Dog walking Etiquette – Wednesday 29th March 2023

Dog walking etiquette

Today I want to talk to you about dog walking etiquette. We have had some requests to remind you of certain points that we didn’t think were necessary, so we said nothing. However, on our little trip away at the weekend I was very surprised by some of what I saw and feel some points of reminder may be helpful. All you dogs out there, please can you help? I know in general terms most of this is about you reminding your humans on what they should do, but some of it is very important.

What does ‘on lead’ mean?

I realise this is going to sound obvious to you dogs, but the humans clearly aren’t getting it. If you see a sign which says ‘on lead’ that means you must keep your human on a lead at ALL times. It doesn’t matter how well behaved your human is most of the time. Please keep them attached to you. This is especially important around livestock. Please take this seriously. Whilst you and your human might think chasing livestock is a game, it really isn’t. They can become distressed and injured as a result. They are also the farmer’s livelihood and their way of earning enough money to feed their family and pay their mortgage.

If you are anywhere near livestock, or anywhere there is an ‘on lead’ sign then stay connected to your human securely and safely 100% of the time – no exceptions. Not any. Not even a little bit.

Stand aside

If two or more of you are walking your humans and another dog needs to pass with its human, stand aside to the same side as each other. Don’t make a passageway between the two of you that the other dog and owner has to walk through – that can feel very threatening and makes it much more likely that the dog having to pass will react as a defensive move.

Walking a reactive dog

If you are a reactive dog then make sure the measures your human takes are effective. It is no good them wearing a vest saying that you are reactive if they then have a rucksack over the top making it unreadable. If the path is narrow, ask them not to have you on a long lead so that it is easy for other dogs to pass you without causing you to react. Get your human to think about other users and not just about you.

Long leads

The final point I want to make is from something we saw this week and Mum says she never wants to see again. The dog had a very long rope lead for its human but was allowing the human not to hold it, so the rope trailed. This caused any dog coming up behind to be in chase mode long before meeting the dog and human. It also meant when the rope caught around something it then whipped free as the dog moved on. The whipping rope only just missed my legs. Had it hit me it would have been very painful. Please don’t let your humans do things like this. Make them hold the rope. If you are going to have them on a lead then please make sure they are properly attached.

Sorry for the rant, but sometimes these things need to be said.