The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Walking Your Dog Safely

I know I should be in the movies!During the last visit I had with Julie Walraven, (my web and Facebook administrator) she told me about what could have been a very dangerous event involving a young lady walking her dog. The girl and dog walked along the sidewalk and Buddy, Julie’s dog, a German Shepherd, was outside in his yard that has an electronic fence.

The other dog zoomed into Buddy’s yard and the two dogs tumbled and rolled. Julie yelled to the girl to get her dog out and the girl stated she could not. Julie told her to grab the leash and pull her dog out. She finally did. Luckily, there was no dogfight. The dog was a pit bull terrier. The girl was in her early teens.

Who should walk a dog? 

Someone who has strong leadership skills, can recognize a potential issue, and knows how to handle a challenging situation whether it initiates from your dog or another dog. Sometimes a dog requires two people – just in case factor. You and your dog should have leash walking experience also = “Heel.” Learn the essentials of “Heel” and that is not even a guarantee!

What should you do if there is an issue?

Does the dog walker know what to do if there is an attack? You should always have a “what if” plan and items that may help to diffuse or deter the other dog. Look ahead of you and around you for signs of other dogs to ensure you and your dog’s safety. Scope the block and never leave your eyes from the neighborhood and from your dog. Your dog’s posture, ears, and the change in their walk will alert you that another dog may be in your presence.

When is the best time of day to walk your dog?

Be aware of traffic. Is your dog nervous when there are too many cars or noise? When are the other dog walkers out? Do most of the people in your neighborhood work outside the home? Are their dogs are out early before work and after work? Is it better earlier in the day or later?

Where do all the other dogs live?

Where are the dogs that challenge you and your dog on your walk?

  • Try a different route.
  • Maybe there is construction to avoid.
  • Perhaps there may be some grumpy people who don’t like dogs, so stay away from their property.

Play more pleaseWhy walk your dog?

They and you need exercise. If you are overweight, chances are your dog is out of shape too! It is a way to enjoy nature, get to know your neighborhood, socialize, and it is brainwork for your dog too!

Why ask these questions?

Because, I see too many people who should not walk their dog because they are not in tune to their surroundings, their dog, and allow their dog to walk THEM.

How to walk your dog?

Your leash; 6-8 ft long with a loop that is around your wrist and also one turn around it for extra security.  When you walk with the leash in your hand, all you need is to be a bit off guard and one very easy tug the leash slips out of your hand and your dog runs away as in the story above! It has happened to me! This is one technique I train everyone to do! The zip leashes are designed for ONLY the dogs that are trained who may need a little extra exercise. These are not as I call them “real leashes”. I also have experienced two that did not retract and the dog was almost hit by a car = YIKES! Does your dog need a muzzle, e-z walker harness or a training collar? Find what works to keep you both safe.

Never Answer Your Phone when walking your dog!

If you are a cell phone addict, consider keeping your cell phone at home. If you think your dog does not know that you are not paying attention, you are so wrong! Your walk is between you and your dog. Do some training during your walks and know that the more you walk, the more relaxed you will become. Don’t make it an obligatory event. Talk to your dog during this time & connect with your dog by doing some periodic stops to pet him and give him an “atta boy or girl!” Your dog will reward you and think you are the greatest!

If you have questions, need some assistance or know of someone who needs help, please contact me for a training session!

Curious as to how Heide’s Pet Care solutions will work for you? Contact Heide Maxwell  for more information or scheduling your dog training, doggie day care, in-home pet care, or boarding.