How to Ease Dog Anxiety On Walks: Tips PROVEN to Work!

Anxiety in dogs is surprisingly common. If your dog gets anxious or stressed on walks, there are a few things you can do to help ease their anxiety.

Read on to learn how to ease dog anxiety on walks.

Tips for Soothing Anxiety

How to ease dog anxiety on walks
Just like walking, your dog will follow your lead when it comes to managing its anxiety.

1. Start off slow. If your dog is new to walking, start by taking short, slow walks around the block. This will help your dog get used to being on a leash and out in public.

2. Reward your dog for good behavior. When your dog behaves well on a walk (e.g. staying close to you, not pulling on the leash), give a treat or pets as a reward. This will help reinforce good behavior and make walks more enjoyable.

3. Use positive reinforcement. Rather than yelling at your dog when for misbehavior on a walk, try using positive reinforcement instead. For example, if your dog stays by your side, say “Good dog!” and give a treat as a reward.

4. Avoid stressful situations. If your dog tends to get anxious around other dogs or people, try to avoid those situations. Instead, focus on taking walks in quiet, calm areas where your dog can feel relaxed and comfortable.

By following these tips, you can help ease your dog’s anxiety and make walks more enjoyable for both of you. Here are a couple more things to consider.

Make sure that you are taking your dog for walks regularly. This helps dogs become more comfortable being outside and getting used to the sights and sounds of the world around them.

It’s essential to start slow when introducing your dog to new environments. If you’re going to take your dog to a busy park or street, start by walking her in quieter areas so that she can get used to the different noises and smells.

You can also try using a leash or harness that provides more control, which can help keep your dog feeling safe and secure.

If your dog is really struggling with anxiety during walks, you may want to consider working with a professional dog walker or trainer who can help them feel more comfortable and confident outside.

How To calm an anxious dog in public

If your dog becomes anxious or stressed in public, there are a few things you can do to help ease their anxiety. Here are some tips:

1. Make sure your dog is on a leash that’s comfortable. A too-tight leash can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in dogs.

2. Try to avoid busy areas with lots of people and noise. If possible, take your dog for walks in quieter areas where he will feel more at ease.

3. Reward your dog for calm behavior while out on walks. When your dog behaves calmly and relaxed, give her a treat or some positive reinforcement to let her know she did well.

4. Be patient! It may take some time for your dog to get used to going for walks in public. Be patient and keep working at it, and eventually, he will become more comfortable.

By following these tips, you can help ease your dog’s anxiety when walking in public. With a little patience and practice, your pup will be on her way to feeling more relaxed and confident!

How to tell if your dog is anxious during walks

Your dog can’t talk but she can give you clues as to how she is feeling. Here is something to watch for.

Body language

One of the first things you’ll want to do is watch your dog’s body language during walks. If your dog is constantly pulling on the leash, licking his lips, panting excessively, or keeping his tail between his legs, these are all signs that your dog is feeling anxious.

More Tips for calming your dog on a walk

dog on walk
If your dog has anxiety while out on walks, it may be due to the area. Try walking your dog in a secluded, quiet place to see if anxiety eases.

If you think your dog may be anxious on walks, there are a few things you can do to help ease her anxiety:

  • Try using a shorter leash. This gives you more control over your dog’s behavior and in turn, calms your dog’s anxiety.
  • Walk at a relaxed pace and don’t rush them along. This will help them feel more relaxed during the walk.
  • Make sure your dog is well exercised before you go out for a walk. A tired dog is usually a calm dog.
  • Distract your dog with treats or toys. If he’s focused on something else, he’ll be less likely to be anxious about walking.

Finally, if you feel like you aren’t making any progress, seek professional help. If your dog’s anxiety is really severe, it might be best for a professional behaviorist or trainer to come up with a plan specifically tailored to your dog’s needs.

In general, if you follow these tips, your dog should start to relax on walks and enjoy them much more. Just be patient and take things slow, and soon your pup will be happily wagging his tail by your side.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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