Fall is one of my favourite times of the year to enjoy with my dog, the summer heat has moved out and the beautiful fall weather allows us to enjoy those long hikes through the woods and parks again, we can actually enjoy walking down side walks and visiting the downtown markets at the riverfront, but we are not the only ones. With the beautiful weather also comes more environmental distractions and obstacles for our dogs to face, and it's our responsibility as dog owners to make sure our dogs are prepared and kept safe during these adventures.
Here's a few things I like to work on with my dog to make sure we can avoid any problems or confrontations while out
I always have my dog on a leash, and not only on leash but following the rules we've applied for a loose leash walk. Having your dog's engagement while on a walk allows you to move through busy areas with control and confidence and your chance of running into conflict with other dogs and their owner becomes slim. We may not be able to control everything but we can control our dogs and should do so.
I like to bring my dog to as many places as possible starting from a young age and allow them to explore new textures, sights and sounds. The more comfortable our dogs are in new areas and places the easier it is to apply all the training you have been working on in the real world. A comfortable, confident dog is more willing to engage with their handler due to not being worried about what's going on around them.
I will bring my dogs to these same areas that become busy, during the down time or off season and work on obedience there, so when we show up on those busy days, they are familiar with the area in a positive mindset and are ready to do some more obedience and engaging with us, other than the distractions presented.
These are a few things I like to work on with my dogs, to assure whatever adventure we do go on, my dogs are prepared to deal with whatever situation we are faced with, our dogs should be as comfortable in the real world as they are sleeping on our couch, and we owe it to them to make sure we have a happy confident dog!