First Walk Destinations With Your Fearful DogJan 16, 2023
You've finally trained your fearful pup to have a collar, harness and leash put on them, and you're excited to take them on their first walk! How can you ensure these first walks are positive experiences? The short answer is to ease into walks slowly and carefully, and to incorporate favorite food and/or toys into the walks.
Many of our clients aren't sure what "ease into walks slowly" really means. Maybe a walk around the block? For many fearful dogs, a walk around the block is actually way too difficult for a first outing. Here are 3 suggestions for your fearful pup's first walk destinations:
Walk Destination #1: The Front Door
This might not sound like a walk destination to you, but working at the front door (even staying in the house and just looking out the open door) is a great starting place for many fearful pups. It allows them to stay where they feel safe, while watching the outside world. You can see examples of this in the video below, and in this earlier blog on our dog Pancake's training to go for walks.
Walk Destination #2: The Front Porch
Once your dog is happily hanging out at the front door, watching the world go by and eating treats, they might be ready to exit the house and sit just outside the door. If you don't have a porch, the front step could work, or a back porch, or even a balcony.
Destination #3: The Driveway
You're probably starting to get the idea- we're very slowly helping our sensitive dogs feel comfortable outside of the house, one small step at a time. When your pup is completely happy on the front porch (or equivalent), try moving a little farther afield. If you have a driveway, this can be a good option. If you don't have a driveway, but have a walkway that leads to the sidewalk or street, you could try working on the walkway.
I hope these tips help! We'd love to hear how your first walks with your fearful pup go. You can comment below this blog, shoot us an email ([email protected]), or message us on Facebook or Instagram.
Looking for more guidance and support? Check out Confidence Builders Club, our training membership and community for fearful pups and their people.