Knowing how to walk the dog will make you a better pet owner and provide exercise for you and your animal. You can walk in a dog park together or just around the block. No matter the place or distance, it is a great chance to spend time together. Before you head out for a walk, you want to make sure you have a bag or some other item to pick up after your dog. So many times, they get outside and immediately want to go to the bathroom, even if they just went. Be a good neighbor and clean up any poop. Also, if you are planning to walk for a long distance, bring along some water for the dog as well as yourself.
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar. You don't want to lose the dog while you guys are on a walk, but you never know what could happen. Be sure that the dog's name and your contact information is on the tags in case you are separated.
- Keep your dog on the leash as you walk. Many cities and towns have laws that require dogs to be on a leash when they are outside of a home. Even if this isn't the case where you live, it is always a good idea to use a leash. It ensures that the dog stays close and cannot run away or get into any altercations with another dog or person.
- Walk the dog on your left side. Use your left hand to hold the leash and keep the dog on your left side throughout the walk. If this is the first time walking together, it may be difficult to keep the dog beside you as well as keep up with your pace. Be patient. As with most things, it just takes a little practice.
- Try to keep a consistent pace. This makes it easier for the dog to keep up and walk beside you. As you walk, keep a tight hold of the leash and allow your dog room to walk comfortably.
- When you come to a stop, have the dog sit. Whether it is a stop light or a stop sign, or you are just yielding to other walkers, have your dog sit right beside you (still on the left). After practice this will become second nature and the dog will automatically sit every time you are stopped.
- During the walk, be sure to praise the dog when he walks beside you without pulling or sits when you come to a stop. Encouragement reinforces the good behavior.
- At the end of the walk, make sure your dog has plenty of water and is able to take a little rest. Walking the dog is a great way to get you both out of the house and moving.