really hurt myself, but left it a day and took them out together again, i muct admit , i was trepidaciuos as i was wiery they would hurt me again.

    How do I stop them fighting also, they havent been spayed yet and maybe its sobling rivalry, but i am scared in case they knock somone else over.

    Kind Regards


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  1. […] Burwell – No comments 0savesSave If you want your dog or puppy to walk on a leash, those dog walking manners should start before you leave the […]

  2. […] important to your dog, you begin to show your dog that he has to earn those important things. He wants to go for a walk—require a sit before you put on the […]

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