Walking Cooper hasn’t always been easy. He may be small but he is a very excitable dog. When I first adopted him, he was very aggressive. Over time he has calmed down a lot, however he now gets distracted easily. He loves to say hello to people and other animals when he sees them. As owners we try to instill manners in our dogs. If your neighborhood has a lot dogs like mine these etiquette reminders when you walk your dog will help you rise above the pack.
Not everyone is a dog person
Although I find this one difficult to believe, not everyone is going to love your furbaby. Cooper loves to meet new people however if I sense someone may not reciprocate, I leave the situation. Not long ago I sat outside with Cooper at a local coffee shop and was surprised when I saw a woman roll her eyes at us. I told myself she must not have taken in his cuteness.
Pick up after your dog
This one is a given, but I’m still amazed that I find “evidence” another dog has visited the same spot. It’s not tough. Carry a plastic bag with you. I even buy the waste bags listed in this post and they last me months at a time. C’mon folks, clean up after your dog, it’s easy. I love my neighbors, but the one who doesn’t pick up her dogs mess is my least favorite.
Use a leash
I admit from time to time I take Cooper on late night “potty walk” before we go to bed and he’s off leash. This is an exception. Otherwise, he’s on a leash at all times. Even if your dog is well trained, you don’t know how other dogs will behave in their presence.
Be careful of dog introductions
This one can be a challenge. You want to leave your dog open to say hello, but you also don’t always know the demeanor of an approaching pooch. Not long ago Cooper and I turned a corner on the neighborhood walking trail and a canine we hadn’t met before was inching closer. I immediately said, “Cooper is friendly.” When he went to sniff and say hello, the neighbor dog bit his ear. I understand these things happen, but I later found out it had happened before. If you think (or know) your dog has a tendency to be aggressive, make it known when another dog approaches or even turn around.
Distract your dog when necessary
If your dog if fixated on specific spot on the ground or they stop after hearing something minor, sometimes all it takes is a rub on the head to get them walking again. You know your dog best and if there are triggers in the area, it may be time to rub their belly.
We all need to do our part to maintain a clean environment and make the daily walk a positive experience for our furbabies. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to have a pleasant experience and nurture good relationships with fellow fur parents. A little etiquette goes a long way. Grab a leash, a waste bag and enjoy your walk!