1. Act like a tree. If your dog tends to pull, immediately stop walking! Once he has put some slack on the leash, you can start walking again. If your dog pulls most times when you take him for a walk, perhaps you need a front-hook harness or a head halter.
2. Never let your dog get close to another dog before you ask the owner for permission. Although your dog may be friendly, not all dogs have the same friendly, quiet demeanour. Don’t take offence if you’re refused permission, or attempt to make their dog meet yours. The other dog may be unwell or healing after surgery. His owner may be training him or he may have had a bad encounter with a different dog prior to today.
3. Always have a poop bag when you walk your dog. It’s unpleasant to look at and even more so if you step in it. The waste that dogs produce can cause pollution in surface supplies of water, and may contain pathogens such as giardia and E. coli. Always have your pack of poop bags when you go “walkies.”
4. If your dog doesn’t get sufficient exercise or mental stimulation, a common problem may occur. It’s called leash reactivity. You can use treats and training as well as more frequent and longer walks. Running in the park, playing fetch and swimming are all great additional exercises to add to your dog’s overall health plan.
5. Barking and lunging at cars, skateboarders and bicycles as they pass by is a common habit in breeds that are good herders. As wheels go around and around, your dog may feel a predator/prey reaction because he’s born with instincts that can cause a very strong urge to chase whatever passed by. It’s important to redirect your dog the moment he sees a moving object. Create a further distraction by walking away from that object. Give your dog treats and encourage him to do simple tricks such as: down, sit, shake and make him follow you as you walk backwards.
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