Ulrika Marwick - Reactive, stressed and anxious dogs - sniff and stroll walk

Calmer walks for you and your dog

Do you have a dog that barks at other dogs, people or moving things on a walk?
My number one tip for you is to implement “sniff and stroll walks” as often as possible.

Imagine walking in a relaxed pace, taking a big breath in and smiling because you and your dog are both so relaxed and comfortable.

In order for your dog to de-stress between reactions and minimise repetition of the lunging and barking (which will lead to worse behaviour) you need to shift as many walks as you can from stressful to calm.

Sounds impossible right? With a few tweaks in your routine you can achieve this for your dog too. Obviously, if you live in a big city it will be trickier, but it’s doable. Even a little change is good!


So here are my tips for calmer walks:

1) Change environment – Pop your dog in your car and drive to a calm space for your longer daily walk.
2) Fewer walks – If you can’t shift environment minimize the stress by doing fewer walks per day.
3) Shift times – Try to schedule your longer walk at times when walking routes are not as busy.
4) Skip the first part – If your dog gets most stressed in the first part of the walk, can you use your car or maybe even take your dog in a bicycle cart to avoid that area?
5) Get your dog sniffing! – The more your dog sniffs the less he will see that can stress him. Sniffing is also calming and makes your dog look non-threatening to other dogs. You can get your dog sniffing by scattering or hiding food on the ground

Even if you can make one of these changes your dog will thank you.
Good luck with your sniff and stroll walks!
Ulrika x

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