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We are stronger together than we are alone!

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It is a very good idea to train your dog to walk on a leash right from the start. While you may have a fenced in area for the dog, there are going to be circumstances that arise where it is necessary for you to walk with your dog on a leash such as going to the vet. A dog that is comfortable on a leash will be much easier to handle when it is necessary.


Walking your dog is also a great way to bond with your dog and to teach it to understand that you are in charge and you are there for its protection. Another benefit of walking your dog is that you and your pooch will be getting much needed exercise.


 If you will be walking your dog on a hot summer day, be sure to try to walk on the cement or asphalt with your own bare feet. If the surface is too hot for your feet it is too hot for your dog’s paws.

It is always recommend that you teach your dog to walk on your left. There are several reasons for this. If you are walking along side a road facing traffic you will be next to the road you’re your dog on the other side of you. This makes it much less likely that the dog will dash sideways into the road in front of a car. It also makes it much easier to walk multiple dogs because they won’t be wrapping themselves around your legs and tripping you.


When you meet another dog who has been taught to walk on the left, you and the other dog walker will be meeting with the dogs on the outside.

I strongly recommend using a standard 6 foot leash and not a retractable leash. With a standard leash you can put the loop around your wrist and hold the leash gently with your hand. By doing this if your dog should happen to decide to make a break for it (possibly because it has seen a squirrel, cat, or anything that it decides it cannot resist chasing), it may yank your arm but will not be able to escape because the leash is wrapped around your wrist.


On the other hand I have seen many owners lose control of their dog by using a retractable leash. While all may seem to be going along very well, your hand will be somewhat relaxed (who wants to walk their dog with a white knuckle grip on the leash?) and when your adorable pooch decides to make a break for it, it is very likely you will lose your grip on the leash and your dog may up in the street underneath a car, out of your control in the jaws of a much bigger dog or lost completely in a woods full of exciting things a dog is thrilled to chase.


When meeting an unfamiliar dog while on a walk, do not assume the dog is friendly and wants to be friends your dog. I have trained my dog to sit and stay immediately at a certain tone of my voice. Even if your dog will not sit and stay you can shorten your leash so it is tight and put your hand behind your back. 


I put myself between the other dog and my dog and stare at the ground about 5 feet in front of me; I am owning that area. If the other dog is unleashed or has escaped the control of its owner, I try a firm “no”. At this point, if the dog continues to approach, if possible, pick up your dog. In the same line of thinking, it is common courtesy to ask before allowing your dog to approach another dog.


Many people feel very uncomfortable having another dog approach theirs for several good reasons. Their dog may be aggressive or frightful. Be respectful for the safety of both dogs.