Are you one of those outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy hiking with your pet in Colorado State Parks? Maybe you made a resolution to get in shape and promote a healthier life for you and your dog. These are all great goals for 2016; nonetheless, let’s start by looking at state park regulations. Before you plan to hike, you have to consider that dogs and wildlife don’t mix. It doesn’t matter if you are walking near your place or at a pet-friendly state park. When dogs chase wildlife, wildlife loses.
According to several dog trainers, when hitting the trails, the lack of a reliable recall to which a dog will respond, endangers dogs, people and wildlife. It is important for pet owners to understand that they are bringing their dogs into the homes of wildlife, which deserves our respect and protection. Practice your return call with your dog before you take him into another animal habitat.
Building the Reliable Return Call with your Dog
It really doesn’t matter how well-trained your dog is, the best recommendation is to keep your dog’s leash on at all times. In fact, most of the pet-friendly state parks allow only leashed dogs inside the park. Wild animals cannot afford the loss of calories, stress or dangers from a high-speed chase. Dogs chasing wildlife is not only illegal but also dangerous for everyone, including the wild animal and the dog. Nonetheless, with easy tips, practice and determination, you can train your dog to behave under any circumstances.
Dog trainers consider the off-leash dog who returns at the owner’s call, equivalent to a graduate degree. Expecting your high-school level dog to suddenly become a PhD when you unhook its leash on a tempting mountain trail, is a naïve idea.
You need to make your dog stay near you all the time while on the trail. Should you have a mishap and he takes off, you’ll likely want to scold him upon return. But, if you punish your dog for returning to you, why should he do it again? On the contrary, if you motivate your dog with treats to stay close to you, you are well ahead of the game.
Practice with your dog (on a loose leash at first) in your backyard or a controlled environment by quickly bending down and—”oops”—dropping pieces of chicken every few steps, without saying a word to her. Try this for five days and watch how “sticky” your dog becomes.
Dog trainers say, “You get what you reinforce.” Therefore, they encourage owners to reinforce often! See that your dog visually “checks in” with you on a walk. They should look back at you when you call and when they do: jackpot, a reward with smiling, petting, and some of that chicken you haven’t yet dropped. This is the beginning of a reliable recall.
Ready For The Outdoors?
Once your dog is ready to face the wilderness, you need to catch up and get yourself in shape for the outdoors. Outdoors Geek is here to help put quality outdoor experiences within your reach. We have a wide range of products for sale or rent to make your experience backpacking, camping, hiking, group trips, guiding, canoeing, car camping, fly fishing high mountain lakes, hunting trips, climbing 14ers, more enjoyable!
Visit us or check our homepage. You will find everything you need to make your outdoors adventure a memorable experience for you and your pet.