Each week dog owners dedicate hours to walking their pet, ensuring their dog receives adequate exercise and stimulation in their routine. But, are all dog walkers aware of the widely accepted dog walking etiquette rules?
Here, leading dog behaviour and training experts, Company of Animals, share five top tips for dog walkers to keep their dog safe and happy on their walk – and to avoid upsetting fellow dog walkers.
- Respect the lead. It’s important to remember that while some dogs may be on a lead for convenience, there are many other reasons for use of a lead. Some may be fearful of other dogs, injured or recovering from an issue or treatment, or just generally unsociable with other dogs. Even friendly dogs can react negatively to an approach when on a lead as it removes their flight option to run away. For flexibility whilst on walks, use a lead that gives dogs freedom to roam when needed, but leaves you in control such as the Halti Retractable Lead with one-click lock for quick lead length adjustment.
- Watch out for dogs wearing yellow. The colour yellow has become a signal for dog owners that their dog is nervous or needs space. When out on a walk be aware of dogs wearing yellow collars, harnesses or leads and give those dogs plenty of space. This will keep all the dogs safe and happy to enjoy their walk.
- Ask before you play. Don’t assume that all dogs want to play. It’s always good dog walking etiquette to ask the dog’s owner if they are ok to play before allowing your dogs to interact. Just as people don’t always want to play, dogs sometimes need their own space. Remember this when out and about – especially with larger, noisy and boisterous dogs.
- Respect everyone. Dog walking etiquette extends outside the dog walking community too. Remember other people using public spaces deserve their own space too, particularly those that are nervous around dogs.
- Use a long line. For dogs with poor recall use a long line lead, such as the Halti Recall Line that allows dogs up to ten metres to roam whilst remaining under control if walking in a public space. This avoids owners needing to constantly call their dog back to them, and prevents dogs going rogue and breaking dog walking etiquette.
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