As a dog trainer and a dog walker I love that walking your dog has a specific month dedicated to it, but of course for me and lots of others, every month is walk your dog month.

It is however a great opportunity to talk about walking our dogs and the obstacles that many people face when thinking about clipping on the lead and heading out. Is it really as simple as it sounds?

I love a good dog walk, there’s nothing nicer than heading out on an adventure with your dog by your side. For lots of us though it’s not as simple as just heading out the door and having a great time. If your dog is over aroused and ignoring you before you’ve even left the house, walks can be stressful. If you have off lead dogs running up to you throughout your walk, this can bring its own stresses. If your dog isn’t that confident or is worried about the environment around them, again the carefree, fun walk you wanted is more stressful than stress less.

So what can you do in these situations?

The good news is there are things that you can do to transform your walks. Below you’ll find some top tips that you can start implementing today to change your daily walks from chaos to calm.

Tip 1 – Calm engagement before you leave the house

If before you even leave the house your dog is over aroused and not able to engage with you then your work starts here. Dogs are great at predicting and do it even more if they are in a strict daily routine. So have a go at this. Go and pick up their lead and then put it back down. Clip on their lead and then take it back off. Do this throughout the day and see if they get a bit less over aroused when you pick it up. We want them to love walks but it isn’t to your or their benefit if they can’t listen and engage with you when they are over aroused. Usually if your dog can’t listen to you here they probably won’t be able to listen to to on the walk either.

Another thing you can think about is can they engage with you in day to day life? Do they check in with you? Here’s a video to show you what checking in looks like. If your dog frequently engages with you and checks in with you it will make walks easier as they have that connection with you.

tip 2 – Recall and where to walk

A great recall is one of the greatest things you can teach your dog. Without it your dog can get into all sorts of trouble. Think running across roads, running over to other dogs, jumping up at people and damaging property. If you are new to recall, need a recall brush up or if recall is a disaster, it can be transformed.

If your recall isn’t great or your walks are stressful in any other ways then an enclosed field is the perfect place to go. Check out our previous blog post that’s all about our favourite private hire enclosed field.

tip 3 – grow your dogs confidence

The environment can be overwhelming for many dogs, so the walk that we imagine having with them can sometimes not be the reality. If this is the case then building your dogs confidence is the way to go. Consider if the walks you are currently doing are best for them right now or if it might be a good idea to walk in different places, gives walks a break for a while or even try walks at different times.

You can enjoy the walks you always dreamed of when you got your dog. Even if it doesn’t seem possible right now there are so many ways that dog trainers like me can help you reach your goals so that next January when its walk your dog month you can look back at January 2022 and know how different walks are now.

To find out how I can help you and your dog check out our class programme for all of our training classes.

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