The art of the dog walk–and what an art it is! As anyone that has ever walked multiple dogs will tell you, it’s no easy feat, especially if you are hoping to not become the laughing stock of rush hour traffic (which is a rule I generally try to abide by).
Fortunately for me, I have pretty well behaved dogs with pretty good manners….most of the time. That is, unless our arch nemesis Mr. Squirrel crosses our path. But seriously, I really am fortunate that all three pups walk so well since I don’t have a yard to let them loose in.
Buddy does sometimes want to “lead the pack” and pulls a little too hard so I got him a gentle leader and I have to say, it was a great investment! No, I am not lazy and didn’t want to train my dog properly. I got Buddy when he was about a year or two old and no matter how much time I spend working with him (at this point it’s been about six years) I can’t break him of this habit. So, for the sake of my sanity I eventually gave in and bought the gentle leader.
Of course, people see it and think it’s a muzzle and immediately ask, “Does he bite?! Is he mean?!”. I explain to them that he is very friendly and what they think is a muzzle actually does nothing to keep his mouth shut but instead helps me to have a little more control over him. I mean, if I had a hold of you by your nose I could probably make you do what I wanted too.
I think I could write a 1,000 page novel on the crazy things people say to me while I’m walking them but I’ll save that for another day. Back to the point: walking dogs.
Of course Tag is my little angel dog and walks like a dream. Aside from the occasional pull Buddy usually walks pretty well too. Maggie, with all her new found confidence, is all over the place though. She likes to zip from side to side and sometimes over or under Buddy and Tag. It’s hard to get angry because she is so clearly enjoying herself (I swear Buddy and Tag look at me, roll their eyes, and seem to say, “this crazy kid…”). There are so many new exciting things for her to explore and the fact that she is no longer nervous is great but this is something that we need to address. I don’t want her acting like she’s never been on a leash when she meets her forever family.
I have a little trick that I do with Maggie. Since it’s hard to get her to focus with the other two dogs there every time she looks up at my I give her a little treat. I want to encourage her to “check in” with me often so that it keeps her more focused. I give her encouragement or gently correct her when she gets too excited. It seems to be working and I can tell that she really is concerned with making sure that I am happy with her. She gives me a little look like, “Hey mom, how am I doin?” It’s pretty darn sweet.
Do you have any tricks that make dog walking easier?