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Dog Walking Etiquette

Dog Walking Etiquette
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How often when you’re walking your dog do you encounter another dog – that’s on the lead? How do you respond?

If a dog is on a lead it’s often for a reason. This could be for things such as;


  • It is in training
  • It’s a female dog in season
  • It can be nervous or shy
  • It is a rescue pet that the owner doesn’t fully know yet
  • It has health issues
  • It’s recovering from an injury
  • It has had a bad experience with other dogs


Dog walking should be a positive experience, both on and off the lead. Some very social dogs can appear overbearing to more shy dogs. So a dog on a lead that is approached by a bouncy, energetic dog off the lead can make them feel trapped, which can ultimately result in aggression and stress.


It’s all about being respectful when walking your dog. Here are our tips;


  1. Always keep your dog in sight.


  1. Don’t let your dog off the lead if they are not good at recall – you need to be confident your pet will return to you on command.


  1. Listen to the other owners – if they are trying to warn you ‘hear them’ and keep your dog away.


  1. Don’t let your dog bother one that is on the lead – they’re on it for a reason.


  1. ASK the owner if your dog can greet them – but remember to keep it short.


Respect other people too, don’t allow your dog bound up to walkers and jump up this could be seen as your dog being out of control in a public place.


What should you do if your dog is the one on the lead?


Keep the lead relaxed and reassure your dog in a calm voice. Tightening the lead can stress your dog even more.

Make sure you have treats in your pocket and once you turn to walk away reward your dog for their good behaviour.


Have you heard of Yellow Dog?

It’s a registered charity which tries to raise awareness of dogs who need space. They display a yellow ribbon on their dogs lead warning other owners. For more information click the link;


So please let us be respectful of dogs on the lead, remember, they are often on the lead for a reason.


Should you have any questions, please do call your local branch to talk to one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses.


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