5 Things To Do To Make Your Dog Walks More Peaceful
So maybe you're taking your dog for a walk every day, and while they're not pulling your arm off, they aren't exactly walking by your side either. Do you feel tense, like you lack control?
Try these 5 things for a more peaceful walk you can enjoy:
Slow your ass down! A dog walk doesn't have to be a race back home. Mix it up and choose one of your walks a day (like right after you get home from work) to cut your pace in half.
Let your dog lead, by letting them decide which direction to go when you're at a good smelly street corner or at a fork in the nature trail and they are following their nose. Forget perfection, and your idea of a dog who walks “perfectly” on the leash every time. Perfect is subjective. (Use your common sense and don't follow them into a busy street or other dangerous situation, please! We're all smart adults here.)
Let your dog use their nose! Don't rush past the smelly spots, and don't discourage your dog from sniffing at trees, bushes, street lamps unless you deem it dangerous. Remember how it's not a race? Going on a dog walk doesn't mean you have to be walking 100% of the time.
Sniffing calms your dog down, and it's a great time to calm yourself down, too. When your dog takes several moments to sniff at the next tree, take several moments for yourself to just BREATHE. Deep breath in for the count of 1, 2, 3; exhale out 1, 2, 3. (Don't close your eyes, because you need to still be aware of your surroundings to keep you both safe.) Start moving again when your dog is done sniffing.
Find a more peaceful place to walk sometimes. If you always do walks around your suburban neighborhood, or at your busy park, try a less busy park, a nature trail, somewhere with less distraction to you than your normal place to walk. The less distractions you have to be aware of, the easier it is to get lost in the enjoyment of a slow easy walk.
What are your dog walks like? Do you switch them up?