The Right Lead To Walk Your Dog
14th November 2018
If you want your dog to walk correctly by your side, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. Bark Busters always recommends a 2 metre lead and a communication collar. Please do not use a retractable lead as this can cause injury to both yourself and the dog in the following ways:
- Most retractable leads use an 8 metre cord. This distance could cause the animal to escape and run into the street. Additionally, should your dog be approached by an aggressive dog, it is harder to get control of the situation than if you are using a 2 metre lead.
- The cord can snap and cause cuts and burn.
- If the dog walker gets tangled in the cord (which is easy to do), bruises, broken bones and “road rash” can occur.
- A sudden jerk to the dog’s neck can cause spine injuries, lacerated tracheas and neck wounds to the dog.
- If you have not trained your dog to walk properly on a 2 metre lead, and are only using a retractable lead, you are teaching your dog to pull, making it harder to control your walks. Your dog learns to pull the lead as far as he can.
If you want to go on a leisurely walk with your dog, here are some tips:
1. When getting ready to go on a walk, call the dog to you; do not go to the dog to put his lead/collar on. If you're walking a puppy, make sure he gets familiar with the lead before you start using it to take him on a walk. Once the dog approaches you, have him sit quietly before putting on his lead or collar. Make sure you leave the door first and return through the door first. Remember, the Leader always leads!
2. Before you set off on your walk with your dog, you need to have him focus on you, not everything else around you. Simply hold the lead by the handle. There should be 2 metres of loose lead between you and your dog. Start walking. As soon as he gets to you and begins to pull, give a slight tug on the lead and direct him back to you by changing direction.
3. Along the walk, guide your dog to heel. Your dog should walk along side of you or in back of you. Don't let the dog decide when to heel because once again he would be establishing himself as the leader of the pack.
4. Walk with your shoulders high and your head back, establishing yourself as a confident leader.
5. Walk your dog daily or make sure he gets some type of exercise. An unexercised dog can become hyper and exhibit destructive behaviours (chewing, digging, etc.) from being bored. Remember that dogs are walkers/travellers by instinct.
6. Watch out for poisonous plants or animals and avoid anything that can be problematic for your dog.
7. Make sure your dog has the proper identification in case he runs away.
If you have ANY problems getting your dog to walk correctly on a lead, call your Bark Busters trainer for a lesson.