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A Walk in the Park

When asked about their experiences walking their dogs, many people will respond with words like “struggle,” “conflict,” or “battle.” These are some pretty harsh words for what should be a nice, relaxing stroll. The primary reason for the difficulty is that the two parties, the human and the dog, often have conflicting goals. The human may want to walk at a moderate pace, from point A to point B, while the dog almost always wants to get places faster and in a much more meandering way, points A through Z and not necessarily in that order. These opposing goals are what make leash walking a battle or struggle. The best way to resolve this is to consider modifying the goals and teach the dog/human team leash-walking skills. This can go a long way to tempering your dog’s ambitions to see everything, everywhere, all at once, (and I do not mean the movie!). Additionally, modifying the human’s goals helps as well. Allowing your dog to sniff and check things out on the walk is really the main reason why dogs love their walks so much; they want to get out and sniff the world around them. Making these two things a shared goal will go a long way to having better, more enjoyable walks. Just like a team taking a walk in the park together.

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