Dog Walking 101
Hey you, new pooch parent-yeah, you with the cute puppy
who can’t stop pulling! Want some tricks to keep Trixie on task? Or perhaps
you’re already an old pro but want to make your outdoor excursions more fun for
both you and your dog. Follow our insider tips and your pooch will be
eager to get going as soon as you pick up the leash!
It’s the Leash You Can Do
What’s the best type of leash? “Use whatever you feel most comfortable
holding,” recommends the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins,
- Flexi-leads are best reserved for walks in the park, when it’s safe for a
dog to explore a bit further away from her pet parent. They are NOT a good idea
if you’re walking in an area with high foot traffic or off-leash dogs, as the
long line may get wrapped around your dog, a person’s leg or another dog.
- Many people think chain leashes look nice, but they are much heavier than
nylon or leather, and they can be very hard on the hands. Even so, they
sometimes work well for dogs who like to tug or bite the leash. “Metal doesn’t
feel nearly as nice in a dog’s mouth,” explains Collins.
- Leather leashes are a good option because they are easiest on the
- Nylon leashes can cut into hands or give a pet parent “leash burn” if a dog
pulls a lot or unexpectedly lunges forward. But they come in many stylish
colors and designs, and they hold up well after repeated exposure to rain and
Pull Over, Rover!
Constant pulling on the leash makes walks stressful for both of you. “It’s a
common problem that can happen for a number of reasons,” says Collins.
- If your dog darts after local wildlife, it may help to walk him when
critters are less likely to be out and about; avoid dawn and dusk. You can also
check out our article Dogs Who Are Reactive on Leash.
- If the problem is simply pulling on leash due to natural canine enthusiasm
for all the exciting signs and sounds you encounter on walks, you’ll find
help in our article Teaching
Your Dog Not to Pull on Leash.
- Try using a head halter to walk a dog who’s excitable on leash. “They
provide power steering for dog parents!” says Collins. “The Gentle
Leader® by Premier® Pet Products is my personal
Stay Off the Grass (and Out of the Flower Beds!)
Our experts at the ASPCA Poison Control Center want you to keep your walks
- During the warmer months, it’s important to keep your pet safe from toxic
lawn and garden products. Insecticides and certain types of mulch can cause
problems for our furry friends-during neighborhood strolls, please be sure to
keep your pooch off the lawns of others.
- Even though popular spring bulb plants like tulips and daffodils add much
to our landscape, they can cause significant stomach problems for our furry
friends. If your pooch likes to stop and smell-or nibble-the flowers, please
keep him on a short leash during your walks.