Introduction: Tips on Walking Dogs That Really Work!

Picture of Tips on Walking Dogs That Really Work!

I have collected some useful information on walking dogs both by TV and personal experience here of some tips. Tips that you will really use from both the "Dog Whisperer" TV show, and myself. feel free to ask questions about your dog or dogs in general.

Step 1: Leashes

Picture of Leashes

I use a plain leather leash when I walk my dog.
people may prompt you to use a "choker" collar. I from experience know that this does not always work on larger dogs and although I have no personal experience using a "pincher" collar you can see by just looking at it that it beside looking like a torture device it looks like even when a dog is behaving well it is still uncomforatabe on their neck.
I use a leather collar because its soft and it looks nice but when my dog was a puppy I found she was much more relaxed and better behaved with a harness.(the harness also gives you more control on big dogs and will not hurt smaller dogs necks.)

also.. before evan ever think about putting you dog in a pound or putting your dog down i hope that you will try anything and anything to help the dog. if you have to use a "choker" or "pincher" coller then do it

How to use a choker
1 position the choker high on the dogs neck
2 to correct dog give a short sharp tug and say no or shh!

"improper use may have no affect on your dog and may lead to usless tugging"

(please leave your opinions in order to make a better instructable on walking dogs)

Step 2: When Your Dog Is Distracted by Cars or People!

Picture of When Your Dog Is Distracted by Cars or People!

When a dog is distracted pretend that the dog is not there and walk forward in a pack leader motion. another problem can be a dog that is frequently stopping to "investigate"."I saw this on "the dog whisperer".You can see a special harness in the picture below .this will make the dog feel important and like it has a purpose to keep moving forward you don't have a special harness. take a regular harness or other dog apparel and tie something small to each side

rondom note: when thinking of buying a dog please make a lonley dog happy and go to the pound
"also when thinking of buying a dog remember how active you are and how long you can walk your dog each day"

big dog = walk more -and- a walked dog = a happy dog

Ceaser says that you should walk a mediam sized dog 40! minuites a day.

happy walking.

Step 3: Dog Parks!

Picture of Dog Parks!

if you have a problem with a hyper active dog or puppy or if your dog is cooped up in the house all day then I suggest the dog park. I myself just started taking my dog to the dog park and now she is more mellow when she comes back. but there are some important rules to follow in the dog park

1. when you enter the park automatically take your dog of the leash not doing so can change the mentality of the pack and even start a fight.

2. clean up after your dog

3.supervise your dog at all times

4. if your dog is getting picked on this is normal ,but it is up to you to draw the line between playing and fighting.

5. have fun with your dog but don't run unless you want to get bit.

6. bring a towel! dogs get dirty and unless you want a muddy car bring a towel!

7. There are usually different parks for big and small dogs make sure that you are in the right one.



peeter.suns (author)2015-03-21

I Hope Dog Tips You Will Benefit From Knowing! Are you a current dog owner or did you have one in the past? If the answer is yes, you should know

peeter.suns (author)2015-03-21

I Hope Dog Tips You Will Benefit From Knowing! Are you a current dog owner or did you have one in the past? If the answer is yes, you should know

peeter.suns (author)2015-03-21

I Hope Dog Tips You Will Benefit From Knowing! Are you a current dog owner or did you have one in the past? If the answer is yes, you should know

aartcritique (author)2015-02-07

As modchidance stated, the best way to keep a dog from pulling is to stop every time he/she pulls. As someone who has tried both the traditional 'hard' method and the newer 'soft' method (brought to fame by Victoria Stilwell), I can honestly say that the soft method of training works best and does not break the bond between you and your dog (in fact, it only enhances it). While I was using the choking technique on Jake, he pretty much avoided me when off leash, but now that I'm using a kinder approach, I'm usually the first person he greets when I visit him!
Unlike what most people think, most dogs don't have dominance issues, we have ignorance issues. Things like jerking on a leash when a dog misbehaves, pushing the dog around to make him sit, lie down, etc. and kneeing the dog when he jumps up are things that, in the dog world, are only done by unsocialized bullies. Things like this shatter the bond between dog and man and force him to obey out of fear, and not out of love like he should. Instead of pushing his rump down to make him sit, simply hold up a treat. Any dog will eventually sit, in fact, most will sit within seconds of seeing the treat. Instead of kneeing a dog that jumps, turn your back to him and cross your arms. This will make you boring and the dog will probably calm down or walk away to find something more interesting, either way, he will stop jumping.
Dogs are well aware that we are not dogs, therefore they do not usually attempt to dominate us. If a dog does display dominance aggression, the dog is unsocialized. The best way to help a dog with this problem is to arrange meetings with other dogs and other people. Walk the dogs past each other and reward them when they calm down. Once again, if the dog misbehaves, simply stop until he loosens the leash himself.
Another big no-no is dog parks. If you want your dog to get sick or get in a fight, go ahead and bring him. Keep in mind that there are still diseases that have no vaccination, and vaccinations don't always work.
I'm not saying that there aren't bad dogs, but I am saying that most of what we find unacceptable for our pets to do, dogs find perfectly normal. When you think about it, carpet is very similar to grass, and puppies don't distinguish any difference until it is pointed out. If your best friend was two feet taller than you, wouldn't you jump to try to get closer to him? If your natural pace of walking was faster than that of the one holding your hand, wouldn't you tug a little? Before you write any more about the wonders of prong and choke collars, at least consider that I was once a hard-or-nothing trainer, but now I've changed and I can-and will-say that soft is the way to go with both honesty and experience.

If you would like to learn more about soft training, read Victoria Stilwell's 'Train Your Dog Positively' or watch her TV series: 'It's Me Or The Dog'.

KarininaP (author)2014-10-07

I need all the help I can get. I have a 1 year-old male corgy. I got him when he was 5 months, tried to walk him but I gave up walking him because after he turned 8 months he's pulls really strongly for me to walk him, making the whole walking-the-dog activity such a bad experience for me. These past 3 weeks I have been trying again. The parts that I think I've done right: I call him before walking to put the leash on>I go out the door before him>I make sure he sits to calm down before going for the walk>I have a new mindset everyday to think that it will be a good walk>I breathe and in the being of a pack leader.

Problem: He still walks ahead of me and pulls the leash :/ He also seems to be distracted with sooo many things (cars, critters, cats, my neighbours helpers) and barks at it. I try to pay attention to his ears, and distract him with a gently pat to him with my foot, but once he's fixated with something, no way of distracting him off it. The stubbornness of a corgy...

Additional info: I walk him mainly at night because I have to cook and do chores after I get home from work. Every 2 days, he gets to play with his ball (he's REALLY attached to it it's ridiculous. He cries if I make him wait to get his ball).

Any advice?

modchidance (author)2009-01-09

The best advice for dogs who pull on walks....STOP walking. This techniques can take a while for the dog to understand, but it works wonders.

I had a poodle who pulled ALL the time. I just left extra early for our usual walk and as soon as he pulled I gave his wrong signal "ah-ah" and stopped walking. He turned his head to look at me in a "what are you doing?" sort of way which released the tension on leash I gave a "yes!" and started walking. It took a while for him to understand what was going on, but he was a hundred times better after that one walk. I like this technique because the dog connects his action (pulling on the leash) to the reward (walking) stoping.

An AMAZING product for dogs who pull, dogs who hate head halters, large dogs, or even dogs with neck issues, is the front clasp harness because THE DOG CAN'T PULL. I use the Premier Easy Walk Harness and my puppy and I love it! It makes my puppy less anxious, more ready to listen to me, and gives me control in situations where I need it.

ancyans (author)modchidance2014-02-17

im training my puppy to it!! thanks

saosport (author)modchidance2013-03-05

I agree this is a very nice harness but I would attach a short leash from the harness to there collar or have a split leash attached to both. My dog was able to get out of the harness twice. He is very good at getting out of collars and harness if he does not want to go somewhere like the vet of groomer. He is a weim and very smart when he wants to be. At least with the leash attached to both it give me about 2 seconds to grab him after he gets out of the harness. It only takes about1.5 seconds for him to get out of the harness so a just under 4 seconds to try and get a hold of him. Thank goodness he only trys to get away at those two places.

ffgrif (author)modchidance2010-08-24

I have used a similar technique with my German Shepherd. He would pull constantly, but when I suddenly just turned around he realized real quick he was going the "wrong way"! I got the same puzzled look you did! "Whaddya doin?!" When he started pulling again, we immediately reversed again. It didn't take him long to realize he was not in charge of our walk and if he didn't want to be going the wrong direction, he better walk beside me! Our walks are much nicer now...

saosport (author)ffgrif2013-03-05

I can say this works very well. It was the only way I could get my weim to walk nicer. I still have to do it every noe and then but it is better than before.

Miss415 (author)2013-07-17

All of you who use prong collars- PUT IT ON YOUR NECK! GIVE A TUG & SEE HOW IT FEELS! If it hurts you or feels uncomfortable, so does your dog! Most dogs do not need to be hurt in order to learn desired behavior. You should never use training methods that involve physical pain.

ancyans (author)Miss4152014-02-17

prong collars are bad :( I dont want to use it on my dog... i dont know if people use it on their pet

fuzzyshoes22 (author)2013-10-11

I'm actually looking to go into a career in dog training, and would like to offer my opinion about a few things I have found out through research and expirence:
1) as many people have said, prong collars are not bad IF you use them properly, you should only have to give a small (1-2 inch) correction for the collar to be effective(most cases even gentle pulling works), there are also rubber pieces you can put over the metal if you are concerned about comfort, I personally prefer them to chokers because with a "choke chain" you have to give a harder correction to get the same result, also (and most importantly to me) a prong collar more evenly distributes pressure than a choker becuase of its design, a choke chain is designed to get tight, but only at one point
2) if you have a very energetic dog, who pulls a lot on walks, consider getting him/her a dog saddle bag, and put weight in it, be well aware of your dogs body language during your walk, my friend is fostering a dog that literally broke her ankle because he pulled so much, I had him for a month and, using this, could walk him lose leash
3) each dog is different, a 40 lb rottweiler will not need to be walked as much as a 40 lb border collie, base your dogs exercise off the breed more than the weight, you know your dog best, but chances are, if they are pacing a lot, digging, or being destructive, they need to be walked more, dogs who view the person walking them as the "pack leader" will not pull
4) Dog parks are not a good idea, your dog is constantly finding his/her rank among the other dogs, although they are not wolves, they are still pack animals (humans are part of the pack, which is why you normally have one person per household that the dog listens to the best), most people throw their dog in the car and go to the park, they need to be walked PRIOR to going to the park, you also expose your dog to others who may not be trained as well, there have been times (when I used to go to parks) a very dominant dog would come in and knew it would get ugly so I left, one husky in particular, started causing problems by the time we got to the gate
overall- a proper pack structure will solve most of your problems, btw, be sure to teach your dog to "smell" I take mine for walks and he is amazing (we could walk without a leash) and I give him about 2-3 "smell" breaks per 5 mile walk, this way he isn't speeding up or slowing down to check everythng out, he is not allowed to eliminate outside of his yard (anyone else enjoy carrying poo bags?) dogs explore and learn through their nose, so it is unfair of us to expect them not to smell, although the pack leader tells them where they can eliminate
I hope this helps someone, it has helped me a LOT over the years and not only made my relationship with my dogs better, but also my relationship with everyone who shares a house with them better

vcote (author)2011-09-02

Ok dog whisperer I have a leash problem to solve:

I have a mini greyhound and a boston terrier. Both are bad on the leash, but the Boston would easily learn better manners if it wasn't for the bad example of her sister.

The greyhound appears to think she is a slay dog. She doesn't pull, she runs. She will run even if you stand still. She'll just paddle on one stop. She is really now a hyper dog, she really lazy actually. But when on the leash she seems to think that running is the thing to do.

The harness just helps her have more traction. We also bought an easy walker harness that squeezes a little and is attached in from instead of the back. These things are really not meant for greyhounds. Their torso shape has very different proportions. Bottom line is, it doesn't fit well, and she doesn't care about it, although it ends up giving her a rash on the chest.

Since mini greyhounds have an even pointier face than full size, forget about fitting a head harness on her, it would slide right out. They're very aerodynamic... Actually, she is so flexible and arrow shaped that if she wanted she could get out of most commercial walking gear.

I have never seen a pincher collar for a 5 inch neck. (about a big chihuahua size) and remember that her chest shoulders neck and head form an almost perfect cone; al she would have to do to get out of a choker is back up, even if it was tightened around her neck (well unless I was strangling her).

We do take her to the dog park, but it's a car ride away and not very practical if we want to give her all the exercise she needs. We have a big yard that would be quite enough for her to exercise, if she was willing to run on her own. But she's not, and she gets annoyed and stops running when we or her sister try to chase her cause we are way to slow and lack the stamina.

Now I love her. She's not going anywhere. She is not a problem either, she doesn't act out or get hyper indoors. but she has about 2.5 lbs extra, on a 16lbs dog, it's a lot.

Any ideas?

jinxie2300 (author)vcote2011-09-07

Never never never use chokes or prongs on a greyhound, their necks are way too fragile. To really get her going in the yard, attach a pulley to the bottom of your fence, then run a rope or clothes line to another pulley on the other side, so that it crosses the longest part of the yard. Now at a big crank to one side, and a flashy bit of plastic or such (like a shopping bag). Now, set her beside you and CRANK that thing... she is a sight hound, it will be absolutely impossible for her to resist, if she is anything like any one I've ever known. If you use a big enough pulley, the flash will go right through it and back across the yard the other way.

vcote (author)jinxie23002011-09-09

Yeah, I am not very likely to ever try prongs on my baby and she already proves every day that she can get choked all we want, she doesn't care. She does it to herself with a normal collar now. We had to buy a wide one to distribute the pressure a little.

My husband tried the roped toy in the house with her favorite toy and a string; she wasn't fooled. Her sister was though. Maybe outside would make the game more interesting. I need to try with something really fluffy, that's what she likes.

You see, she is a puppy mill rescue. She spent the first 2 years or so of her life in a cage so her nature is not really to be excited. I very rarely see her run full speed, we have to really reel her in before she does. For example, we had a wild baby bunny eating our garden this summer. She would just look at it. She never had the idea of chasing it until her sister (whose sight is not very that great for things afar) noticed it and started watching for it and chasing it in its burrow. Then again, she was chasing her sister more than the bunny. (Can I tell you that not one time the bunny was even close to getting caught? I would never have left it happen, but it was so easy breezy for him that he would just come back out 10 seconds after being chased in. Not so good crops this year ;) )

Any idea on how to teach her to fetch? She sometimes chases the toy, but rarely brings it back. That could work. Or do you know if she is big enough to ride beside a bike like I see people with big dogs do? I saw someone with a pug doing it once, but it looked like torture to me...

jinxie2300 (author)vcote2011-09-09

She is a sight hound, they are made to run regardless of size. I would NOT run her on a leash and collar, only with a harness, or free (but ONLY if she has great recall, if she sees something she wants to chase, you may be in for a longer ride than you expects, otherwise... and of course there is always car risk near roads). Unfortunately sight hounds are not great at retrieving, they are all about the chase... maybe a fluffy something on a rope/cord and a catapult of some kind? The you can shoot it off, she can chase it, then you can haul it in when she leaves it there? LOL This IS the right place to look for such things!

Maybe someone in the neighborhood has a pup with enough speed to play with her? I'm sure they would love play dates to get both dogs running.

vcote (author)vcote2011-09-02

I made typo and wrote a novel. I meant: she is really NOT hyper. See her here looking at the guinea pigs. She loves them. She use to be at a right weight back then.

lobo_pal (author)2009-02-15

We used to have my lab/collie mix get the keys when we went in the car, but after we lost one pair we couldn't risk him with them. Now he doesn't even want to go half the time because he doesn't have a job. He gets the paper and mail though, and loves to feel important.

vcote (author)lobo_pal2011-09-02

Maybe you need to make him his own key set? You can ask the hardware store to collect their misshaped keys for you. Or you can just buy a bunch of blank keys big and small, they're cheap.

I know my dog would be bright enough to notice that they're not the right keys if I didn't hide the real car keys from him though... :)

skimboarder33 (author)lobo_pal2009-02-22

nice, did you try the harness with the pokets on the side, place somthing small in the pockets and he will feel/and be usefull.

lobo_pal (author)skimboarder332009-02-23

No, unfortunately we don't have any, but i may just make one. The problem is that we don't really have anything for him to carry. I can always just put in water or something though.

pooper123 (author)2011-08-18

U r ttotally wong choker collars don't hurt them iit just makes them behave better and also harneses r better for small dogs bc they keep the neck from caving in when it becomes older

skimboarder33 (author)pooper1232011-08-27

Hey pooper123 -

Thanks for the comment, I now understand the purpose/benefits of the "prong" collar... which i assume you meant to say as opposed to the "choker", which I have previously agreed as to the benefits of. I did write this instuctable quite a bit ago and have since seen the practicalities of the "prong" collar. however, the second half of your comment makes less sense to me... as i did say "(the harness also gives you more control on big dogs and will not hurt smaller dogs necks.)"

- In any case, I appreciate you comment

lady4feet (author)2011-03-14

Good basic guide. Also good to remind people that not every type of collar/harness/doo-hickey will work for every type of dog. I have 4 dogs and each of them use a different device. My small dog is fine with a regular collar, my st. bernard uses a regular harness but I attatch the leash to the front of it (instead of to the D-ring on his back), my french mastiff uses a choke collar, my doberman uses a halti (head harness). Use what works best for you and your dog. And above all owners need patience!! You and your dog may not have a "perfect" walk for awhile, it's ok just keep trying.

Also a warning to anyone who uses a head harness, most people are going to think it's a muzzle and ask if your dog is mean or will bite them. Even my vet think's it's a muzzle half the time.

CrafterCassie (author)2008-07-22

I don't want to be rude, but you can't always tell by looking. Pinch collars, also known as Prong collars, are some of the best collars you can use. It gives you complete control of the dog, but it doesn't make them uncomfortable. The reason why its so unpopular is because they look like medieval torture instruments of DOOM. These are good for extreme pullers, because correcting the dog with a tug doesn't work on some dogs. It depends on the weight of the owner compared to the dog. I have to admit though, this is a very good guide.

anibioman (author)CrafterCassie2011-02-17

very true iv'e been using those collars for years they look evil but the dogs dont mind it. it doesn't hurt them and my dogs listen better when i use them.

HSBP (author)CrafterCassie2010-08-08

Absolutely right - prong collars are very effective, and they are not a "torture device." In fact, due to the martingale stye of the prong collar, it can't lock up like a choke collar, and it requires much lighter inputs. If it fits the dog properly it isn't uncomfortable, and it gives small owners great control over bigger dogs.

lobo_pal (author)CrafterCassie2009-02-15

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trike road poet (author)2010-02-08

One trick I use is to have the local shoe shop stitch an extra 'D' ring to the side of the dog's harness towards where I am walking beside the dog.  When the dog starts pulling, they are forced around in front of me, and I grab the leash with my free hand and pull the slack out, bringing the dog to me for a soft but firm reprimand.  I saw this trick used on one of those child harnesses, and saw the way when a kid took off in some odd direction, their path was bent into a curve and the parent had them in complete control.  This works for dog of normal size, (Not the draft horses passed off as dogs, there I too vote for the pinch collar to stop the pull and ease the task of training the dog.)

Yerboogieman (author)2009-12-14

What the choker collar does is show the dog you are the boss and walking the dog, not the dog walking you. They tend to work pretty well.

Singindierain (author)2009-05-22

Where did you find this harness at? I've looked everywhere online and so far the cheapest one I've found is $70.

Chewie42 (author)Singindierain2009-10-08

 a walking harness like that can be found at any petsmart or big bet store for under 20$ unless you have a relly big dog. they dont have one to fit my newfoundland.

If you are looking for a draft or pulling harness it will run you about 60-70$

ilovedobermans (author)2008-06-08

I think head halters are the very best especially for the strong dogs, the "pullers", y'know, the ones that feel like they can pull your arm right out of its socket!
Its AMAZING, no kidding!


I agree. My dog is 97 lbs of muscle--when she sees a squirrel, I am glad that she has her halter on. She really hates it, though, and tries to rub her face on everything. I've used it on her for 2 of her 2.3 years. Useful instructable. BTW, she is American Bulldog/Bullmastiff mix. We live in a 1br apt, she is less active than any of my neighbor's small dogs. Having a larger dog doesn't always mean more walking. I think that JR terriers need more than any dog.

lobo_pal (author)nerdologist2009-02-15

My sister has the same build of dog, pit/boxer mix, sweetest dog, but when she wants to go somewhere, you better hope that she has a choker. Trying to walk her with a regular leash is less then effective.

head halters look worse than they are and some people neglect to use them on there strong dogs the chain on the side prevents the dog from pulling because it will turn there neck making it hard for them to pull an the halter and on you at the same time. of course you should test how your dog reacts to the head halter before taking your dog on walks with it and you should determine if you even really need it I feel that this is for strong puller than for spastic ones for spastic dogs I would first recommend a harness. thank and feel free to post again "i may soon be posting a toy instructable"

imnothng (author)2008-10-05

I just wanted to add. When you correct (ie. tug on the leash) you should do it sideways and not pull back.

Sunny124613 (author)2008-09-01

very cool now i can walk my dog in peace

dumdedum7 (author)2008-08-26

you really did have 1000 veiws, good job....

scoutlady (author)2008-07-06

We live in the country and I walk my daughter's dog using a horse lunge line tied around my waist. She has more freedom to explore, yet I can gather up the line when needed (bikes, other people, cars etc.) It does not pull on my arms, and she can't get loose.

skimboarder33 (author)scoutlady2008-07-08

perfect as long as the dog isnt too strong cacthes you of gaurd and sprains you back great for the country though!

"catches"& "your" srry

ilovedobermans (author)2008-06-08

The HSUS has wonderful information, and I really really like this one!HSUS

Sorry; its about head halters. This was the only way for awhile I could walk Mahana, my beautiful, willful K9 child!

rocky946 (author)2008-05-19

I personally use harnesses for all my 3 dogs, I had been thinking about a choker chain for my youngest (chow puppy) but thanks to your article, I am going to try your methods first

skimboarder33 (author)rocky9462008-05-20

chow dogs are really cool and there toungs are a nice colour. I was reading about them and they can be wary of strangers but if your chow isn't aggressive that shouldent be a problem. I still feel that dogs are more comfortable on harnesses. have you ever brought your dog to the dog park. I just started bringing mine and she behaves a lot better. I am going to right a new section on dog parks. i appreciate your comment.on there is some ussfull information on chows.

Sedgewick17 (author)2008-04-03

If you do use a choke collar on a dog you must place the slip ring at the back of the dogs neck ,and keep the collar loose so that when you need to correct the dogs behavior a quick pull can be given ,which will deliver a blow to the back of the neck. It is also very important to say NO to the dog when you pull so that it will not think you are hurting it for no reason. This worked well for a aggressive dog my parents have, which other wise would have been put down.

You see... I have done it the way you have mentioned and it works but the collar can easily slip down their neck and unless you feel like stopping every other minute to re adjust it. Your story is an exception and very important the only reason that I didn't mention the way to use it was because improper use can hurt the dog will edit the section. thank for your comment

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