There is more to walking the dog than just exercise and master-dog bonding. Every walk is a training activity.
Walking the Dog is a practical training on keeping your dog focused on you and your activity while being subjected to the distractions of real life.
It starts off by establishing; who’s the leader. You should be directing the activity and should be walking ahead of your dog. You should never let your dog lead away and pull you to whatever direction he wants. Neither should you be dragging your dog to follow the path that you are intending.
Your dog should be walking by your side or slightly behind you and close to you. The main intention is to train your dog to be focused on you and you alone, anticipating every step and direction that both of you are supposed to trek.
The goal is to maintain a loose tension on the leash. This means that your dog is keeping himself a close to you as possible without being distracted or tempted to go to another direction.
The end goal is to be able to walk side by side without a leash.
There are several kinds of collars that you can choose from. Training collars have different functions and purposes. Here are some examples of the most commonly used collars by dog owners.
Kinds of Collars
Chain Slip Collars
Chain slip collars are intended for training purposes. This collar follows the principle of a hangman’s rope that tightens when your dog pulls away from you. The choking discomfort is like the punishing whip that forces your dog to correct his course and stay close to you.
These collars are no longer recommended because it could cause damage to your dog’s neck. And besides, it’s just like telling your dog that you will strangle him if he doesn’t obey. Just like the hangman’s rope, it’s inhumane.
Metal Prong Collars
Here is another collar that should have been left in the dungeons of the Spanish inquisition. It follows the same principle as the slip collars but instead of strangulation, it gives a harsher punishment. A sharp string of metal pins will imbed on your dog’s neck. This was supposed to be for the extra stubborn dogs’ of the sadist masters.
These collars follow the same principle as the chain slip collars only, they are made of a softer material, usually nylon, and has a stopping mechanism that prevents complete closure on the neck. This is a more humane way of getting your dog’s attention and obedience.
As the name suggests, it is the most commonly used collar which is intended for providing a way to identify your dog and your sense of style. It may come in any color and design. But, never forget its main purpose. It should have your dog’s name and your current contact information.
This is the most considerate collar of all. These are like the everyday collars that come with a safety feature. The collar breaks away when the loop gets caught on something as your dog pulls away. The breakaway feature will prevent accidental choking. Any dog who can speak will be requesting for this one.
This is a complete harness for your dog’s head. When your dog pulls away from you, the halter will cause his head to turn. There is absolutely no pain but will feel very unnatural. This will deter the behavior. Head collars are often successful in discouraging pulling and can be used to support other training purposes.
This goes around your dog’s chest and abdomen, crossing over the back. The gentlest dog owners prefer this because it removes the pressure on your dog’s neck and distributes it to the rest of the body. Some trainers feel that this is too soft and that it can encourage disobedience.
Where to Buy the Collars
You can see these collars and many more at Petco. There, you can ask for more information about the collars and they can even suggest the best options for you.
Walking your dog is one of the best ways to show your love for them. The training aspect of the activity should be considered as a safety precaution for your dog as well as the people you will encounter and the property that, both you and your dog, will be trekking.
For sanitary purposes, don’t forget to bring a few plastic bags to clean up any poo your dog might leave behind on your trail. For ferocious dogs, it would be best to use a harness that will go around his mouth as to prevent accidental biting.
Never leave your dog unattended. Be reminded that the activity is not only meant to train your dog to stay focused on you. You have to stay focused on him too and enjoy the activity together.