Whether your dog lives in a flat or has a garden, it’s essential to take him out several times a day. This is true for all breeds and types of dog, regardless of size.
There is no such thing as a ‘stay at home dog’, a dog that doesn’t need to be taken out. All dogs need the physical exercise and mental stimulation that they get from walks - there are no exceptions.
Taking your dog out isn’t solely related with his need to urinate or defecate.
A walk is much more than this: it’s your dog’s chance to connect with the outside world, develop his sense of smell, exercise his mind when he comes into contact with all sorts of stimuli, meet other dogs, and of course stay fit by getting physical exercise.
Walking your dog gives him:
That said, not all dogs enjoy walks equally. At times, behaviour problems related to fear or aggression towards other dogs or people can undermine the quality of walks. In these cases it’s necessary to address the source of the problem with the help of a canine ethologist.
What counts isn’t so much how often you take your dog out each day, or how long for - it’s more a question of the quality of those walks.
A quality walk is one that the dog enjoys, where he relaxes and gets both the physical and psychological exercise that he needs.
Take note of the following recommendations:
Walking your dog should always be an enjoyable experience, but at times things can get complicated, and for different reasons it can become a sort of push-me-pull-you where nobody’s having much fun.
In order to solve the problem it’s essential to identify what it is that’s stopping your dog from having a quiet walk, and then find an effective solution.
If your dog pulls at his lead on his walks, it could be for one of these reasons:
Once you’ve identified the reasons your walks with your dog are such an ordeal, you’ll be able to solve the problems:
There are people who have either a nervous or a calm disposition, and it’s just the same for dogs. Age is also a factor that influences temperament.
If your dog is young, or jittery by nature, our advice is to start an exercise plan to help him to improve his self-control. This will not only have a positive effect during walks, but on daily life in general.
Here you have some easy exercises that can help:
One strategy that almost always works when you want to tell your dog that he mustn’t pull on his lead, is to stop walking each time you feel tension on the lead, and to call him back to your side. Once he complies, start walking again.
For this to work, you need to keep at it - don't give up.
At the same time you can use an anti-pull harness when walking your dog: it won’t hurt your four-legged friend, and this type of lead is generally very effective.
Avoid spike or choke collars because they are harmful to your dog's health, and furthermore they’re banned by law in many autonomous communities.
And do remember to take some treats with you to reward your dog, as long as he behaves well. Either a treat or a scratch behind the ears is a great reward, one that you can always have up your sleeve.