It’s a beautiful day as you head out for an afternoon walk with your happy and eager pup…you take a second to look up at the fluffy clouds, then all of a sudden they blind side you as they weave from one side to the other and you almost trip right over them. It really does make you wonder, why do they do that anyway?
Mostly they weave back and forth because they are super excited to be on a walk, which is usually the highlight of their day. There are so many sights, sounds and most importantly, smells! Dogs have a sense of smell that can is 1,000-10,000 times stronger than ours. This can have them zigging and zagging all over the place as they track the scents that tells them what has been going on in the neighborhood. If your dog has herding blood then it could also be a little of instinct of trying to get you to walk where he wants to you go, especially if they bark or nip while doing it. Lastly, it could be just a small bit of anxiety or even a little sensory overload from being outside with all the exciting stimuli.
How to Counteract
Even though you may be fine with the bob and weave, it can be a safety hazard. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 88 percent of fall-related injuries were due to dogs and cats. Not only can it hurt you, but you could easily break their legs or ribs if you fall on them. That’s why it best to teach your dog how to walk properly.
- Pick a side and practice walking on a loose, but short leash in a distraction free area.
- If he begins to cross in front of you stop and use hand or verbal ques to get him back to the proper side. You can use a treat at first if he has a hard time picking up on these ques.
- As soon as he gets back on the original side as directed, begin to walk forward again.
- Don’t give up! As with most training, it takes repetition and time.
- Lengthen the leash as they get better with the commands and staying on one side.
- Hire a dog walker to help burn off some extra energy and reinforce training techniques!
Walking should a fun way to spend the afternoon outside, not in the emergency room. Helping your dog walk properly will ensure the safety of you both.