If you’re new to the dog walking thing (and even if you’re not!) we’ve outlined some golden rules here. Follow these etiquette tips for walkies that are safe and enjoyable – for both you and your canine!
Follow the ‘lead’ of other owners
Pun intended here. If you’re walking your dog in an area where other canines are on a lead, it’s respectful to leash your own pup, as well. And if it’s a stretchy lead, be sure to have it on its short setting! An unleased dog should never, ever approach a dog on a leash, as it can prompt fear and aggression and a potentially dangerous situation.
Understand the colour yellow
The Yellow Dog Project is gaining momentum in the UK, but lots of dog owners are still unfamiliar with it. Its purpose? To signal dogs that need space. It could be for a variety of reasons, such as the dog is recovering from surgery or there are behavioural issues that are being worked on. Whatever the story, if you see a yellow ribbon, bandana or similar, keep your distance.
Pick up waste!
Most of us don’t need to be told to pick up our pets’ poop and dispose of it properly, but there’s been a huge spike in owners’ leaving waste behind in recent times. Hanging the bag from a fence or a tree is also a huge no-no. After all, it’s still littering! Carry plenty of bags with you in your pocket, and ask another dog walker if you run out. And dispose of it in a bin. If there’s no bin, take it home with you.
Keep a close eye on playtime
Two – or more – dogs playing together in the park, in the sunshine, while their owners chat about their breeds and their bonds. It sounds like a lovely set-up, doesn’t it? But it’s important to keep an eye on your canine and how it’s interacting with other animals. Things can take a turn in seconds, and you need to be able to step in when necessary. Don’t make the mistake of assuming all dogs want to play with yours, either. You might think one canine bounding up to another is just a friendly invitation, but sometimes, it could be an act of aggression, so do take care.
Put your phone away
This rule follows the same kind of logic as the one above, in that you need to be paying attention to your pet for safety reasons. In addition, remember what walkies means to your pooch. Aside from being a form of exercise and a way to get some fresh air, it’s a chance for the two of you to connect. Thinks less scrolling, more bonding!