Mastering Calm Walking

09/02/2022

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MASTERING CALM WALKING

Teaching your dog to walk calmly beside you is often one of the most desired behaviours when it comes to dog training.

Having a dog who walks nicely on their lead without pulling or lunging makes walking much more enjoyable and opens up the opportunity to explore many more locations together.

It will take time to perfect but there are a few key things which will help you and your dog to succeed.

The first step to set your dog up for success is to choose locations that won’t be overwhelming, and give them time to relax into their surroundings before you begin training.

When you first arrive go on a sniffari together. This will give your dog a chance to investigate the environment, relax and acclimatise. This not only helps to settle dogs who are excitable, but also boosts the confidence of dogs who are more reserved.

When you see your dog’s body language soften and their movement become calmer you can see if your dog is ready to move onto stage 2 – focusing on you.

Say their name and see how quickly they look at you. If they respond promptly, reward them and see if they can follow a cue they know really well. If so you can progress to playing some loose lead walking games.

If not then it’s likely your dog is not ready. Enjoy some more sniffari time and try again in a little while.

Your dog may also start to naturally look at you when they have settled into the environment and are ready to begin training. Reward them for engaging and get started.

You will want to switch between sniffing and training based on how your dog is responding and also the environment.

The 3rd tip for easy walking, is to pay attention to what’s happening around you. Being aware of things changing and proactively taking action to keep your dog relaxed will have a huge impact. The more you are able to read the environment and prevent situations such as chasing animals, jumping up at people, barking at dogs and other intense behaviour, the more successful your dog will be.

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