Top 10 Dos and Don'ts of Dog Walking Etiquette - The Trupanion Blog
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Top 10 Dos and Don’ts of Dog Walking Etiquette

One evening, during my typical dog walk, I noticed we were approaching a very anxious dog. I tried to hurry past it without confrontation, but the lady loosened her leash to allow the dog to reach mine. Usually this isn’t a problem because my dog is very friendly with others, but on this particular occasion, her dog seemed to “freak out” at getting to meet mine and over-excitedly lunged at my dog in some sort of attack. I yanked my dog away and she was fine, but it got me to thinking about how some people are very ignorant to the common sense of dog walking. In a place so densely dog populated, pet owners need to establish some common walking etiquette in order for us all to get along and be able to peacefully walk our dogs every day.

  1. Do: Pick up after your dog. Most places have laws about this, plus it’s just rude to leave a steaming pile where someone might step.
  2. Don’t allow your dog to trample through someone else’s garden. While it’s obviously harmful to the plants, the plants may also be harmful to your dog.
  3. Don’t: Dogs should not relieve themselves on other peoples’ gardens, either. It’s inconsiderate to allow your pet to pee on someone’s beautiful flowers or plants.
  4. Do restrict meet and greets. Though we like our dogs to make new friends, not every pet owner welcomes distractions on their walks. Don’t allow your dog to go up to someone else’s dog unless you have permission from the other owner.
  5. The same goes for people. Don’t let your dog go up to every person he sees unless it is welcomed. Even though your dog is the cutest dog out there, some people may not be in the mood to stop and love your pet, and others are afraid of dogs.
  6. Subsequently, don’t go up to other people’s dogs without asking first. He may look like a sweetie, but dog behavior is unpredictable.
  7. Do: Always leash your dog unless you’re at a designated off-leash area. While your dog might be a social butterfly and perfectly well behaved, you can’t assume that of every other dog you pass. Seeing a dog off-leash may also make other people (or dogs) nervous or anxious, so do them a favor and keep your pet leashed.
  8. Do: And on that note, leash-train your dog. Spend some time with your pal to teach him to always walk alongside you unless you have allowed otherwise. (If you’re having trouble with an enthusiastic walker, look into products like a prong collar, or head collars such as the Gentle Leader or the Halti.)
  9. Do: Share the sidewalk. It makes it difficult and is annoying to other pedestrians to have to maneuver around your dog when he is taking up the entire walkway. Be aware of others and respect other pedestrians’ space.
  10. And of course, do enjoy yourself! For some dogs, this is their only time to get out so make the best of it by showing them new places and smells once in a while instead of the same boring routine day after day.


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