Checklist before the walkIt is important to start the walk in a calm, focused manner, so your dog can work and sync with you on the walks. Here is a short checklist of what you should do before the walk.

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1. Give your dog physical or mental exercise.

If you just come back home and rush for a long walk with your dog after they have been chilling alone for 8 hours, the dog is going to be too eager to explore and energetic to focus on you. So take your dog for a short pee break, and before you go on a walk, come back home and do a 10-15 minute trick training session or play fetch.

2. Start off calmly.

Does your dog get all excited and fired up when you pick up the leash or say the magic word “park”? It is heartwarming to see the dog that happy. However, it is not the best emotion to start the walk with. So in lessons 2, 3, and 4 of the “Pleasant walks” program, you will desensitize the dog to the collar or harness and teach your dog to wait politely while you clip the leash. Play the search game so your dog is focused on you, rather than pulling you forward. Also, ensure you don’t give your dog “wanna go for a walk?” talk before leaving the house. Leave the house in a calm manner.

3. Defuse the visual cues.

Pick up a leash or harness, put on your walking jacket but don’t go anywhere. Do it often, without an intention of going out. This way, the visual cues lose meaning to the dog, and your dog won’t get excited before the walk.

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