Mastering the Dog Walk
Walking exercises your dog's body and stimulates his mind.
Dog moms teach their puppies a lot during their first few days and weeks of life. They set rules, boundaries and limitations, and serve as the first pack leader of the puppys life. They also walk with their puppies, which is an important primal activity for dogs.
In their natural habitat, dogs earn food and water by walking and they get to experience the world. If a dog does not walk he does not eat. You can see how this activity exists deep within a dogs DNA, but too few dog owners recognize its importance.
Walking also exercises your dogs body and stimulates his mind. It also provides a good opportunity for you to establish yourself as pack leader.
Walk the Walk
I walk about 10 dogs at a time, sometimes off-leash if I'm in a safe area. People are amazed by this, but its simple: The dogs see me as their pack leader. This is why they follow me wherever I go.
Walking in front of a dog allows you to be seen as the pack leader because position matters to a dog. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he's the pack leader. Master the walk and your dog will relate to you as the pack leader, and accept his submissive role within the pack.
Remember, most dogs are born into the submissive role and like it just fine. The problem starts when naturally submissive dogs try to fill what they see as a vacant pack leader role. Since Nature never intended them to take on this role, bad or unwanted behavior ensues as they act out or try to normalize their world.
During the walk you may feel the highest level of connection with your dog. My clients are often surprised by this because they think dogs only crave love and affection and treats. Not so. Dogs crave rules, boundaries and limitations from their pack leader. They also crave walking, a primal activity that they live to enjoy.
Next Step: Understanding aggression
Get more tips from Cesar.
Note: Cesar Millan is a professional. Please consult a qualified trainer before attempting these techniques with your dog.
For more information, visit Cesar Millans Dog Psychology Center where the express purpose is to rehabilitate and maintain a dogs natural state of being.
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