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The walk with your dog frustrated and unsettled you… He had his tail tucked in between his paws, the hairs on his neck erect, his ears down or his pupils dilated.
Worse, he drooled, growled, barked, trembled or urinated at the slightest noise. All of these inconveniences are the result of a lack of socialization or a bad experience in the first weeks of his life.
Here are some great tips to make walking your dog a pleasant one for everyone.
Fear of the dog while walking
We will use an example to help you understand how to desensitize a dog from his fears during his walks. You can apply this method for all the fears expressed by your dog.
Say when you walk past a playground, he panics. He barks, drools, growls and refuses to move forward. What must we do ?
- Determine what triggers his fear:
Is it because it is an unknown place? Is it the noise of children playing? Are these the kids he's never been around? To do this, walk past the playground at a time when the children are in the classrooms. Then at a time when the children are playing in the yard. And finally at a time when you can meet the children out of school.
While observingyour dog's attitude, you can determine what is triggering his fear.
- Confront your dog with his fear gradually.
If it turns out that your dog is afraid of children, walk your dog at the time the children are out of school always in the same place, on a regular schedule. Find a distance that keeps your pet calm when surrounded by children. Gradually reduce this comfort zone. When you feel your dog relaxed, you can try to cross a child (with all the usual precautions).
- Recondition your dog during his walks:
When your dog has progressed, it is good to reinforce this positive behavior. This is called reconditioning.
- When your dog walks by the playground (where the children play), make it a pleasant experience by encouraging and praising him. You need to be relaxed because your dog is feeling all your emotions.
- When you take your dog to a park where there are children, play with him.
- Organize walks with fellow creatures in places frequented by children. If his canine buddies appreciate children, it will help him enormously in his reconditioning.
- When you think your dog is ready, offer to offer a treat to a child (under close supervision).
Not to do :
- Pick up your dog or go around the obstacle to avoid the problem.
- Yelling at his dog and forcing him to face his fear.
- Stop taking it out.
In conclusion, to desensitize your dog from his fears during his walks, you must find the reason for his fear and gradually accustom him to this fear so that it becomes a natural part of his daily life. It's your turn !
Tips for dog walking
- At two months, your dog is vulnerable because he has not yet had his vaccine booster (which will be done at three months of age). You should prevent him from eating feces, licking urine from other dogs (risk of contagious hepatitis) and drinking in stagnant water (risk of leptospirosis).
- If you don't feel able to desensitize and recondition your dog, you can call on a behaviorist.
- In a safe and calm place, replace his leash with a long leash (between three and five meters) and start to let go to give your dog more freedom. As soon as he walks away, put your foot on the tether to catch up with him. And let him go again so he doesn't feel punished. If he comes back to you naturally, encourage him vigorously. This repeated exercise will prepare him for learning to recall.
To meditate : “When we don't know, we are afraid. " Eric Cantona