LifeWithMyDogs is supported by our audience. When you purchase through one of our links, we may earn a small affiliate commission.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Your cost is not affected.



Knowing the proper way to walk a dog matters. You and your buddy could enjoy having meaningful adventures together because of it. The great outdoors is also a nice place to explore, have fun, and do exercises. Walking right can help you and your partner relish the open and be active with peace of mind.

Get Set For It

For this, you need to be ready with the right mindset, skills, and equipment. These things can prepare you for anything during your journey with your canine. But you should also have the love, concern, and patience for your pet. Remember that making adjustments is normal and even expected.

Dos and Don’ts For The Proper Way To Walk A Dog


Lead The Way

It is more than appropriate to lead a dog during walks. So do have leadership since it is even the best way to walk a dog. You won’t have a lot of things to worry about when your pet follows you around or sees you as an authority. But this doesn’t mean nitpicking on everything is fine. Even dogs only obey and feel good about following folks who are kind to them.
Here are some tips to help establish and maintain leadership while walking a dog.
Do These:
  • You have to use quality dog walker equipment for this. Getting a leash with a collar or harness should be enough. Make sure that you put on your canine a collar that fits well and won’t cause it to choke. Go for a leash that isn’t lengthy or about 3 to 6 feet long. This is to allow your dog to have quality time to explore.
  • Tell your pet to come to you when it wants to go for a walk. Have your equipment ready and wait for it to go near you. You can be friendly but assert your dominance to your canine friend.
  • Walk on the front or alongside your dog. Show that you are the leader by doing that and also urging your pet to follow you. Pull the leash if you have to. If your dog is uncooperative then stop for a while and command again. Give it treats when it cooperates.
  • Part of knowing how to properly walk a dog is directing your pet where to pee or poo. Train it to only stop and leave its mark in specific locations.
Avoid These:
  • Never try to take your dog outdoors without a collar and leash on it. Your canine might not follow your orders and be hurt or lost because of it. It is even dangerous because your pet might end up biting someone or getting hit by a vehicle. There is also the chance that thieves could steal your buddy.
  • It may be tempting to spoil your dog but you should resist it. Do not come to it to put on its collar. It’s the same as you make your pet find the food you prepared for it rather than bringing some to it.
  • You may find yourself following your dog sometimes. Don’t make it a habit to go where your pet goes. Have control over which areas you go to and halt if it would tug on its leash hard. Avoid being lenient and permissive.
  • Do not panic and shout. Remain calm and collected while using your normal voice no matter what happens. If you don’t know how to properly walk a dog then it may lose its confidence in you. Steer clear of habits, behaviors, or reactions that could give your pet a bad impression of you.


What Type of Collar is Best?

The best type of collar is the one that fits your pet and makes your walk safe and enjoyable. Some people prefer a flat buckle collar. If your dog is not prone to slipping away, this might be a good choice. Note that dogs with a lot of loose skin and those with narrow heads might find a way to slip out of these collars. Even calm, well-mannered dogs might try if they are scared.

Another good choice is the martingale collar. I first tried these when showing in AKC but they are now quite popular with trainers, too. With the martingale, the dog is unlikely to slip out. And the collar is still quite comfortable for your pal.

Or, Is a Harness Better?

Trainers usually prefer a collar to a harness as it offers more control for most dogs. However, if your dog is small or has neck or trachea issues, a harness might be better. Some of these are even anti-pull harnesses that offer you more control than a standard harness.

Whichever you choose

It’s important that the collar or harness fit properly for your pet’s comfort and safety. Watch for an article soon on how to fit the collar and harness securely.

Keep Your Dog Comfortable

Make an effort to make your dog feel at ease while being in the open. Making a canine calm is also considered the best way to walk a dog. When a pooch is at peace then it is likely to cause trouble. Plus, you would have more control over it. There are many ways to be gentle with your pet.
What You Should Do:
  • Talk to your dog as if you are talking to a friend. Assure it that everything is going to be fine. You can show your affection to it by stroking its body or giving it treats.
  • Try to communicate with other dog walkers and canines to show your pet that you are confident. It may also let you make your buddy feel that is should feel positive too.
Things To Avoid Doing:
  • Do not berate your dog in front of other people and its fellow canines. A pooch also knows feels embarrassed. They likewise get reclusive and hostile because of it.
  • Avoid increasing your pace or running when you feel alarmed. That is unless there is an actual danger to steer clear of. This is so you wouldn’t make your pet panic. A scared dog can end up getting away or going on defensive mode to protect its master.


Be Ready For Anything

Showing leadership may be great but having readiness is important too. It is crucial for a person to feel ready and have the means to respond well to situations. That is because a lot of things might happen during your travels with your buddy. So try to work on yourself and how you manage your pet to make your walks great.
Below are some strategies for your walks that you may want to consider. Included are some things you may also want to steer clear of. These may give you more details on the proper way to walk a dog.
Try These:
  • Practice mindfulness or stay aware of your surroundings during the walks. A dog walker must be conscious of his or her surroundings. This is for the individual and his or her pet. Concentrating on the journey can make it enjoyable and safe.
  • Bring along treats and water to reward your pet and hydrate it. Having some pet food can let you nourish your buddy and reinforce good deeds. Carrying water for hydration is wise since dogs often get thirsty after strolling.
  • Study your dog’s body language. Observe the way other dogs and things interact with your pet too. This is so you could act fast to avoid problems with other dogs and people.
Refrain From Doing These:
  • Do not feed your buddy with heavy snacks or full meals during your journeys. This is to avoid making it excrete waste at random places.
  • Avoid getting your dog too excited or aggressive about something. One that is too riled up could end up breaking free and causing damage.
  • Stop your dog from sniffing or eating things that could harm them. It is normal for canines to enjoy smells but keep an eye on them. Some things could end up poisoning a dog once ingested.

Plan Your Walk Sessions

Before you even take your dog to places, consider planning the specifics of your trip. This means deciding which areas to visit and what to do once you would arrive. Make your travels with your canine buddy great by being ready and avoiding problems.
What to Bring
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Bags to dispose of waste
  • Pet food or treats
  • Water
  • Clothing (if appropriate)
Other important items:
  • Map or app for road navigation
  • Torch for lighting
  • An item for self-defense (stick or spray)
  • Quality shoes for walking or running



Things To Consider

Having some dog walker equipment is great and always recommended. Yet you need to plan where you’re going to go and how you’re going to get there. There are also your activities during your journey or once you would arrive.
  • Check the weather to see which places you can visit. Don’t travel to spots where surfaces are too hot or frigid. It’s only because your dog doesn’t wear shoes. Your buddy might feel restricted while wearing things that he or she isn’t cozy with. Bringing dog walker equipment may be enough already.
  • Be considerate and let a dog walk on surfaces where it could move with ease. Grassy areas are often great for walks but concrete with the right temperature is fine as well.
  • Some locations end up having heavy traffic at certain times so avoid these too. Skip places where it is too still and quiet too. Dogs also need to socialize. Barren spots may end up scaring them.

In Summary

The proper way to walk a dog is to do it with confidence. This means having the preparedness to lead your buddy and in making it calm. There’s also making yourself equipped and responding right to situations. Knowing the dos and don’ts of these can make walks enjoyable and safe. Thorough planning contributes a lot of good too. It’s that and being considerate of your dog’s limitations and vulnerabilities.
It may take a while to develop confidence when walking a dog. This is normal since training a canine might not be quick. Also, building a good relationship with a dog and establishing one’s dominance may take some time too. Still, you should not feel discouraged at any point in learning to walk your buddy well. The reward to be had is worth it.

Read More:

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails Safely

How to Properly Walk A Dog For Fun: 7 Easy Tips


Foods That Dogs Need to Avoid Eating

Why do Dogs End Up in Shelters? Top 10 Reasons

Do Dogs Benefit Humans? In What Ways?


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to

receive the latest news and updates.

We promise NO spam!

You have Successfully Subscribed!