What is a Structured Walk?
A structured walk isn’t a fancy training regimen. Anyone can do it. A structured walk is a loose leash walk with your dog walking right by your leg on their best behavior. There is no pulling or distractions in a structured walk. Your dog stays by your side without needing to run off and sniff the area or pull in excitement.
A significant benefit of structured walks is the training it reinforces. If you’re training your dog, this will be an additional training activity you can do with your dog. It teaches your dog how to see you as their leader, creates a calm state of mind, controls their impulses, and works on their reactivity. Through structured walks, you can learn more about your dog and what makes them react. This will not only help you with training to control these impulses, but it can also help you see signs of potential triggers in the future. In addition, with structured walks, manners and control training are reinforced.
Creates Confidence In Dog and Owner
Another significant benefit of structured walking is the confidence that develops in your dog and yourself as a dog owner. Consistent training and structured walking will build the trust you have between each other. Your dog will trust you with the commands you give them, and you will trust them to fulfil the command. Building confidence and trust will also allow you to teach your dog all sorts of tricks and expand on training to help them become the best dog they can be!
Creates and Strengthens the Bond between you and your Dog
The last great benefit of structured walks is the bond it creates with your dog. Not only will your dog be more receptive to commands and training, but your dog will enjoy your presence at every point in life. Your dog already sees you as the center of their world, so why not create positive memories with them and show them that they are a special part of your life as well.
How to Get Started
You can start a structured walk routine at any time and any day. It’s never too late to start! Putting your dog on a leash and stepping outside is all it takes to get started. First, make sure you have the appropriate collar and leash for training. A harness or any device that will allow your dog to pull you easily is not recommended. Make sure your leash can have a secure hold on your dog and is short enough that your dog stays by your leg. A treat pouch is excellent to carry for positive reinforcement, and wear a good pair of runners, so your feet don’t get stepped on.
Once the equipment is established, you can begin thinking of a routine. You can go on short walks focusing on structured walking or incorporate some structured walking into your long walk. Whatever you decide, remember that consistency will be key in training, so be sure to find a routine that suits you best. Packing the perfect reward will also help reinforce training. Knowing whether your dog is food motivated or responsive to recognition or playtime can help strengthen and reinforce their learning. Remember to be patient with your dog, as learning new things takes time.
The Benefits of Structured Walks can exceed your expectations of a regular walk. In addition to exercise and fresh air, your dog will also be benefitting from a training session. This one-on-one time is special and can make a significant difference in your dog’s behavior and confidence. It will also strengthen your bond with your fur baby and give you peace of mind knowing you have control. If you are interested in dog training, check out our dog training services for more information.