It’s always a nice sight to see plenty of other dogs on your walk, especially now the weather is getting warmer. However, there is an etiquette to dog walking, so it’s important to be aware of how your dog approaches other dogs, particularly those on leads or those wearing a yellow ribbon. If you see a dog on a lead, be considerate put yours on a leash too, or at least make sure they don’t approach them.
Why are dogs kept on the lead
There are plenty of reasons why owners will keep their dog on a lead during. This could be because the dog is old, recovering from an illness or injury, in training or exercising alongside their owner so they don’t want them to be pestered by other dogs. Or maybe the dog has behavioural issues, and is afraid or aggressive.
Also, you should be respectful of an owner’s decision to keep their dog on a leash. At the end of the day they know their dog best, so telling them to let it off isn’t going to be appreciated and may aggravate the situation.
You should always be mindful of approaching a leashed dog you don’t know, regardless of whether your dog is “friendly”, as this could result in your dog having a bad experience. You can’t anticipate the other dog’s behaviour and how it will react to being approached by yours, so err on the side of caution.
Stay in control at all times
It’s also important to always have full control of your dog. By all means let your dog run free, but make sure it doesn’t run off and pester other dogs on a lead. If your dog doesn’t respond to your calls, then go over and get your dog away immediately. It simply isn’t right to allow your unleashed dog to hound another dog on a lead, chasing and bouncing on its tail. You wouldn’t behave like that to another person, so don’t let your dog do it to other dogs.
Some owners might think this dog behaviour is simply a herding instinct, but it isn’t. It can come across as threatening and aggressive, particularly if you are being stalked by a growling dog.
Second to that, if the owner is doing their best to keep their dog to the side to keep away from your dog and politely asks you to take your dog away, remember they are perfectly within their rights and just trying to do what’s best for their pet. There is no need to respond aggressively, simply collect your dog and walk away.
Everyone should be allowed to enjoy their dog walks, so being considerate of other dogs on leads is just common courtesy.