Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mastering the Walk

Have you seen Cesar Millan walk with several dogs?

Cesar says, "The dogs see me as their pack leader. This is why they follow me wherever I go."

Here are some pointers from Cesar Millan:

Position matters. Walking in front allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he’s the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your dog should be beside or behind you during the walk.

Use a short leash. This allows you to have more control. Attaching the leash to the very top of the neck can help you more easily communicate, guide, and correct your dog. Always keep your dog's safety in mind when giving corrections.

Set aside time. Dogs, like humans, are diurnal, so taking walks in the morning is ideal. I recommend setting aside thirty minutes to a full hour. The specific needs of each dog differ.

Define exploration time. After your dog has maintained the proper state of mind, reward him by allowing him to relieve himself and sniff around. Then you need to decide when reward time is over. It should always be less than the time spent focused on the walk.

Don't punch out. When you get home, don't stop leading. Have your dog wait patiently while you put away his leash or take off your shoes.

Share food and water. By providing a meal after the walk, you have allowed your dog to "work" for food and water.

So, are you the pack leader, too?

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