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Benefits of Dog Walks for Puppies

 

Puppies are darling but they can be a handful! Young puppies are very impressionable and it is important that their experiences are both fun and positive so your puppy will grow into a well-rounded dog. Dog walks for puppies can be a very helpful part of that growth process when handled correctly.

When we say dog walk, we really mean any visit from a dog walker.

Your puppy does not actually have to go for a full, official walk if he is too young or there are concerns about vaccinations. Even if your pup does not leave the house, there are still many benefits of having a dog walker come for a visit.

When You Can Use Walks For Puppies

  • When you work away from home during the day. Puppies generally can hold it for an hour per month of age, so if you have a 3 month old puppy, she should be able to last around 3 hours in between potty breaks (plus when she is playing, eating, or just woke up).
  • When you work from home but need to focus on work.
  • When you need to run errands.
  • When you are going out for the day, maybe for a family outing or a day trip.
  • When you want your puppy to meet some new people to socialize.
  • When you just need a break from puppy teeth and playtime.

Puppy chewing on bone

Benefits of Walks for Puppies

Again, this does not need to be an actual walk around the block, although it can be. Instead it could be your dog walker coming and playing with your puppy in the yard.

  1. Puppies need almost constant supervision unless she is in a crate. Even then, she needs to come out often and spend most of her day interacting with people. A dog walker allows her supervised time out and about without you having to be directly involved.
  2. Puppies need to meet a variety of people in their formative stages in order to be well socialized. A dog walker will provide a positive, fun interaction with someone from outside your immediate household and show that guests are fun!
  3. Puppies can be taught a lot of fun tricks during their youth and having a positive dog walker work on tricks and rules teaches her that the rules are the same with all people, not just you.
  4. Dog walkers often have a lot of experience with puppy behavior. Working with a dog walker gives you a chance to get tips about your specific puppy and how to work on different behaviors.
  5. When a dog walker comes to your home, she is only there for the benefit of you and your puppy. There is no dinner to be made, kids asking questions about homework or bills to be paid. Let a dog walker help you while spending some time focused on just your puppy.

What Do Walks For Puppies Look Like?

Most dog walkers can structure a puppy walk however your need, but here are some tips:

  • Talk to your veterinarian about actual walks around the neighborhood. If your vet recommends your puppy stay in your area, then your “walks” will actually be playtime in the yard and house.
  • If your vet gives the all-clear, your dog walker could take her for a quick walk around the block. Most young puppies cannot go much further than that. You should still avoid parks as they can be overwhelming for most puppies and hard to control.
  • You want all of our puppy’s experiences to be positive, so make sure your dog walker is not going anywhere scary and uses positive training techniques.
  • Arrange walks for puppies at the time when your pup will need to go potty and is typically awake and active. Most puppies have their favorite nap times, so keep those on schedule.
  • When choosing how long of a visit, think about how long your puppy normally plays and factor in snack and potty time. Ideally your visit is long enough to cover all of those and leave your puppy content (and sleepy) at the end.

How To Find a Local Dog Walker

Why Does My Dog Weave Back and Forth When I Walk?

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?

The Zigzag

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.

  1. Pick a side and practice walking on a loose, but short leash in a distraction free area.
  2. 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.
  3. As soon as he gets back on the original side as directed, begin to walk forward again.
  4. Don’t give up!  As with most training, it takes repetition and time.
  5. Lengthen the leash as they get better with the commands and staying on one side.
  6. 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.