Thursday, April 14, 2016

How To Have a Great Walk - by Noodles

A stroll in the park on a sunny Spring day

You would think walking is the easiest thing in the world. After all, we start walking at a very early age and generally have it perfected by the age of ONE MONTH. But to GO on a WALK is a whole 'nother matter because NOW you are adding in social behavior, good DOG behavior, and good HUMAN behavior as well as the actual walking. In my SIX PLUS years I have developed what I think is a pretty good list of GOOD WALKING RULES that I live by. It means when I go on a walk I return happy and so does my human. AND, more importantly, the people and pups I encounter have a good feeling about me as well.

Yes, it is metrosexual black so
I am often mistaken for a boy.
But it IS leather and so sharp looking

First up is the proper equipment. Tastes are different and so are sizes so take this for what it is - the suggestions of a PUG PRINCESS and what works for her petite stature and delicate temperament. I have always worn a harness. Long ago my Mommy #2 read that short pug necks put their already too skinny trachea in danger when pressure is applied to the region. For this reason, she was cautioned, a pug should be walked with a harness that does not encircle the throat. That doesn't mean I can never wear collars. After all, I have a lot of cute ones. No - it means the collar is for "dressing up" my look but not for attaching a leash. Big dogs and dogs without such breathing issues can certainly attach a leash to a collar and walk. No problems there.

Leash and harness
Next up is my leash. It has a handle and is made of some kind of cord. We got it at our favorite BOUTIQUE  Biscuits. It even has a hook for keys. I had a different one before but I wore it out. The important thing is TO HAVE ONE. There is a lot of controversy over what kind of leash is better and what length is proper. In the end, all I have to say is make sure you are always, always, always attached to one when out on a walk. The exception is is you are in areas that are fenced in and off-leash is permitted. Being on a leash serves many purposes - and limiting freedom is NOT ONE OF THEM. Every human wants their beloved dog to feel free and happy. Being safe trumps that, though. Having a pug or dog on a leash serves many purposes:
  1. Keeps us PUPS close to our humans
  2. Keeps us PUPS safe and away from on-coming cars, trains, buses, bikes, strollers, skateboards, and wild animals. One time we were walking in Lake Tahoe and a COYOTE approached. Actually, there were 3 of them. They had their eyes on ME, the tidbit of a dog. SO Mommy first shortened the leash to keep me close. Then when they appeared to step closer, she lifted me up using my harness. We were with a couple of other peeps and pups so we made a LOT of noise which eventually chased the coyotes away.
  3. Keeps us from running to LITTLE HUMANS or scared big humans. Not everyone appreciates a dog. Not even a cute smush-face.
  4. Keeps the pace of the walk reasonable and enjoyable for both human and dog. Who likes to be dragged a long when all you want to do is enjoy MOTHER NATURE? No one. Being leashed is just another way to moderate the tempo of the walk to everyone's enjoyment.
So you see, being on a leash is really the happiest way to walk and benefits everyone involved.

Do you know what my Mommy used to do when I tried to dash ahead and pull her along? She'd stop in her tracks and make me also stop. Then she would make me sit. It seemed like an eternity to me so I imagine it was like TWO MINUTES or something. Quietly she would say walk and don't pull. If I again tried to run ahead and pull the leash, she would stop. In the early days we never went more than a block on our walks because two or three times of stopping and Mommy was DONE.
Slowly I learned that if I wanted to enjoy my walk, I needed to walk at a reasonable pace. Even today if I start to get too ahead, Mommy puts me on a short leash (she holds it close to her) until I slow down and walk at a more relaxed pace.

The poop bags are necessary
but the poop bag holder and the
raincoat are just fun

Finally, one of the most important things to remember before heading out for a walk are - POOP BAGS. I cannot emphasize this enough. ALWAYS carry poop bags. It happens - all that free movement makes pooping an inevitability. Seriously - it happens all the time. So do it now - get some poop bags and MAYBE a cute holder and put them with your leash. Don't leave home without them.
UNLESS you carry a pooper scooper. That is more ecologically friendly albeit clumsy to cart around.

Which brings me to the most important point about POOP: Pick it up. Not you, dear thumbless puppy. No, I am talking to the humans among you. Pick up after your dog. No one, not even animals, enjoy stepping in dung. The only way to prevent this unpleasantness is to PICK IT UP. This is your new mantra - PICK IT UP. 

Aside from being unpleasant, poop piles are unhealthy. I copied and pasted this from Petfinder.com as I thought it the best list of reasons I have ever read. Why re-write them when they say it all?

  1. Stormwater carries pet waste and other pollutants directly into waterways.
  2. Animal waste adds nitrogen to the water. Excess nitrogen depletes the oxygen in water necessary for beneficial underwater grasses, wildlife and fish.
  3. Animal waste may contain harmful organisms such as Giardia, Salmonella and E. coli that can be transmitted to humans and other animals by ingesting contaminated water.
  4. Roundworms and hookworms deposited by infected animals can live in the soil for long periods of time and be transmitted to other animals and humans.
  5. It’s the law! Many urban and suburban areas require you to pick up after your pet. Even if there is no restriction, cleaning up after your pet is always the right thing to do.
  6. Joining the growing number of responsible pet owners may encourage hotel managers to accept pets when you are traveling and help keep fees to a minimum.
  7. No one likes to step in pet waste and spread it into homes, cars and businesses.
  8. Scooping on a daily basis and applying lime will help prevent odors.
  9. It’s easy to clean up by carrying plastic baggies and paper towels in your pocket. The baggies can be secured and thrown away in the garbage.
  10. Your neighbors will appreciate your good manners.

While I am on the subject of picking up poop, remember to be a good citizen of the world by not peeing and pooping just anywhere. Some homeowners may not like pups using their lovely lawn as a toilet. And if it is a lawn where children play, all the more reason to be mindful of not leaving doggie bonbons or piddle puddles in the yard. I like to utilize the medians strips between sidewalk and curb for my bidness or sometimes the curb to wee on. Those are usually not considered private property and not usually played in. Just remember your mantra - PICK IT UP.

And THAT, my friends, is how to go on walkies and MAXIMIZE the experience. All of us are capable of putting on our best GOOD DOG BEHAVIOR. So keep these tips in mind next time you venture out into the great UNKNOWN - your neighborhood.


* My thanks to the following websites for sharing their wealth of knowledge:
www.cesarmilan.com; www.quickanddirtytips.com; www.reddit.com; www.hssv.com; www.dogster.com; www.petfinder.com

** Thank you also to Rover.com as it was an invaluable resource for this post. If you haven't heard if them, check out their dog-walking services in a city near you.








11 comments:

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Noodles this is an OUTSTANDING or OutWALKING.. Treatise on the issue of WALKING on a Walkin String... Ernie has a TOUCHY Trachea... so HE walks on a Harness... Problem Solved...
We would like to add ONE THINGY to your GRRRRRAND List...
Using a Walking String... KEEPS OUR PEEPS from getting Lost... they have a tendency to WANDER OFF you know.

LBJ said...

That's some GREAT advice. My Mom has me trained to potty in two places, in the median in front of an apartment where there are no children, and in front of a home that's undergoing renovation with the yard still a big mess. We want to be good neighbors. Mom also carries a walking stick in case Tom Selleck shows up and tries to steal a kiss, or maybe it's because her injured knee aches sometimes.

Idaho PugRanch said...

Pawsome informative post Noodles!
hugs
Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

Casey said...

Grreat tips! We always wear harnesses to walk in too, ever since my very FURST walk with Momma when I got skeered by a big motorcycle and twisted right out of my collar and ran off!!

Murphy said...

Great advice! Walking is easy to do until hoomans attach those strings!

Your Pals,

Murphy & Stanley

Two French Bulldogs said...

Thank you for lots of good tips
Lily & Edward

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