Walking a dog while trying to navigate a stroller can be extremely frustrating. Besides the normal frustrations with a pulling dog, there is also the danger and concern of a baby in the stroller. Visions of the dog pulling the stroller over and seeing the baby get hurt are not something that any parent wants to witness. So, what often happens? The dog often receives less walks because he is not able to walk nicely next to the stroller. That is a shame.
Your dog will just get more rambunctious with each passing day if he is getting less exercise than he needs. With a little consistent work, you can walk your dog next to the stroller and have pleasant walks with your family.
Follow these steps and you will succeed. As with all training, your success might take some time, but it is worth it. You need a basic understanding of leash walking before you start working with your dog.
Steps to Walking Your Dog With the Stroller
Each step should be practiced in a small area close to your home without the baby in the stroller at first. As you practice more and gain more success, you can then add more distance.
Practice Holding the Leash
- First practice holding the leash on the handle of the stroller. Use a six foot leash, with your dog on your preferred side of the stroller. Hold the leash with both hands on the handle and walk slowly with your dog just a few steps. If your dog pulls, stop walking and gently move him back into position and give a treat.
- Add more steps and use encouragement to keep your dog in position. If he pulls, gently move him back into position and give a treat.
- Every time you go to a new location, you should lower your expectations, and give more encouragement and treats until your dog is used to the new environment.
Turning with a stroller has its own set of challenges. For instance, if your dog is on the left side, turning left is challenging because you can run over your dog if you are not careful.
- Before you turn, say the direction of the turn.
- Move REALLY slowly at first so your dog understands that he needs to be careful of the wheels. Gently guide him into position, if necessary.
- Use lots of treats when he is in the correct position.
Practice With the Baby
Once you have practiced without the baby in the stroller and your dog is walking nicely, practice with the baby but use a helper to handle the leash if there is a "hot moment" such as your dog seeing a squirrel or another dog. Your helper can grab the leash and handle your dog, if necessary.
Practice, Practice, Practice
As with all training, practice makes perfect. The more you practice the more you will have nice, long pleasant walks with your whole family -- including your dog!Happy Training!