Are you struggling to keep your walks calm and relaxed with your hyper or anxious pup?
Are you struggling to keep your walks calm and relaxed with your hyper or anxious pup? We’ve all been there!
As pet parents, we want to make our dogs feel safe and comfortable while they experience the world around them. However, many of us don’t know how to go about it when our pup gets overly excited or nervous.
Taking a few simple steps can help transform walk-time into a stress-free bonding experience for both you and your pup!
In this blog post, we are going to cover some tips on how to keep a cool head (and paw) during walks with an anxious or enthusiastic dog.
1. Analyze your Dog’s Behavior to Identify Triggers
If your doggo is constantly bouncing off the walls, it might feel impossible to get them to calm down on a walk. But with the right tools and techniques, you can significantly reduce anxiety and hyperactivity in your pup during walks.
The first step is understanding what triggers their bad behaviour — noise, other dogs, kids?
Once you identify the sources that get your dog worked up, you’ll be able to come up with tactics like treats to reward good behaviour and distractions to keep them focused.
Being aware of just how your pup responds when they’re anxious can help turn those walks into moments of calm connection between the two of you.
2. Prepare a Calm Environment Before the Walk Begins
Before you even begin the walk it is wise to set yourself up for success and provide a calm environment ahead of time. This could involve taking your pup out in quieter times of day once the busier streets have cleared and preparing your pup by having them do some calm activities before heading outside – if they are the type of pet that enjoys activities – or doing some deep breaths with them and prepping around their walking gear in a peaceful atmosphere.
Doing all this helps to send subtle cues that you are feeling relaxed and confident which then may cause your pup to feel more at ease.
3. Use a Gentle, but Firm Voice to Give Commands
Taking a walk with an anxious or hyper dog can seem like an impossible feat without the right discipline and training.
The good news is that, with patience and practice, it can be done!
One of the most important elements in making a calm walk happen is to use a gentle, but firm voice when giving commands. It’s important to remember to be consistent and not give in to tempting displays of affection – dogs will take advantage of these moments if you’re not careful.
With regular training sessions and time spent practising walking together, your pup will learn to trust your guidance and become better-behaved during walks. So next time you set out for a stroll, remember to keep your voice steady, consistent, and memorable – After all, practice does make perfect!
4. Stay Focused on The Task at Hand
To make the experience more enjoyable and successful, make sure to stay focused on the task at hand.
Your pup will be able to sense if you are distracted by other people or dogs around you.
If they get wind of your uneasiness, they are likely to pick up on that energy and become even more agitated. As much as possible, stay focused on them and their behaviour. Instead of looking around at other activities out of curiosity, try to direct your attention towards your pup’s paw prints in the soft soil or admire how beautiful the trees look lit up under the sun’s rays. This kind of relaxed alertness will ensure that you can enjoy a calming and productive walk with your hardworking pup.
5. Redirect your Pup’s Attention with Treats or Toys
Dogs may get overstimulated and bark, pull on the leash, or simply shut down due to fear. Redirecting their attention is key to maintaining control of the situation and will help your pup stay focused and relaxed.
Offering treats or toys as distractions can provide just the right amount of focus to keep them engaged during their walk. Not only will this help prevent behavioural issues, but it will also create a much more enjoyable experience for both you and your pup.
6. Take Frequent breaks for Water, Snacks, and Toilet-Breaks
Taking your four-legged friend for a walk can quickly turn from pleasant to chaotic if they become overly anxious or hyper. To alleviate this, it’s important to take frequent breaks while on your walk.
Not only will it give them a chance to re-centre themselves and hopefully relax, but also provide much-needed water, snacks and toilet breaks.
As an added bonus, you will have a chance for some rest moments too. So if you want a calm walk with your pooch, be mindful of their needs and make sure that you are breaking often!
7. End Each Walk on a Positive Note with Praise and Rewards
Taking the time to properly train and socialize your canine companion is key in providing them with everything they need to feel safe and secure while exploring the great outdoors.
It’s all about setting clear boundaries and expectations, reinforcing positive behaviours throughout your walks, and ending each stroll on a high note with praise and rewards. This will not only help you create a bond of trust between you and your four-legged buddy but also leave both of you feeling satisfied after your adventures together!
If you follow these seven tips, you and your pup will be on your way to more peaceful walks in no time.
From understanding your dog’s behaviour to being firm but gentle with commands to have lots of patience – these tips are key for a calm walk with an anxious or hyper dog.
And remember, always end each walk on a positive note so that next time your pup is looking forward to another peaceful stroll around the block with you.