Dog Walking Etiquette & Technique

Aug 4

When embarking on a dog walk, hold the leash firmly with your right hand with the dog walking on your left and the leash crossing diagonally in front of you. It is good to let the dog lead initially to allow some freedom, but if he pulls too much the training method that works best is to simply stop walking for a moment. This teaches him to obey the pull of the leash which is also useful to deter bad habits like eating things off of the ground. A gentle tug accompanied by commands like “no”, “leave it”, and “drop it” while taking away anything he may pick up should eventually reduce the urge to forage.

To teach “heel” simply give a gentle pull on the leash when your dog runs ahead too quickly or lags behind. Rewarding him/her with a treat is always good positive reinforcement. However, be sure that he doesn’t associate the reward with refusing to move forward instead of being praised for keeping up a good pace by your side. Don’t allow your dog to approach people or other dogs unless they indicate an interest in socializing. Steer your dog away from pedestrians by keeping him on your opposite side from them.

We all know that picking up a dog’s waste is must, but did you know that it is bad form to allow your dog to relieve himself on someone’s lawn, even just a few feet from the sidewalk? Also, avoid fences and other objects located on private property. Best to urge your dog to use the public areas between the sidewalk and the street. As for throwing the waste bag out in any trash can other than your own…if you wouldn’t do it with a neighbor watching, you probably should avoid it!

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