Anyone who has ever lived in a city may appreciate the many features a metropolis presents for getting your dog in tip-top shape. Ok, cities may not have the same expanse and natural geography of the countryside. However, steps to outside buildings, grid-like pathways and urban parks all present a suitable playground for you to exercise your dog.
So how can you exercise your dog in the middle of a concrete jungle when you’re miles away from green countryside?
1. In-house training…
With a little imagination there’s no reason why you cannot train your furry friend within your four walls. After all, if the weather outside is raining cats and dogs, you and Fido might be better off training indoors. The age-old commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘down’ are fine to master at home, especially if your animal is exuberant and gets excited at mealtimes.
2. May the road rise up to meet you…
Your dog shouldn’t have to miss out just because cities are chock full of busy roads. Teach them to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ at pedestrian crossings and junctions, and always keep them on a lead near busy main roads.
3. Live and unleashed…
Think green but not mean when training your pet. Depending on your dog’s breed it will want a good run around the dog park before discipline drills are carried out. But beware, your pet will be magnetised to other dogs, so keep the lead handy. In addition to all the regular coaching, use the space. Throw a ball, and tell your dog to stay before giving him or her the command to retrieve it. This is a handy trick to teach self control and respect for you as the master.
Oh and by the way, you may want to teach the right and wrong places to answer the call of nature. And have a bag handy, of course…
4. Is your pet insured?
To protect your dog against wear and tear, you could take out pet insurance, which provides cover for aspects such as medical treatment, theft, loss and straying. You can keep your pet away from the vet by making sure it is covered.
5. No train, no gain…
Whether you’re planning for a new dog or already have one, training is vital to ensure it behaves well both inside and outside the home. There are dozens of online resources to help make the process easier, including step-by-step guides, tutorials and training sessions for animals, young and old.
The Dogs Trust has a web page dedicated to dog training and offers a series of programmes, ‘Dog Training Made Easy’, to help owners teach their dog basic training and commands. They include important topics such as how to control your dog in situations – for example biting, sitting, barking, digging – and commands, stay, retrieve and much more.
Prefer expert training? The Association of Pet Dog Trainers has a database of nationwide dog trainers.
Ultimately, training your dog in a city is perfectly possible with a little planning. City dog parks are a thriving social environment too, In addition to benefiting your dog, these public spaces can be a great place for you to get fit and meet other, like-minded, dog-loving people. Good luck!
This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.