How to Keep Your Dog Well-Behaved and Focused on a Walk

How to Keep Your Dog Well-Behaved and Focused on a WalkDoes your dog pull, misbehave, and bark at passing cars, bicycles, people, or other dogs and wildlife on walks? Your dog really just wants to play or herd by instinct, and they can become frustrated by being restrained to the leash. But to onlookers, this could be mistaken for aggression.

Keeping your dog well-behaved and focused while on a walk is a very common issue for many dog owners. Your instinct may be to jerk your dog back to you, but jerking your dog and yelling at them may cause them to actually become fearful of that particular scenario and make him act out even more. January is Walk Your Dog month, so get out there and enjoy the outdoors with your pup by using these tips to help make it a relaxing and enjoyable experience for both of you.


Don’t expect your dog to pay attention to you if you are not paying attention to them. Focus on your dog and engage with them as much as possible on walks. Talking to them, pet them, and show them love! This will help ease most dogs and make them feel like you two are a pack.

Proper Equipment

Always be mindful of the equipment you use. Flat collars and back clip harnesses allow your dog to maximize all of their strength to pull. Use a front clip harness, where the leash attaches to the chest area. When your dog does pull, you are controlling their center of gravity, so they will be turned back to face you. Utilize equipment to help stay in control of the situation.

Proper Training

Teach the “Look” command by taking high-value treats on walks and reward your dog for looking at you instead of other things that entice barking. High-value treats can be anything that your dog really enjoys and is especially motivated by. Try to catch the behavior before it happens using “Look” to help your dog succeed in a distracting situation. Always praise your dog when they’re correct.

You’ll also benefit from teaching “Leave It” and “Let’s Go.” Practice “Leave It” in a non-distracting environment. On walks, say “Leave it” in a stern voice immediately followed by “Let’s Go” in a happy voice then move away from what is causing your dog to react. Securing a dog bite policy will allow you peace of mind while you’re out and about with your dog, who will need a reason to want to pay attention to you more than anything else. Be patient with yourself and your dog, as these things take time!  

About FIDO

There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.

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