One way to get your steps and 30 minutes of walking a day is to have a dog who loves to W-A-L-K. They love these outings so much that you can’t even say the word aloud unless you want to grab their leash! That said, going on a walk may be an issue if you have a larger dog that’s difficult to keep under control. Learn these helpful tips for taking a larger dog on a walk to make your outdoor adventures easier.

The Tools of the Trade

You don’t need to look at various options for equipment when you have a smaller dog that you can pick up with one hand. However, a larger dog requires some more supplies.

The art of taking a larger dog on a walk starts with the collar and harness. It’s best to start simple. Anything too complicated may confuse and possibly even injure the dog. A slip collar is always a solid option if you know how to use it properly.

For a dog who thinks they are a world explorer and must sniff everything, a pack leader collar (PLC) is helpful because it reduces the pulling power of the hound.

Adding a harness can be beneficial, however. A harness gives you more control over your neighborhood strolls and nature hikes. Harnesses are easier on a larger dog’s body.

Training Day

You wouldn’t want to take a feral animal on a walk because they don’t have the discipline to follow commands. Even though your dog isn’t feral per se, going on walks without the proper training could make it feel like your pet is more wolf than domestic dog.

You should focus on three areas: holding the leash, avoiding tugging, and knowing how to stop them. Firmly holding the leash alerts them you are the one in control. You may want to wrap the leash around your arm to guarantee yourself complete control.

Walking briskly and tiring your pup out is a fantastic way to prevent your pulling. A tired dog will most likely walk at a steady pace because they’re exhausted and want to feel comfortable at your side.

Getting them to stop is no different than teaching them how to sit. It may take time, but eventually, they’ll understand the command. Train this behavior by letting your dog get ahead of you, then slowly come to a halt. They will learn to stop moving once you stop as well.

Finally, bringing some snacks into the training equation is not a bad idea because positive reinforcement can work wonders.

Keeping Your Cool

Your behavior might contribute to your dog’s unruliness, so you must remain the calm and assertive leader of the walk. Dogs instinctively respond to pleasant and positive demeanors better than angry or frantic ones. The time you put into training the dog establishes you as the pack leader—it’s amazing what calm confidence can do.

Dress for the Part

It can be hard to feel in control if you’re not wearing comfortable shoes and clothing. Flip-flops might be the easiest option, but they give you little traction and control. All it takes is one ambitious squirrel to get close to your dog before they pull you out of your shoes. You also don’t want to wear anything too tight that can restrict your range of motion.

These helpful tips for taking a larger dog on a walk to your benefit should lead to a calm, enjoyable daily activity for you and your furry friend.