Since I got my dog, Lucy, in 2012, I have walked her twice a day every day, plenty of time to observe almost every instance of poor dog walking etiquette possible. I have seen many dog owners jeopardize their dog’s safety, their own safety, their kid’s safety and my dog’s safety! Unforgivable! Here are some of the things I have observed. Are you one of these dog owners?
- You have an out-of-control dog. It lunges at the end of the leash and drags you with it. It’s only a matter of time before your dog pulls you over and maybe bites another dog or even a person!
- Your are five foot nothing, a hundred and ten pounds soaking wet walking two large Golden Retrievers who are so over-friendly and out of control that they drag you across the trail to meet every dog. This is not acceptable! Not every other dog or dog owner wants to meet your dogs. Get those dogs under control!
- You use a flexi-leash to walk your dog. These leashes are dangerous and give you very poor control over your dog. You will have difficulty keeping your dog safe from other dogs, cars, bicycles, etc.
- You allow your off-leash dog to bound over to any and every dog, on-leash or off-leash.
- You let your big dog bowl over my little dog, forcing her to try to escape or snap at your dog. If my dog snaps at your dog, your dog then attacks my dog!
- You insist on saying, “My dog is friendly, my dog is friendly!” while letting your dog get closer and closer to my dog. God I hate this kind of owner. My dog is not necessarily going to be friendly towards your sweet puppy or your over-exuberant, over-excited dog! Just because your dog is friendly doesn’t make my dog friendly! Lucy is a dominant female rescue dog! I have her under control at all times, so she won’t snap at your dog… unless you allow it to get in her space. Please do not make my dog “wrong” by forcing her into reacting to your dog!
- You yell at and abuse your dog. I have seen you shout at your dog after calling him to you… and I have seen you kick your dog in the chest! I don’t know your name yet. However, some of us are gathering evidence as we see you and your dog regularly, so your abuse will be reported. You make it uncomfortable for me and others to walk their dogs, especially at night. If you can kick a dog, what else are you capable of?
- You have no idea when your dog is giving you signals that he is worried, scared, nervous or uncomfortable. Nor can you read my dog’s signals.
- Or worse, you recognize your dog’s signals, but decide to ignore them. Really?
- You are trying to “socialize” your aggressive spaniel by “introducing” it to very dog on the trail!
- You get hysterical when my dog snaps or snarls to tell your dog off, even when there’s no physical contact, and no possibility of any. Calm down! Your dog will be better for it and so will your blood pressure! Your dog probably understands what my dog is saying, even if you don’t!
- Your off-leash dog has never been to obedience classes and knows no commands that it will actually obey! So, you can’t call it back when it runs over to my dog! Please!
- You ignore the fact that I am obviously training my dog by having her sit, or focus on me, while you and your dog pass by. You don’t seem to notice that I am not making eye contact with you, that I am 100% focused on my dog! You insist on talking to me! You keep bringing your dog closer and closer to my dog!
- You walk your dog right up behind me and my dog without giving us any space or letting us know you are there.
- You see me trying to give you and your dog space and still insist on letting your dog approach us! Really?
- You let you child walk your puppy! Your child then drags your puppy over to my dog! I have to quickly teach your child that not every dog will be friendly to your puppy! As a matter of fact many adult dogs don’t actually like puppies! Actual statement by a puppy owner, “This is the second dog that has snapped at my dog today! I don’t understand why!” Criminy! Have you not done any research at all on dog behaviour?
- You get upset when I ask you to take control of your barking, stiffly posturing dog. “He just wants to play!” you say.
There are dog classes, you know. There are lots of techniques to get your dog under control. Please, please think about how you and your dog are interacting with other dogs. Don’t be the cause of a dog fight or altercation. Your dog might be the one that gets hurt. The last time this happened, it was my dog that got hurt. That makes me sad and angry because my dog did nothing wrong except tell your dog to stop harassing her. Then your dog attacked her. You pulled off your dog and took off without even saying sorry or checking to see if Lucy was okay even though there was blood flying everywhere.