Hi doggists, I’m back!
This week I want to talk about how to avoid problems during a walk off leash with your dog. Keep reading and don’t miss my tips for a safe and fun walk with your dog!
1- Spay or neuter your dog. Often unaltered dogs are more difficult to manage. Spaying your dog can increase longevity, prevent unwanted litters and promote a more healthy and happy relationship with him.
2- Be a good observer of your dog’s body language: know your dog. If your dog shows signs of distress, it is time to intervene. Look at the posters about signs of fear and stress in dogs in the ‘Resources’ section of the website.
3- Socialize young dogs with other dogs since the early stages of life. Bad experiences with dogs can change your dog’s attitude towards other dogs for a long time or forever.
4- Learn to recognize play. They tend to do short breaks when they play, it can be a wrestling or a chase game, but pay attention to the body language of the dogs involved. If you see that they do not stop by themselves you should intervene and distract them with something else, since when the game becomes very intense or hard too it can lead to arguments. Moreover so much excitement it isn’t healthy, you will return home with a stressed dog, not a relaxed one.
5- Size matters. Large and small dogs can play well, but always be cautious. The squeaking of the small animal can trigger the larger dog’s predatory instinct.
6- Look out for bullying behavior. Jumping on top, pinning, continuous persecution and nipping are bullying behaviors. Whether your dog bullies other dogs or he’s being bullied you should leave the park.
7- Know how to act when there is a fight. A high percentage of fights are resolved alone but if you decide that you have to intervene it is important that:
-Keep your hands away from the heads. Do not grab their collar, it is too close to the teeth. If possible put the leashes on as you can very quickly and pull after:
-Spray water in the face of the aggressor
-Cover their heads with a jacket or blanket to distract them
-Put something between the dogs as a barrier, make noise, try to call your dog while moving away.
8- Pay attention to your dog. A common mistake is to get too involved in conversations with friends or being on the phone, forgetting to supervise.
9- Interrupt the play time occasionally by calling your dog and reward him when he comes to reinforce the call. This will help to avoid the moments of intense game that may lead into arguments and teach your dog that when called is not only to leave the park.
10- Don’t go to the park if he’s sick or injured.
11- Unleash him before entering the park. The leash can cause frustration making him react or can cause other dogs to see him as a target.
12- Leave toys at home, avoid fights. The walk is to build socialise and smell, not to be fixed on a ball and running after it all the time. Do not throw the ball again and again. Such activities shall make a stressed dog with little brain. Stress makes all sugar go to the muscles and none to the brain (preparing for fight/flight), as a result you will have a dog with little capacity for concentration, learning, memory and problem solving. Check my previous post about stress.
13- Be cautious when children are near. Not all dogs like children, and many could throw them to the ground from arousal.
14- Pick up your dog’s poop! Do not give people who dislike dogs any reason to complain.
15- Promote his curiosity. Encourage him to explore everything and make sure he spends some time with the nose stuck to the ground. This is ideal to get home relaxed!
There are alternatives. Taking the dog to the beach or the mountain is more advisable, since they have more space and can interact more easily avoiding other dogs if it is what they want. This is very useful if you have adult dogs, herding breeds, dogs fearful of other dogs, etc. It is also advisable that once a week you meet some people with dogs (if they get along) so that they can grow a friendship.
Now you know! Whenever you have the opportunity take him to new places to explore, this is essential to maintain the level of curiosity in your furry friend!
This is all for today and remember enjoying the walks with your dog together will improve your bond enormously! 😉
See you soon,