Whether you’ve mastered the walk like Cesar or still have issues with your dog, there are certain do’s and don’ts that we should all follow to make for a more pleasant, safer walking experience.
It goes without saying that you should always pick up after your dog and never go on a walk without an adequate supply of pick-up bagson hand. But there are less obvious rules that, when followed, eliminate a lot of possible issues and problems with other people and dogs you may encounter along the way.
1. Know your dog: That is, you should know the sort of thing that might put your dog in an undesired state. Does she have issues with people in uniforms, like letter carriers or UPS drivers? Does she bark at or try to chase bicyclists or skateboarders? Does she go nuts on sight of a squirrel or other dog?
In an ideal world, of course, you will work with your dog to eventually eliminate those bad reactions, but in the meantime you can minimize them by calmly avoiding situations that could trigger your dog.
Note the key word “calmly.” If you become anxious about a person or animal approaching, your dog will sense this and possibly go into alert mode. You need to train yourself to spot the situation without reacting to it, and then change direction, move off of the sidewalk, or whatever else you need to do without making a big deal out of it.
This way, to your dog, you’re simply altering direction on the walk, nothing more nor less.