Dog Walking: Should Your Kid Take the Lead

There are tons of reasons why children and animals have always had a special kind of bond; the freeing and contagious energy that makes their playtime look adorable. The strongest reason of them all is their free roaming minds and intuition guided behavior that justifies the saying “birds of a feather flock together”. This is why many parents cannot resist the temptation to get a loving puppy as an addition to the home warmth.

However, being a pet parent while raising your own children, is more demanding than some might think. Luckily, there are so many motivational and fun looking cartoons, videos, and dog treats that can get your child to desire to walk the dog and take care of him. But videos and treats are not enough. To make sure your child can keep the dog under control and manage him while out in public, you must get the right dog lead. Since there are different types of dog leads online and in local pet stores, from standard, retractable, chain, nylon, leather and chain, how do you choose the right one for your dog.

Child Walking Dog

If your dog misbehaves, is distracted by other dog, the best choice would be the adjustable dog lead. It allows you to shorten it and keep your dog close. If your dog has no issues on the walk, the standard dog leash is the perfect choice. It is the most common and top-selling of all dog leads online; made of either leather or nylon, it allows your dog the freedom of movement and at the same time, gives you full control of your dog.

However, getting the best dog leash available, does not mean your kid will walk the dog often enough so that you can feel that much desired daily bit of relief when it comes to your household duties. You need to set some ground rules and set the pace if you want your kid to learn how to actually walk the dog, instead of chase!

Lord of the Leads

Remember that once you put the lead in your kid’s hand, you’re also putting them both in danger if you haven’t properly prepped your little one about the responsibility that awaits upon him. First of all, no child below 10 years of age should be allowed to walk the dog without the observant eye of a parent or another adult.

The child must learn how to use treats to attract the dogs attention if anything goes out of hand and you must practice pack leading with them a few times before they hit the road together. Pack leading means that the dog must know who is in charge (in this case – the child). The child must learn to hold the lead with an air of confidence and bossiness. Explain to him that the dog should never drag or pull and this is managed by slight movements with the hand what reminds the dog that the man wants him to slow down.

Responsibility over Agility

Teaching your child how to walk the dog is one thing and that’s your job, but the real teacher in this case, the one that will leave permanent marks in your child’s emphatic and tactic developing skills is the furry little friend himself. If before the dog is even introduced to the home, you sit down with the whole family and have a discussion about who when and how will be taking care of the puppy’s needs, you’ll be already paving your way to a successful shared pet parenting.

Get your child involved in everything you need to prepare for the new arrival, from picking the right breed to the little things as choosing the color from the many dog leads online or take him to the store and fill the cart together. By letting your kid be a part of the choice, he will already feel responsible and you’ll also be boosting his confidence as a family member. Only when you’ve tackled these essential goals, you can move on to the practical issue of right posture and movements that put the dog owner in control while leading.