Thursday, July 21, 2011

Out and About with Your Dog

Your furry Side Kick can be a fun date and there are so many things you can do around Springfield with your dog.  Socializing with your pooch shouldn't be an exhausting tug of war on the leash.  Working specific exercises into your daily routine can make those outings enjoyable.

It all starts at the beginning.  If your dog can't be calm for being leashed up then the rest of the walk will go down the tubes.  Focus on calm, leashing, exiting the crate, and the car.  If your dog bounces to the ceiling when he hears the jingle of the leash snap you need to "decouple the trigger" by picking up the leash and sitting down to watch television.  Pick up the leash and go sit to read a magazine.  You want the dog to figure out that the jingle of the snap doesn't predict an exciting walk.  When you are ready to leash your dog, don't snap on the leash until he is calm and patient.  Just wait-your dog will eventually settle-and when he does snap on the leash.  As you move towards leaving the house stop any progression if he gets too excited.  Wait until he calms then progress. Follow the same procedure when exiting the car.  Don't let your dog out of the car until he can exit calmly.  Only progress on the walk when the dog is calm.

The proper equipment for socializing is a 6 foot leash, regular collar, harness or head collar.  Flexi leads or retractable leads are great when you are alone with your dog in an open area but they can be dangerous in close quarters or at festivals.  The risk of dogs getting tangled, human legs getting rope burned, or your dog zooming away from you are the reasons why a plain 6 foot leash is recommended.

You can check the Springfield Side Kick Calendar  for dog friendly events.  This Saturday July 23 at 11:00 and 1:00 in Phelps grove park the Humane Society is having a Doga in the Park Fundraiser. Bond with your Side Kick and do Yoga with your Dog!

Check back for more tips on getting out with your dog.  After you leave the house or car you are going to expect polite leash behavior.  Catch us on KOLR 10 at 6:40 and KSFX at 7:10 to see a demonstration of how to stop the perpetual pulling!  

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