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Dog Walking 101 – Fixing over excitement and anxiety

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As a professional dog walker I believe there are many aspects of dog walking that the general public don’t encounter or take into consideration. This is my way of helping us to all have a more enjoyable and safe community. As you may already know EVERYONE in your family needs to practice the same techniques for maximum results and success. I hope you enjoy and find this helpful!

If you plan to use a retractable leash while walking your dog you are not doing your dog any favors. Retractable leashes are dangerous in many ways and because they operate by extending based off your dog pulling on the leash, they teach your dog to keep tension on the leash at all times if they want to walk faster or get ahead. Don’t use retractable leashes!

In this post we go over:
*How to set your dog up for success fro the beginning
*The steps to take while exiting your home
*The proper mind-set to have while on a walk

Most dogs start getting excited when they’re people stand up and grab the usual supplies for walking (shoes, leash, etc). If your dog gets overly excited when they see you stand and walk to the objects of excitement we recommend doing it MULTIPLE times throughout your general weekly schedule WITHOUT taking your dog outside.

In the beginning your dog will act as it usually does, overly excited. Eventually your dog will become de-sensitized to the act and will approach or watch you calmly as you go through the motions. This happens the quickest when you stop doing whatever it is you are doing as soon as the dog reacts with over excitement.

If you want your dog to stay in a ‘Lay Down’ as you put on your shoes and grab the leash, stop walking towards the objects of excitement once your dog stands up and walk back over to the sofa to it down or walk out of the room and ignore your dog. They will be confused. DO NOT give your dog any attention until they are calm again. It is ok to have them drag their leash as they follow you. You will be showing them that when they act in an overly excited or anxious manner that you don’t want anything to do with them and that the fun will end.

Once your dog is able to have their leash attached while staying calm you begin with opening the door. If your dog is showing over excitement or anxiety signs (heavy panting, trying to paw or push the door, barking, agitation, etc) don’t open the door and drop the leash, then walk back to sit on the sofa or walk out of the room while ignoring your dog. Again they will be confused. DO NOT give your dog any attention until they are calm again. It is ok to have them drag their leash as they follow you. You will be showing them that when they act in an overly excited or anxious manner that you don’t want anything to do with them and that the fun will end.

Once your dog has learned to have their leash attached and be calm as you exit your home the next step is to have your dog it or wait calmly on the outside of the door. You don’t enjoy having a dog pull on you or jump around as you try to lock your door, no one does! If your dog starts showing signs of over excitement or anxiety go back inside with your dog and restart the process. This will again possibly confuse the dog, but will also teach them that when they act in a way you don’t want the fun ends.

Once you’re outside, the door is locked and the dog is calmly waiting give your dog the walk command (Moxie’s command is ‘Lets Go’). This is when Dog Walking 102 – Fixing over excitement and anxiety will help you. =)

Want more help? Fill out the form through our Contact Us tab to tell us what your dog is doing and how we can help. Thank you for reading our blog post. If you’s like to suggest another topic or have any advice for us please email us at Paws@MXPets.com. Have a great day!
~ Nikki Johnson