Love Your Dog Column: Keep calm and have walkies!

Dog trainer and behaviourist Lynne Marshall with Goldendoodle Teddy  and Labradoodle Bonnie EMN-150515-091542001
Dog trainer and behaviourist Lynne Marshall with Goldendoodle Teddy and Labradoodle Bonnie EMN-150515-091542001
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Does your dog get super excited when you mention the word ‘walkies’?

For us it can be nice to see our dogs excited about going out for a walk but you might be causing a problem for yourself without even realising it.

When your dog gets too excited their adrenaline level builds up and if your dog does any of the following then you may want to think again:

l You can’t attach the lead as your dog won’t sit still or your dog is jumping up at you.

l Your dog rushes out the door and you are at risk of being knocked over.

l Your dog pulls on the lead once you are outside.

l Your dog reacts by barking at other dogs, cats, cars.

l You generally don’t feel in control once you are outside with your dog.

You can really make a difference to your dog’s behaviour outside by making a few simple changes before you go out.

The key is to work on keeping your dog calm at all stages.

One very simple but effective game I teach is to have your dog sit as soon as the lead appears.

Start by holding the lead behind your back, call your dog and produce the lead.

Ask your dog to sit and then give a treat. Repeat a couple of times until your dog automatically sits when you produce the lead.

It may sound obvious but you don’t need to tell your dog you are going for a walk. They recognise your pattern of behaviour such as putting on your coat, boots etc.

To prevent super excitement when this happens go through your routine a couple of times a day so that it becomes a normal part of life for your dog.

Ask your dog to sit quietly at the front door before you go out and again outside your door so you can calmly walk through and lock up without difficulty.

This may take practice but you can do it.

Then you are ready for the walk with both you and your dog in a much calmer state of mind.

Happy walking this month!