This is our complete guide to dog walking. Below you can read a wide range of information about dog walking. As a dog owner you are responsible for your dog, so it’s important to be aware of the rules when you take your dog out for walkies. Going on dog walks is a big part of being a dog owner as all dogs need regular dog walks to stay healthy. Read on to discover helpful tips and advice.
How often should you walk your dog?
All dogs need some kind of walk on a daily basis unless they are injured or physically cannot go on a walk. You should walk your dog at least once a day but most dog owners tend to do two walks a day.
Obviously the amount of walks your dog needs depends on their breed, age and size. Some high energy dog breeds require several walks a day whereas others are happy with just one gentle walk.
This is something you might want to think about if you are considering which breed of dog to get. Consider much time do you have to dedicate to dog walking and what breed might be most suitable.
How long should each walk last?
Again, this depends on what type of dog you have. Active breeds such as Border Collies, Huskies and Dalmatians will need to be taken out for a few hours at a time. You will be able to judge whether your dog has had a long enough walk when you get home. If they are still very active and restless throughout the day then you probably haven’t walked them for long enough. If they crash out as soon as you get home and sleep a lot then you probably walked them for the right amount of time.
You also need to be careful not to overdo it. Some dog breeds cannot cope with long or intense walks as it is simply too much for their bodies. Pugs for example should not overexert themselves too much as they tend to have breathing problems. Other dog breeds are particularly sensitive to heat and should not be taken out at the hottest times of the day or for too long when it’s very warm. You will get to know your dog and what is the perfect length of walk for them.
Different locations for dog walks
Dogs love exploring new locations. Taking your dog to lots of different places is good for you as well as your pooch. You get to see lots of different places and see some beautiful landscapes. Walking on different terrain is also a great challenge for your dog. Try going for walks on beaches by the sea, through sand dunes, in woodland, at your local dog park and in national parks throughout the UK. The choice of places to go is endless.
Dog walking equipment
There is a huge range of equipment you can get for dog walking. Here are some products you might find useful for dog walking:
For your dog
- Poo bags
- Retrieval toys
- Dog towels
- Walking shoes
- Rain coat
- Treat bag
Dog walking etiquette
When you are walking your dog you need to be mindful of other people. Not just other dog owners but the general public. Make sure you have your dog under control at all times and do not let them off the lead in areas where this is not permitted.
Don’t allow your dog to run up to dogs that are on a lead as they may not wish to be approached. If you can see another dog is looking uncomfortable, call your dog back and put them on a lead.
Picking up dog mess
You are required by law to pick up your dog’s mess. Have poo bags on you any time you go out in public. Excuses such as I didn’t have any bags on me or I didn’t see them do it won’t get you out of a fine if you get caught. Be a responsible dog owner and pick up your dog’s mess.
The country code
One of the best things about having a dog is you get to explore the British countryside. The UK has a total of 15 national parks which are ideal for going on dog walks. However, you need to be aware of the country code and abide by the specific rules for each park.
Always have your dog close by so that you can call them back if you need to. Don’t let them off the lead unless you are able to keep them under control and they have good recall. Do not under any circumstances allow your dog to chase livestock or wild animals. Take care when you are walking around cattle as they can be dangerous to both you and your dog.
Keep your dog on a lead during bird nesting season (March to July) so that they do not disturb any nests on the ground.
Teaching your dog loose lead walking
If you want to have relaxing, enjoyable dog walks you should try and teach your dog loose lead walking right from the start.
Treats for dog walks
It’s always handy to have some treats when you go out on dog walks. If your dog isn’t treat orientated then try taking their favourite toy with you on walks.
Recall on dog walks
Before you let your dog off the lead on a dog walk you need to ensure they have perfect recall. For some dogs this is easier than others. You can teach your dog to come back to you on a long training lead.
When you want your dog to come back to you, call them and reward them with a treat if they return to you. If they don’t come back you can gently pull them in towards you using the long lead.
Keep practising until you feel confident and then try letting your dog off the lead in an enclosed area. Once you are confident they will come back to you then you can gradually try letting them off in other places.