Dogs are curious, enthusiastic creatures and they want to be able to roam free. Often the biggest dogs, or the most intelligent dogs, can be very difficult to walk on a leash. They may pull or sniff around aimlessly making walk time much more frustrating. My own dog, a border collie, is not accustomed to being on a leash so in the early days it was extremely difficult to get her to cooperate. If this sounds like a familiar story, rest easy because there are some simple solutions to the problem.
First of all, you need to always be patient with your dog. Every dog will learn at a different pace but as the owner it’s your duty to show your dog the ropes calmly. Also, it is much easier to leash train young dogs than older dogs so if at all possible, start early. Young dogs are being molded by their experiences whereas old dogs are set in their ways. Leash training an independent older dog will usually require more patience and perseverance.
Now, here are some practical tips to help you with leash training. In the beginning, if you have difficulty even getting the leash on your dog, try putting it on during meal time. When eating, dogs are distracted so they won`t be as bothered by the leash but they`ll also start to associate the leash with food which is a positive thing. When you`re actually walking your dog, stop walking or even stop and walk the opposite direction whenever your dog pulls. Eventually, your dog will learn that pulling is not effective. Also, give your dog plenty of praise when he is walking appropriately. Dogs quickly learn to modify their behavior when they anticipate praise. Be consistent with your expectations and praise and your dog will be leash trained in no time!
A healthy lifestyle is based on a balanced diet and regular exercise. Whether we’re talking about dogs, cats, rats or people, this statement holds true. Still, not all dogs require the same amount of exercise so you need to carefully consider the needs of your dog before you can answer the question: how many times a day should I walk my dog?
Some dogs like Golden Retrievers or Border Collies need a lot of exercise. Many pet owners love Border Collies because they are intelligent and gentle, but they are often surprised to learn that Border Collies can become very high strung if they don’t get enough exercise. Anybody who has ever owned this breed of dog knows it can chase a ball for hours every day. Because Border Collies and other herding dogs evolved to follow herds of animals over several kilometres, they often need much more exercise than large breeds of dog. Some bigger breeds like Saint Bernard’s or Newfoundland’s require less exercise but still need regular walking.
For the most part, dogs will need to get outside several times a day to go to the toilet. Still, taking your dog out for 5 minutes does not constitute a walk. A good rule of thumb is at least 2 walks per day for any dog. Larger dogs will need longer walks but you really can’t walk your dog too much. The more time you have for walking is better but never let your dog go for a day without at least 2 walks. One walk in the morning and one walk in the evening are the absolute minimum. And for dogs that require more exercise, you’ll need to augment this exercise schedule. The importance of your dog’s physical fitness should never be underestimated so get your dog outside for several walks a day. Personally, I like to walk my dog at least once before work, once after work, and once before bed.