Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rules of the Road, Ten Tips for Dog Walking Etiquette

We all know how much dogs love their walks and how great it is for them.  But it's important for them to know the rules of the road!  It's a perfect opportunity to reinforce "who's boss", too, when they mind their manners!  Here's 10 rules for dog walking etiquette:
Custom Pet Portrait

1. Keep them on the sidewalk and off neighbors' lawns.  If you use a retractable leash, as I do, they are tempted to wander all over and pee where they will.  Rein them in.  Few people plant flowers for other doggy's convenience!

2.  Keep them close when walking in foot traffic like in the city.  My command for this is "Stay Close" with a short leash.  Don't let them ahead or linger behind, you don't want people getting tangled up in their leash.

3.  When encountering other dogs, take a cue from the owner and the dog on whether to interact.  If they look frightened of your dog or of their dog's behavior when meeting a stranger dog, just say "hi".  If they look open to it, ask permission before letting your dog socialize.  Ask if it's okay for him to "say hello".
Labrador Retriever on the Beach Painting by me!

4.  When a person is walking toward you, rein them in until you know THEY want to say hello.  Trust me, dog lovers let you know loud and clear they want to pet and say hi!

5.  Teach him not to jump on people.  Not even dog lovers like being knocked over, and medium size dog can do it to someone crouching down on the balls of their feet.

6.  Greet everyone.  It's fun how many "regulars" I see outdoors, especially elderly, who like to chat a moment.  Dogs are a great ice breaker, and dog therapy can be two minutes with a lonely neighbor.

7.  Train a spot to poop.  We walk different ways every day, but I always try to hit a good spot to go, and tell him it's time.  This takes practice so be sure that if he can't wait, you pull him over to the side by the road.

8.  Pick up every little bit.

9.  Let him leave his p-mail on all the street signs, fire hydrants, and other popular message centers.  It's a thrill for him to send and receive the news of what others had for dinner!

10.  Train, train, train the commands to come and stay so you can let him off the leash for some ball playing, running with others, wilderness fun.

And enjoy.  They give us a great excuse to get out there and enjoy the fresh air in any weather!  And for those days you're away and not able to walk?  Here's a site suggested by my son that will match up your dog with a walker who loves them! The site Rover also matches up for dog sitting.

I'm pet portrait artist, Robin Zebley.  I write about dogs and art and this artist's life here at ArtandAnimals.blogspot.com.  My work can be seen at CustomPortraitArt.
Yorkshire Terrier Portrait, Oils on Canvas

No comments: