Unfortunately, too many pet owners focus on affection and neglect the exercise and
“There is a cultural belief that you must give affection to a dog for him to trust and
respect,” he says. “What creates trust and respect is exercise and discipline. You
can intensify that by sharing affection. But a pack leader never hugs and kisses a
dog and tells him that he loves him. That’s something dogs only experience living
“Don’t begin with affection,” Milan advises. “You need exercise, then discipline.
Affection comes third. If you do things backwards, you’ll get backwards results.
What Dogs Want
"By giving him affection first, you set him up for instability, As humans, we like to
pamper pretty much anything, but having a dog isn’t just about fulfilling your fantasy;
you also have to fulfill his identity, which is a dog. In his natural habitat, a dog’s
parents wouldn’t pamper him. If they gave him affection, it would be to encourage
him to do activities.”
But an animal can’t speak up and tell you what’s wrong. He can’t explain that his life
isn’t challenging or full because he lacks regular romps in the park and clear
guidelines on what behavior is and isn’t expected, Milan explains. Dogs can only
show you their frustration through their behavior. When people love their dogs and
assume they’re doing everything right because they’re showering them with
affection, they’re baffled when the pets get anxious, aggressive or ignore their
* Exercise means walking a dog a minimum of once a day and in the correct
* Discipline means giving the dog rules, boundaries and limitations in a non-
* Affection means a reward given to our dogs, but only after they've achieved
calm-submission in our "pack."
A balanced dog is in the state that Mother Nature wants it to be in. This means a
calm, submissive pack-follower that is fulfilled physically with exercise;
psychologically with rules, boundaries, and limitations; and emotionally with
affection from its owner.
Many people don't take their dogs on as
many walks as they should because they
have issues keeping their dog under
control. Whether it's pulling, lunging, or
other problem behaviors, there's hope!
Here is a few dog walking tips & pointers.
The walk is an extremely important ritual
for a dog. It needs to take place a
minimum of once a day, for at least 30 -
45 minutes, so that both the dog's mind
and body are given a workout. It's also
crucial to act as the dog's leader during a
walk. That means the dog walks either
next to or behind its owner- not pulling
ahead. If a dog is walking its owner the
dog perceives itself as pack leader & the
owner is not in control.
If a dog doesn't trust its owner to be a strong, stable pack leader, it becomes
unclear on its correct role within the pack. A dog that is confused about who is in
control, tries to fill in the missing leadership elements, often erratically. This can
cause aggression, anxiety, fear, obsessions, bad behaviors or phobias.
MASTERING THE WALK
1. Position matters - be aware of your energy and body language. Make sure you
are communicating a message that says, 'I am the pack leader! ' Keep your head up
and your shoulders back. Think positive, and envision the walk going well. You
might be surprised at the results. You should be the first one out the door & the
first one in. Your dog should be beside or behind you during walk.
2. Keep the leash short – but not tight. This simple tip can save you a lot of
headache. Flexi-leashes and other longer leashes make it harder for you to
communicate with your dog and easier for her to go wherever she wants. But,
don't forget, it's also important to keep the leash loose. If you make a correction, it
should be quick, and then the leash should be returned to the relaxed state.
3. Position the collar at the top of the neck. If you've ever seen sledding dogs,
you'll notice that the harness is around the lower part of their neck, near the
shoulders. Why? This is where their pulling power is located. You're actually
helping your dog to pull you around if you have the collar placed there. Instead,
position it on the upper neck, which is the most sensitive area. There are special
leashes you can buy designed to keep the collar postioned correctly.
4. Record the walk. Ask a friend or family member to help you observe and share
what they notice on the walk. It may be easier to see your problem areas after the
fact. What's your posture like? How do you react when your dog misbehaves? Are
you putting tension on the leash? These are the things to look for while you watch.
5. Set aside time. Dogs, like humans, are diurnal, so taking walks in the morning is
ideal. I recommend setting aside thirty minutes to a full hour. The specific needs of
each dog differ. Consult your vet and keep an eye on your dog's behavior to see if
his needs are being met.
6. Define exploration time. After your dog has maintained the proper state of mind,
reward him by allowing him to relieve himself and sniff around. Then you need to
decide when reward time is over. It should always be less than the time spent
focused on the walk.
7. Don't punch out. When you get home, don't stop leading. Have your dog wait
patiently while you put away his leash or take off your shoes.
8. Share food and water. By providing a meal after the walk, you have allowed your
dog to "work" for food and water.
9. Pick up after your dog! Set an example: be a responsible dog guardian.
10. Enlist the help of balanced dogs. If your dog barks or lunges at other dogs that
you pass on the walk, take time to do just that activity with another dog you trust.
That way, you can practice remaining calm and correcting your dog. Then, when
the situation arises when you're not expecting it, you'll feel better able to handle it,
and that confidence will be communicated to your dog.
Practice! You and your dog won't get better if you don't go out there and do it!
Celebrate every success along the way. Learn from the bad days, but don't dwell
on them. And then one day, you'll find you've done it! You've mastered the walk!
By Cesar Milan
"What really helps motivate me to walk are my
dogs. They keep you honest about walking
because when it's time to go, you can't
disappoint those little faces." ~Wendie Malick
Web Design by C.Wiebe Design
"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person."
Exercising Your Dog
Whether your dog is young or old, it's never too late to start him on a dog exercise
plan. Dogs benefit from running, walking, and fitness routines that help them to
burn calories and tone their muscles. A regular exercise plan will also help your
dog avoid behavioral problems, which can arise from pent-up energy.
Warm-up to Walking
Prepare your dog for any form of physical activity with a warm-up ritual. Before
each round of exercise, begin with a slow walk to loosen up your dog's muscles.
Take him for a romp around the yard before setting out on an extended walk.
If you are just beginning your walking routine, start with short walks and then
gradually increase the length of the journeys little by little. Take your dog for a walk
down the block or a short path, and then every few days add a new segment onto
Be consistent. Dogs are creatures of habit and love to get into established
routines. Give your dog exercise on a daily basis. This way, he will look forward to
spending this alone time with you.
As you extend the length of your walking trips, he will also build up more resilience
and stamina. For a dog on a weight loss program, this increase in activity is
especially important. Routine exercise will help an over-weight dog shed pounds
and keep his heart healthy.
Jogging with Your Dog
After you establish a successful walking pattern for your dog, kick up his cardio
with a brisk jog. At first, your dog may have trouble adjusting to the rhythm of
running. He might speed ahead of you or lag a few steps behind. Get your dog to
follow your pace by alternating your running speed between slow and fast.
If you have a puppy, try not to overrun him. Intense exercise puts too much stress
on a puppy's joints and newly forming bone structure. Likewise, elderly or obese
dogs should not be exposed to fast-paced running workouts. Rather, ease them
into a walking regimen or explore play-based activities.
Add Variety to a Dog's Workout
Invite your dog to participate in the exercise you love. By involving him in different
physical activities, he'll work a wider range of muscles and have a positive bonding
experience with you.
Here are some ways to ease your dog into an enjoyable exercise program with you:
•take your dog on a hike
•run with him along the beach
•invite him to scale small hills
•encourage him to climb stairs
•involve him in aerobics and calisthenics
You'll find that maximum play equals a healthy and happy dog; below are other
forms of exercise for your dog:
-running on a treadmill
•fetch or frisbee
Regularly Monitor Your Dog's Exercise
As you try and find the best routine for your dog, you will begin to see clues about
what he likes and can tolerate. A normally healthy dog can endure a long walk
making only brief stops to sniff or urinate. But when a dog sits down and won't
move, he's reached his limit.
If your dog is panting heavily or keeps taking excessive breaks, he has been
overworked. Watch your dog closely to see if he becomes tired or overheated
during the exercise. Then, ease up on the length of activity to give your dog a
chance to adjust. Always bring along a bottle of water to hydrate your dog during
DOG WALKING TIPS