- Marcy Santos
Dog Walking Etiquette
Regular walks are a crucial way to keep your dog happy and healthy, so the neighborhood is your playground! Your dog will love sniffing and you should be ready to handle all the things you’re likely to encounter. Follow these easy rules to make sure you and your dog stay in your neighbors’ good graces.
Be Present. It’s easy to get lost in thoughts of what you’re cooking for dinner or what’s left on the To Do list but staying in the moment is an important component of dog walking etiquette. If you aren’t aware of a child approaching or a dog walker coming up the street with a full pack of dogs, bad news could be the next thing you notice. Your beloved dog could be an all-around champ with adults, kids, and other animals, but there’s no accounting for people and dogs you encounter on your travels.
Clean up. Always leave things as you found them (or even better!). Most people don’t love picking up after their dog, but they love stepping in surprises even less. It’s just basic manners. You can buy dog waste bags in bulk for a reasonable price along with a dispenser that clips right on to your leash. In a pinch, you can make use of those plastic grocery bags you’ve been accumulating. Or hire a pro to help walk your dog- we never forget the bag!
Stay in control. Leave the leash on for the whole walk. While some dogs complete extensive training on how to behave off leash, you never know who or what they’ll encounter. It may even be illegal to walk a dog off-leash in your city. Remember to check your area’s leash laws. It’s just good manners to keep your dog under control and on leash.
Be proactive. Never assume you know how an interaction will unfold. Even if you trust your dog to behave, there’s no accounting for other dogs and owners. These days you’re likely to encounter dogs being walked by someone hired through an app who knows very little about the dog, the neighborhood, and even dogs in general.
You never know who’s afraid of dogs or which dogs are likely to react to yours, so it’s good etiquette to err on the side of caution. Not all dogs want to be approached—including yours! So be communicative and let a fellow owner know that your dog is leash reactive while you redirect your path across the street. If you’re approached by a neighborhood child, don’t be afraid to speak up and let them know how your dog should be greeted. Or, if your dog doesn’t do well with children, calmly but firmly tell them what to do. When you communicate clearly, everyone stays safe. Here at The Right Fluff, our walkers are trained in best dog walking practices. You can feel confident entrusting your beloved pet to our fully insured local business that provides specialized care based on your pet’s specific needs.