All dogs need regular walks to keep them healthy. Dog walking is a rewarding activity for both you and your dog so it’s good to know how to handle pulling on a lead and what to do if you come across dog to dog aggression while out walking.
The most common question about dog walking is what length of time should a dog be walked for?
How long should you walk a dog?
Sorry but there’s no official one-size-fits-all guidance on how long and how often to walk your dog!
Some exercise which is just right for one dog is too much for another, so it is up to you to find out what is best for your dog and fit it into your daily life.
Different breeds and sizes need differing amount of exercise, so ask your vet for advice on what’s suitable for your particular dog.
Walking is more difficult for dogs with weight problems but they need to exercise to help lose the extra pounds so you need to strike the right balance. There’s no right or wrong amount of time, maybe try two walks, one in the morning and another in the evening.
Our research shows:
- “The average length of daily exercise is just over half an hour.
- Worryingly, 3% of dogs are getting no exercise at all.
- 72% of respondents in our study either have a garden for their dog to play in or take their dog to an open space every day.”
Reference: Healthy Happy Hound Report
Dog pulling on the lead
Walking a dog is no fun at all if they are dragging you along in their wake, pulling on their lead.
You need to train your dog to walk to heel.
- Walk your dog with an extended lead or line fixed to his collar. Hold it like a normal lead the rest will be on the floor.
- As you walk with the dog let go of the line nearest the dog and run to the right, loosening the grip, making sure are holding the handle of the lead and call your dog positively ‘this way!’ and your dog will hopefully follow, you may need to do a very, gentle pull.
- Then do it to the left. Repeat a few times. You’ll find your dog begins to heel naturally and the long lead is dragging on the ground.
- Over time, make your movements as varied as possible by changing your direction and speed, always positively calling your dog and making it fun. You may want to reward your dog for being obedient.
The long lead is ideal for meeting other dogs.
If you want to let your dog off the lead when you are out walking they’ll need to know the basic commands of “Come” and “ Stay”
As you go on your regular walks you will probably come across other dog walkers and their dogs. It often provides a good opportunity for your dog to meet other dogs and learn how to socialise.
There may be occasions though when your dog or the other dog gets aggressive. Dogs sometimes take a random dislike to others.
If you are worried your dog may react badly don’t pull them back sharply on the lead but just keep walking, steer your dog with the lead to the side so that the other dog is out of their eye line and carry on walking quickly past.