Has walking your dog become stressful?
Do you dread it?
Does your dog find a walk scary or too ‘exciting’?
Do you have trouble ‘controlling’ your dog in public?
Fear not, I have some advice that may be able to help you start to enjoy your walks again. If your dog has become too anxious/aggressive/fearful or boisterous towards dogs or people when out and about, you can alleviate the stress of walking in public areas by hiring private walking fields.
You can find your nearest one here: http://www.dogwalkingfields.co.uk
These are fields that you hire, that are secure and private.
You could also ask your friends if they have a garden, if they mind you using it for 30-60 mins? There is so much you can do in any size environment to tire your dog out safely and create calmness.
I would also seek advice from your local force free dog trainer or qualified behaviourist. (Please check qualifications before hiring anyone to help with your dog) If it is the dogs running loose that they can’t cope with, there are lovely ‘on lead only’ walking areas around. Even road walking, you can find some lovely areas for your dog to explore.You are NOT alone, there are many help groups around for people who find it a struggle to walk their dog due to behavioural issues…
Facebook: Reactive Dogs (UK)
Helpful books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midnight-Dog-Walkers-Practical-Aggressive/dp/1621871169/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496850464&sr=8-1&keywords=midnight+dog+walkers
Other helpful links and information:
Yellow dog: http://www.yellowdoguk.co.uk
Training: Please, please PLEASE do NOT use any fear, intimidation, aversive, pain, physical punishment or bully tactics when training your dog!
Not only are some of these tactics actually against the law in the UK! but also quite detrimental to your dog’s wellbeing, making most dogs more aggressive.
When seeking professional help please check credentials, education, qualification and training methods.
Ask questions, and if something doesn’t feel right then don’t do it.
Questions to ask your trainer/behaviourist:
- What happens if my dog gets it wrong?
- What happens if my dog gets it right?
- What equipment do you use?
- What equipment should I be using?
- Which professional dog training associations are you a member of?
- How do you address a dog that is growling or snapping?
- Roughly, how many dog training/behaviour courses do you attend each year
Ask yourself these questions…
- What is my dog learning?
- How is my dog feeling?
Don’t have these problems?
If your dog is friendly and a joy to walk in public, please be mindful and responsible by recalling them away from dogs that are on lead, also please adhere to park rules regarding having dogs on lead.
Sometimes these areas are the only safe haven for some dogs, you have a lot more options of places to walk your dog so if you HAVE to walk them in an ‘on lead only’ area, please pop them on a lead.
Good Luck x
Written by Emma Goulding-Bosworth
Emma’s Animals - Behaviour, Training & Care