Sadly, the most common place I see people walking their dogs is on the road. While this may be an easier option than walking along grass and driveways, what a lot of people don’t realise is that you are showing your dog that it’s okay to be on the road.
Then I see the people who have to be extra careful when going in and out of their front doors and side gates as to make sure their Dogs aren’t going to escape because they know the first thing they’ll do is run straight across a road.
Please note, if your Dog is busting to escape out the front door or side gate every time they are open, this may mean they are mentally frustrated. Are you taking your Dog out enough?
Research conducted by AAMI showed that 32% of Australian drivers have hit a Dog and half of these Dogs were lost or straying when hit. A striking 90% of Dog and Cat car strikes happen in the mid to outer suburbs.
Below are some of my personal training tips which are simple to apply and will have your Dog obeying the road rules in no time. You must be consistent and apply these rules on every walk –
- Ensure the leash you have is no more than 2 metres long. Ideally your Dog should be walking beside you and not out in front. The shorter the better.
- Once you have approached the kerb/ gutter you are crossing at, stop on the spot and at the same time give a “STOP” command to your Dog.
- Then give a “SIT” command.
- Once your Dog is sitting beside you at the kerb/ gutter and the road is clear commence your walk across the road to the other side.
- Just as you are about to step back onto the kerb/ gutter give the command “OFF THE ROAD” to your Dog.
- Commence your walk and repeat these steps every time you have to cross a road.
Again, you must be consistent and apply these rules on every walk. DO NOT try this if you are going to continue to walk your Dog on the road as it will only create confusion.
I do this with both of my Dogs, every day, and it does work. I have no hesitation in letting them off lead around roads because I have set the rules and they know their boundaries.
Keep watching this spot for a Video showing an example of the above training tips. You can also visit Paw Club for some great tips on Traffic Awareness.