Dexter, your gorgeous Australian Shepard, is intelligent and lively. Always investigating, ready to get outside and learn, you have your perfect walking companion right there. But the first step to getting Dexter out and about is teaching him how to walk on a leash. Without this initial step, you’ll never have him running through parks as he would like to.
Letting him out the house off the leash could cause issues if he doesn’t have the basic training. You don’t want him running off and not coming back! Therefore, it’s important for both you and him that you get this initial doggy school completed. Australian Shepards are one of the cleverest breeds out there, so he should be able to pick this up in no time. Soon, he will be walking by your side intently, and you’ll feel confident enough to take him to the next stage of training.
If Dexter is pulling on the leash, you’ll need to use the command ‘heel’. This works perfectly as a command word because it's short and sharp, making it easy for dogs to recognize. It’s used the world over to mean 'stop pulling and come back by my side'.
If he is acting out while on the leash, jumping up and trying to grab it with his paws, you’ll need to complete a few exercises to get him used it. It’s not always instinctual for dogs to know how to behave on the leash, so it may need some practice.
Australian Shepards are incredibly intelligent. They are working dogs and love to be out the house experiencing nature. This will mean he is likely to be eager to learn and to please. This is a basic command Australian Shepards should be more than capable of learning, so expect this to be a quick turn around. However, Australian Shepards can sometimes be stubborn, so make sure you get into the habit of good behavior early.
For this exercise, you’ll need a leash. If you’re training a puppy, it may be useful to have a training leash. These are shorter than a standard one, so they are perfect for keeping your pup’s attention. If you’re training an adult dog, you can use a standard leash, but it may be useful to keep it short as well.
You’ll also need some yummy treats. These training methods rely on positive enforcement in order to create the correct behavior. It’s important that the process is a happy one. Do not act angry or tell your dog off for the wrong behavior. This can cause aggression and anxiety in dogs. It simply doesn’t work to act negatively. So, keep it light-hearted and man’s best friend will be acting like it in no time at all!
How long should I be walking my puppy?
Hello Michelle, The amount varies a lot depending on the dog and their personal endurance and build. In general, avoid super strenuous exercise until a year of age when the growth plates close. Pay attention to pup's panting and body language to make sure they don't seem overly tired or hot. Other than that, you can walk a pup as much as several hours a day, as long as there are 1 hour-long breaks between walks to rest. As a rule, I generally just recommend one to two 30-minute to 1-hour long walks, with short training sessions during the day too to help pup calm down mentally too. Adjust as you feel is needed, based on your own puppy though. For an Australian Shepherd pay a lot of attention to the need for mental exercise. Many intelligent herding breeds are very active and over excited, and would run all day if you let them. Giving mental stimulation can actually calm even more than physical exercise for dogs that have a genetic need to work and learn. Think walks with structure, focus, heeling, and other commands practiced during the walk, games like agility that require focus and thinking, training sessions where pup learns new things, slightly challenging things, and things that take a lot of focus, games that incorporate focus and thinking. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?