Walk this way...
July 13, 2010 -
I walk my dog at the park most every morning. We are out there in all sorts of weather. In Texas we don’t have much winter, but even when it was 13 degrees out (bitter cold for us Texans), there we were all bundled up for our walk. I walk my dog at the park most every morning. We are out there in all sorts of weather. In Texas we don’t have much winter, but even when it was 13 degrees out (bitter cold for us Texans), there we were all bundled up for our walk. We were pretty lonely on those days. Now that it’s warm, we’re never lonely!! These walks are great socialization and a great place to practice some manners. Having an older, trained dog means I can relax a little on my walk, but I do my share of observing the other people and pets that share our trails. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way:
- Pick up after your dog! Enough said.
- If someone wants to pet your dog, make sure he stayed seated. Hard as it is to believe, not everybody loves your dog as much as you do. They will never love him if he’s jumping on them, so keep the leash short and keep walking. If someone does want to pet your dog, make sure your dog stays seated. Some dog lovers will tell you it’s okay if your dog jumps on them. While that’s nice for them, it will ruin your training if you let your dog jump on some strangers and not others. Politely tell them your dog is in training and he has to sit for petting.
- Shorten your dog’s leash and keep them right next to you when passing anybody. Some people are scared of dogs and even though you know your dog is friendly, they don’t know that. It’s only respectful to keep your dog out of someone else’s business.
- When passing another dog, place your dog on the opposite side of you, arc out away from the other dog, and keep walking. If you are out there trying to socialize, put your dog on a sit-stay off the path and ask the other owner if the dogs can meet. If the person says no, don’t take it personally.
- Avoid allowing your dog to strain at the end of their leash towards another dog. This is probably my biggest pet peeve! I understand if you are trying to control the dog, have the leash short, have moved off the path, and are trying to keep moving because your dog is out of control. In that instance, you are making an effort to get out of the situation and I can respect that. My pet peeve comes in when I have stepped off the path and told my dog to wait and another dog comes charging up to mine (probably at the end of their retractable leash) while the Pet Parent stands by and allows this behavior to happen. Be aware of the other person’s body language! If I’m moving myself or my dog away from you, it’s because I don’t want to “say hi” today J Don’t take it personally.
- A reliable “leave it” and “heel” will keep you and your dog out of a lot of trouble on the trails. A strong “sit-stay” can be helpful too.
I believe dogs should go on walks. I believe dogs should get to sniff and enjoy the scenery on walks. I also believe dogs should be well-mannered and not a nuisance on walks. The more often you take your dog walking, the better he will get at it. It’s a great way to spend some family time this summer. See you at the park!