This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
We still use our strollers when we take our kids on long walks, like when we visit Disneyland or take a long walk to the park.
However, at first it was not easy to get Linus to walk next to our stroller. Even more challenging was walking two dogs next to the stroller.
Today’s blog post is our step-by-step guide to teaching you how to walk your dog with a stroller.
UPDATE: This post was originally published on MyDogLikes on September 6, 2017. We recently updated and republished here on PuppyInTraining.com.
I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m pretty sure our baby loves walks even more than our dogs. Well, at least more often!
Since the little one arrived in March, we have been taking a maximum of 3 walks a day.
It’s a great way to keep a fussy baby calm, a tired baby awake, and a curious baby excited and alert.
Well, as you can imagine, every time we go out we have a few pups eager to join us.
In this episode of our dog and baby training serieswe’re going to show you something that has been crucial for our sanity in recent months:
How to get your dog used to walking next to a stroller!
This post is sponsored by Full Moon and we’re going to use it their new training treats to help Harley and Charlie every step of the way.
Why you should stroller train your dog
Training your dog to walk next to the stroller is important for the safety of all your children, both human and pet.
Even if your dog has mastered loose-leash walking, everything changes when a stroller is added.
Small indiscretions, such as chasing a squirrel or crossing the road in front of you, can cause problems for you, the baby, or the dog.
Moreover, when you sit behind a stroller, you give and receive different feedback to your dog.
For example, when we change direction or make a turn, we usually navigate with light tugs on the leash and a verbal command.
When you push a stroller, your hands hold the strap and handle of the stroller at the same time, which can make changing directions more difficult.
You want to make sure they are used to these new scenarios for add your baby to the mix – so keep reading for step-by-step training instructions!
What you need to teach your dog to walk with a stroller
- Lots of training treats – Positive reinforcement is the key to training success! High-quality (and low-calorie) treats such as this one from Full Moon are just what you need to reward correct behavior and keep your dog interested in training!
- Clicker – This handy little training device fits in one hand and makes a short click sound at the press of a button. If you are not familiar with clicker training, here’s a great place to start. We have several different clickers and they all work pretty much the same, although this one from the Mighty Paw does has many 5 star reviews on Amazon.
- Leash – You might want one longer strap than you are used to, as your hands are on the handle of the stroller and are higher than normal.
- Stroller – Evidently! If you’re looking for a recommendation, that’s us in love with our Citi Mini! This thing can travel over anything, which is especially great for dog owners who walk on roads, grass, dirt, sand, or lake. Moreover, it folds in half and is super light.
How to walk your dog with a stroller
Step 1: Charge the Clicker
We like to start each training session by reintroducing the clicker to our dogs. This is as simple as holding it and sniffing it, or clicking it and giving your dog a treat.
This should refresh their memory that the clicker brings fun times – plus lots of treats!
Step 2: Work on your loose line walk
If your dog is a big puller, you’ll want to get his behavior under control before introducing a stroller and your baby.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get your dog ready in no time.
One of the most common problems is finding the type of harness they respond best to.
Make sure you read this article on our favorite aids for walking with a loose leash for some harness recommendations and other tips!
Step 3: Let them get used to the structure of the stroller
Once you feel like they’ve got their walking under control, it’s time to introduce them to the stroller.
You want to leave it parked with the brakes and take your dog to it, not the other way around.
This is because dogs can be skittish when it comes to new objects, especially when they are moving. You want your dog to feel completely comfortable in the stroller, so take your time!
Walk your dog all the way around the stroller (treat as you go) and encourage him to look closer – sniffing and nudging when he wants.
Sometimes it helps to hide a treat in the stroller so that they will be more interested and also have positive feelings when they eventually find it.
Step 4: Let them get used to the way the stroller moves
Once you feel like they are comfortable with the stroller itself, you will want to show them how it moves.
We practiced this in the driveway where there were no other distractions.
Gently roll it back and forth first to show them that this is how it is done do movement. Remember…click and treat, click and treat!
Next, it’s time to teach your dog to walk next to a stroller.
Find a distance between you and the stroller that you are both comfortable with, and stick to it.
For us it works best to let Charlie walk, even with the stroller on the right side. Click and reward regularly while they stay in your desired location.
In addition to the forward motion, make sure you practice twisting in both directions. You want your dog to learn to pay attention to the stroller and adjust his or her path accordingly.
Step 5: Go for a walk without the baby
Now that your dog seems to understand how the stroller moves and where he should be in relation to it, you can take him for a test drive.
You want to make sure everything has sunk in before you introduce your baby!
Take one or two typical walks (more if necessary) so they come to see the stroller as just part of the experience.
Step 6: Go for a walk with the baby!
Although your dog is probably used to your baby’s sounds and movements, he may react differently in a new environment.
Make sure you click and treat regularly during your first walk so that your dog has a positive experience all around.
Continue to reward them on future walks – although you can do this less often.
You may find it helpful to simply keep a clicker and a bag of treats in your stroller so that you can reinforce their good behavior regularly.
Now that your dog can walk comfortably with your baby, you can look forward to years of great adventures together!
Do you have any questions or tips? Leave a comment below!
To pick up some of our favorite workout treats, click the links below!
Save to Pinterest
Top picks for our puppies
- BEST PUPPY TOYS
We love: Calmeroos puppy toy with heart rate and heat packs – Perfect for new puppies. Helps reduce anxiety in their new home.
- BEST DOG CHEW
We love: Mighty Paw Naturals bully sticks – All our puppies love to bite, nibble and chew. We like to use Bully Sticks to avert this unwanted behavior.
- BEST DOG TRANSFERS
We love: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats – We use these as our high-quality treats for our guide dog puppies.
- BEST FRESH DOG FOOD
We love: The Farmer’s Dog -A few months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Receive 50% off your first order from The Farmer’s Dog.
Check out more of our favorites on our new puppy checklist.