"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899

The Power Of The Walk; Part 2.


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Never begin a walk with an excited dog as you are just asking for trouble.

Take as much time as is necessary to get your dogs calm and submissive before you go.

If you only have a limited amount of time don’t let this rush you into beginning before your dogs are calm and focusing on you.

If this means that you have to wait for fifteen minutes for your dogs to be calm and you only get a ten minute walk, then so be it.

You will find that the calming down time will diminish very quickly if you show the patience to do it right in the early days. Our dogs worked it out very quickly.

Pulling the lead to the side will usually stop an unwanted behaviour and send the message to your dog that she needs to refocus. This maneuver works by sending your dog’s brain out of balance for a moment. Your dog will, very quickly, learn that this sideways tug on the lead means that you are disagreeing with her behaviour.

Bring treats to reinforce your dogs good behaviour but always remember that your dog sees you as giving her affection simply by being with her and experiencing the walk together.

Every now and then you will notice that she looks at you. This eye contact is a sign of affection from her to you.

Eye contact is a very powerful signal in the dog world, and dogs meeting each other for the first time will avoid direct eye contact as this is seen as a challenge and can quickly turn into a fight. Pack members use eye contact as a way of reinforcing the bonds that hold the pack together so your dog looking directly at you is a sign of trust and if you do your part it will also be a sign of respect, the kind of respect afforded to a pack leader.

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