How to Teach Walking Etiquette

by Alessia

In addition to the video I posted a few days ago, I found a great article on how to teach walking etiquette to your dog, as well as yourself. A walk involves both you and your dog, so you need to make sure that you are engaging in behaviors that will keep the walk positive for both of you.


First, you need to know your dog. This just means that you need to know what may trigger your dog to pull or bark or struggle, such as cats, the mailman, cars, or other walkers. When you see a potential situation coming for you and your dog, either change direction, cross the road, or leave the sidewalk so that your dog feels that the change is in the walk alone, not in your anxiety level (which they can sense getting high, so stay calm!)

Second, be aware of your surroundings by staying alert, walking with confidence and your head looking forward. If you are alert and calm, your dog will be submissive. You need to be aware of what’s around you, because your dog will be busy sniffing around looking for a spot to do their business, not at traffic.

Third, learn to read other dog walkers by their body language (are they being pulled by their dog or walking in an anxious manner, or are they confidently walking with their dog behaving at their side?) Manic dog walkers who do not have control of their dog may cause an issue for you and your dog such as barking, snapping, or tangling of the leads.

Finally change direction right away or redirect if necessary when an oncoming walker is approaching. If the situation comes up where you need to avoid another dog and his human, calmly cross the road or leave the sidewalk rather than yanking your pooch in another direction. If the other walker approaches too quickly to do so, redirect your dog and the other party by moving to the other side of the sidewalk or off of it, and greet the other walker with a “hello!” so that your dog knows you are not threatened. If necessary, explain the seemingly rude move away with “he doesn’t like big dogs”, or “he can get a little too excited around other pooches” so that you can avoid a meet up situation that might make you or your dog uncomfortable.

Good luck on your next walk and remember to be calm, collected, and confident!

Alessia xx

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