Leash walking etiquette

Spring is finally here and people are starting to head back outside with their dogs. When taking your dog for a walk it is common courtesy to follow a few rules. First off, your dog should be walking next to you, not in front. This is a general rule that is recommended by all trainers. If your dog is in front, they are in charge. They will be more likely to pull and bark or lung at other dogs and people. Keep your dog on one specific side of you when you walk. Generally, it is the left side that people prefer, but it really doesn't matter as long as you are consistent.

After you have your dog walking nicely, there are a few other things to keep in mind. It is not appropriate to let your dogs walk on people's lawns. In the city, keep them on the section of grass closest to the road. If there are not any sidewalks, make sure they do not go any farther in to someones yard than a few feet. Always carry plenty of bags with you and clean up after your dog!

If you are passing other people with dogs, cross to the other side of the street. It is not safe to have strange dogs meet on walks. You do not know the temperament of the dog and often times the owner does not have control of their dog. Also, be courteous of people walking or riding bikes. Cross the street or move to the side and keep your dog close to you.

Last but not least, be safe! If you are walking at night wear light colored clothing and have some kind of reflective item on your dog. Move as far off of the road as you can when a car passes.

Following these simple rules will keep you and your dog safe and will keep the peace with your neighbors.

Written by Lynette Meissner

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