The sight is all too familiar: a bedraggled dog owner trying all his might to restrain his overzealous pooch. You don’t even know which one’s leading the walk anymore – is it the owner or the dog? Needless to say, this activity can be a literal drag if not handled properly.


Fortunately, there are tips you can do to make your afternoon walks an enjoyable one for both you and your dog. Read on to find out!


Attach the leash only when he’s calm


Make sure your dog is calm before attaching his leash. You have to make an impression on your dog that walks are rewards in themselves.


Walk in front of the dog.


You have to establish that you are the pack leader so that your dog will follow your commands. One of the ways you can do this is by making sure that you always walk ahead of your dog. Do not allow him take the lead as this will mean that he is superior to you. If he tries to get ahead, stop, tug his leash, or walk in the opposite direction.


Use a short leash


Having a short leash gives you control over your dog’s pace. Head halters and chest-clip harnesses are also effective accessories in training your dog for walks. These items provide the right pressure in places that would naturally make your dog walk slower.


Train your dog to sit when you arrive at a corner or intersection


You must always be consistent in getting your dog to sit every time you arrive at a corner. Reward him with dog treats the first few times then dish it out in a random manner once he starts to get it.


Pay attention to your surroundings


If you notice that your dog is becoming overexcited or afraid because of another person or dog, distract him or call his attention and lead him away to the other side. One of the best ways to keep him focused on you or keep him occupied is to teach him some basic tricks like sit, down, stay, and high five. Make sure you mix and match commands so that your dog will not be able to predict your next trick.


Manage rewards properly


Remember that food is not the only form of reward for your dogs. Attention, play, and interesting things to look and smell are also forms of rewards. Give them only when they exhibit good behavior during the walk. For example, if he hasn’t been pulling at the leash for quite some time, allow him a few minutes to smell and sniff around. Keep in mind that you should be the one to decide when reward time is over. The time spent for walking should be longer than the time spent for indulging your dog.


Never stop leading even if the walk is over


Being a “pack leader” does not end after the walk. Show your dog who’s the boss by being the first to enter the house and having him wait patiently before you take off the leash. This way, it will be easier for your dog to follow whatever command you give him, even those not related to the walk.