Hey you, new pooch parent—yeah, you with the cute puppy who can’t stop pulling! Want some tricks to keep Trixie on task? Or perhaps you’re already an old pro but want to make your outdoor excursions more fun for both you and your dog. Follow our insider tips and your pooch will be eager to get going as soon as you pick up the leash!
It’s the Leash You Can Do
What’s the best type of leash? “Use whatever you feel most comfortable holding,” recommends the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins, CPDT.
We want you to keep your walks toxin-free:
So Nice to Meet You!
It’s great that your friendly pooch loves meeting people during walks—but not so great that she jumps up on them. “The basic idea is to teach your dog how to sit on cue and then require her to sit to interact with people,” says Collins. “No sitting, no greeting. But if she sits, she gets to enjoy the reward of greeting her friends.” It doesn’t hurt to reward the dog with a treat—or ask the person whom she’s greeting to offer a treat.
Three Things To Bring
Watch for Creepy Crawlies
Depending on the time of the year and the area of the country you live in, sneaky critters like snakes, spiders, scorpions and bees can be a serious concern for pet and parent alike. If you’re walking in a densely wooded area, take extra care to keep an eye out for hidden dangers.
To Be Free or Not to Be Free—That Is the Question
Taking a walk to a dog park or other fenced-in area that’s safe for canines to romp freely? Make sure your dog is prepared for off-leash play. “Your dog must know how to come when called,” says Collins, “so the most important thing to do is teach a really reliable recall.”
Take It Up a Notch
Here are some suggestions for making walks more fun for your dog:
What’s Bugging You?
Walking in humid, mosquito-friendly areas? Spray yourself, not your pooch! Even though it’s tempting to share insect repellent with your pooch, it can be a grave mistake. Insect repellent should never be applied to dogs, who can suffer neurological problems from the toxic ingredient, DEET. Instead, ask your veterinarian for a suitable, pet-specific alternative.
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