With lockdown restrictions gradually easing, we are all getting out more and enjoying walks with our doggos, but, after the last 12 months of social distancing our furry friends haven’t socialised as much as they would have done in pre-Covid times. For those pups who were bought during lockdown, they may have not encountered other dogs on their walks and, though nobody’s fault, they may not know the unspoken etiquette of dog walks.
In our latest blog, we provide some tips to help overcome any obstacles you may encounter.
Tip 1 – Recall
Imagine you are a 10-month-old puppy and suddenly there are more dog friends to play with, and you want to be in on all the action. Sadly, this may not be reciprocated by the other dogs. As a dog owner, are you 100% sure that your dog will come back to you every single time? If not, it is recommended that you should keep your dog on a long lead. This still gives them the freedom to roam around, but you still have full control. We have a full range of extending leads, in a range of lengths and colours for you to choose from.
Tip 2 – Meeting Other Dogs
While your doggo might be very sociable and have no issues, you need to consider that all dogs are not in the same situation. If you see a dog on a lead, there is more than likely a reason for this, and it is something you need to take into consideration. While you might think “it’s OK, my dog is fine”, this doesn’t help the dog on the lead. They could be nervous or aggressive. Respect their space and if your dog is off their lead, pop them back on until your paths have crossed. By doing this, you are preventing what could possibly be a very difficult situation.
If you are the owner of a nervous or aggressive dog, please don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. It can be daunting to take your dog out, but there are ways to make other dog walkers aware that you and your dog need some space. You can purchase leads that will alert other walkers and will help prepare them in ensuring that they act accordingly as they approach.
Tip 3 – Interacting with the public
As dog lovers, I think we always struggle to comprehend that there are people out there who don’t like dogs, but this is something to always consider. They could have had a bad experience in the past and as loveable as your bounding beauty is, it could cause great distress to someone as they see 30kg of fur heading towards them. Again, this is where recall comes in to play, and if you know recall isn’t your dog’s finest trick, keep them on a retractable or long line lead.
On the other hand, if you have a nervous or aggressive dog who doesn’t like to be fussed by random strangers, do keep your dog on a lead and remain in control. Incidents of dog’s biting have increased massively since lockdown and while most people know not to go and randomly stroke a dog they don’t know, there is always a chance that someone will. As an owner, make sure you are in control of the situation for the benefit of your dog.
Tip 4 – Stay alert at all times
The sun is shining, you are in a beauty spot and it’s the perfect backdrop for a selfie. You pose, now it’s time to post on to Instagram and add those hashtags (we all want the likes) … in the meantime, Fido has dragged himself through a swamp of stinky mud and is hurtling towards an elderly walker so he can show his special kind of love. You look up from your phone and it’s too late! Our other walker is now covered in swamp and receiving the kiss of life from Fido. STAY OFF YOUR PHONE unless you are still in complete control of your dog.
TIP5– Keep a stash of training treats to hand
A great way to help with recall is to use training treats. You are positively reaffirming to your dog that when they do as they are asked, they will be rewarded. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love the promise of something tasty when you’ve been on your best behaviour.
We have an extensive range of nutritional treats available for all dietary needs.
Tip 6 – Have FUN!
Once you’ve mastered all the etiquette, enjoy your walks! Summer is finally here and there is great fun to be had. Remember to keep your dog safe in the hot weather and follow our guide to prevent heatstroke. We also have a HUGE range of Dog Toys that will add to the fun and keep your dog entertained.