Dog walking is so much easier if you and your dog are well versed in dog walking etiquette. Lets take a look at some of the most important do’s and don’ts of walkies time.
- Clear up after your dog
- Keep to the countryside code (it applies in towns and villages too!)
- Make sure you and your pooch are clearly visible – light coloured clothing for you and a reflective collar for Fido at the very least
- Put your dog on a lead for roadwork and when you spot another dog
- Make sure your dog has excellent recall skills
- For your own comfort, train your dog to walk on a loose lead
- Don’t allow your dog to jump up at other people
- On no account should you let your dog approach another dog unless you clear it with the owner first
- Never put your dog in a situation he or she can’t cope with….it won’t end well!
Doggie manners are as important in the canine world as human manners are in our lives. If your pet doesn’t get along with others of their kind, take a moment to think about the body language in person-person interactions. Then think how we expect our dogs to behave. Let me explain……
Next time you are walking around the supermarket, take a moment to observe how people behave when they encounter another human. There’s an unwritten set of rules that everyone abides by. Those guidelines are how we avoid conflict.
- If we meet someone we don’t know – take no notice of them – certainly don’t make eye contact
- See someone you recognise? – acknowledge them with a head nod, a quick “hello” or a subtle wave. Brief eye contact is acceptable.
- Spot your best friend? wave, approach, shake hands, make eye contact, stop and chat for a while.
Body language seems to be a universal thing. The same “rules” apply in the street, the park, and in most foreign countries. But what if someone “gets it wrong”? For instance, if a stranger were to run down the street towards you and throw their arms around you – you’d be horrified and possibly even frightened.
The canine world is much the same. Body language is important and there are a whole host of unwritten rules between dogs. The trouble is, not all dogs know the rules. When one dog gets it wrong, the chances are, there’ll be repercussions. That leads to fear and fear can lead to aggression.
When you are walking your dog, you need to be mindful of the unspoken rules for canine behaviour. Your dog may be polite, not every dog is. Some may have had a bad experience in the past which makes them nasty towards other member of their species.
Dog walking manners have evolved to avoid problems between your dog and anyone (of any species) he or she might encounter en-route. In any situation.
Walking your dog in towns
Your dog should be on the lead if there is even the slightest chance of encountering moving traffic or other people.
Loose lead walking is an essential skill here. For dogs to be puffing, panting and pulling whilst on hard surfaces puts enormous strain on their bodies – and yours!
In winter time, please be mindful of the salt used to de-ice pavements. It can be a real irritant to paws and it’s not great for tummies when it gets ingested via paw-licking. A quick “footbath” when you get home is a good habit to get into.
If your dog is stressed out by cars, bicycles, pushchairs or other people, it’s well worth investing in some training sessions. Dog training is about much more than obedience. It’s about confidence and lifeskills – helping your dog to live happily in a human world.
Meeting other dogs? Teach your pooch to ignore them – just as you would quietly pass a stranger in the street or the supermarket. Ditto for humans.
Walking your dog in the countryside
I love getting out into the countryside for a good long ramble about with the dogs off-lead. And there are some great places to explore in Essex*. The Countryside Code exists for a reason. It’s to keep you and your dog out of trouble.
Brush up on the countryside code here
Meeting other dogs off-lead
This is where your dog’s recall skills need to be sharply honed. If you spot another dog in the distance, call your own pet to you and put on the lead.
If you are happy for your dog to play, call out to the other owner and ask if it’s OK for them to meet. It may not be – that’s OK. Don’t take it personally. Some dogs just don’t get along easily with others. The other dog may even be in training.
Does your own dog react badly to others? Walk him or her out of the way and use your training skills to focus his or her attention elsewhere while the other walkers pass by.
Again, investing in some dog training will help your dog to behave appropriately wherever he or she is.
Enjoying a pub walk with your dog
I sometimes like to punctuate a countryside walk with a pub meal or a cup of coffee in a café. It makes for a great day out – but would be spoiled if my dogs were wandering around causing havoc. (Think unruly toddler in a restaurant). To avoid tricky situations, train Fido to relax and settle beside you while you soak up the ambience. Trust me, you’ll earn lots of compliments that way.
Walking a problem dog
Just like people every individual dog I meet has a different set of likes, dislikes, fears and foibles. Some are a joy to walk, others present their challenges.
If your dog is sometimes difficult to walk, Premier Dog Training in Romford offers a dog walking service that will help you – and your dog.
- Gives your dog the physical exercise he or she needs
- Provides mental stimulation
- Walking with a qualified dog trainer
- Improve loose-lead walking
- Learning how to behave around other dogs
- Better manners around people
- Overcoming fears of traffic/noises/animals/people
- Timed to fit into your lifestyle
- Program includes one monthly training session with you and your dog
Find out more about Problem Dog Walking Services
Contact Premier Dog Training for help with loose lead walking or socialising your dog
How to stop your dog pulling on the lead