As cute as that dog is in the picture above, I’m sure your dog is cuter.
That’s because your dog is more than just a pet, it’s family, and you want to keep him or her healthy and happy, which means regular exercise.
Unless you’re the Queen, your yard probably isn’t big enough to do this in-house, which then means walks and putting your dog on a leash.
There are designated areas in South Africa where you can let Fido run free , but the sidewalk isn’t one of them.
Side note – is Fido still a popular dog name? I feel like it’s been replaced with names like Bentley, and Clementine, and some word that’s Native American for ‘whispers in the forest’. Anyway, we digress.
South African pet law states that if your dog is out in public, it must be on a leash. If it isn’t and it hurts someone, you could be fined or imprisoned.
Even worse, the pupper could be put down.
Go onto any community Facebook group and you’ll find countless stories about what happens when people let their dogs roam free, or standard leash protocol isn’t followed.
Take a look at what’s been happening in Hout Bay recently.
To protect yourself and your fur child, it’s necessary not only to make sure that you use a leash, but that your puppy is trained to respond to it.
Here’s WebMD with some tips for training your pooch.
Find the right leash
You should be walking your dog, your dog shouldn’t be walking you.
The right leash can make all the difference and it’s worth making an investment in something that will help you maintain control, is strong enough to hold your pet, but is also comfortable for them.
The GoShine retractable Leash, which you can get online at Pet Culture, is a good example of a leash that’s designed specifically with control and comfort in mind.
The GoShine comes kitted out with a spotlight for night walks, a telescopic structure that allows you to easily control how far you want your dog to go, and most importantly, it has a one-press locking system that will help you to pull your pup back in critical situations.
It also looks like something out of Tron which is pretty cool:
Petkit is the same company that brought you that feeding bowl that measures your dog’s food according to its weight.
Have a gander around the Pet Culture website and you’ll see a wide range of futuristic, top-notch pet products.
Patience is key
Consistency and routine are important. Using the same leash and walking the same route each day teaches your dog to behave and follow the rules.
Lower energy levels
Tire your dog out a little bit with a game of fetch or tug-of-war with a toy before the walk. If they’re slightly tired, they’ll focus more on sniffing things and getting the most out their walk rather than trying to expend energy.
Keep a couple of tasty treats in your pocket so that your dog associates good behaviour on walks with rewards.
And there you have it. It might feel unnatural to put your dog on a leash, but it’s what’s best for them, other dogs, and other people taking their pooches for a stroll, too.
Pick up your dog’s turds, treat them to the finer things in life, and we foresee some serious tail-wagging in your future.
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