Good manners in dog walking

From anecdotes of our customers and our own experience we know unpleasant situations can occur when walking with dogs in woods, parks and on the beach. Usually everything goes well and the activity is enjoyable for the dog and his owner as well as the other people who are encountered during the walk. Unfortunately, there are also quite regularly occurrences where either the dog or its owner causes annoyance and/or damages to third parties. This can be:

  • Eefje has a group of dogs paying attentiondogs that jump up against strangers,
  • dogs who loudly barking chase joggers, cyclists, horses etc.,
  • dogs who display aggression (perhaps caused by fear) towards other dogs or humans,
  • that sinking feeling after having just stepped in a fresh dog turd,
  • and, more seriously than any of the above, owners who simply do not react to all this.

Most people do not even realise that the behaviour of their dog or themselves can cause significant annoyance and distress. This list of good manners in dog walking will help to avoid bad feelings.

What to do in the following situations

  1. Meeting joggers, cyclists and horses:
    • Call your dog and make him sit next to the path;
    • if necessary put him on his lead;
    • allow plenty of room for the above to pass you.
  2. Meeting children or people without dogs:
    • Call your dog and make him walk next to you on the off side (so you are between the dog and the people approaching you);
    • allow plenty of room for the approaching people to pass;
    • if strangers wish to pet your dog, make clear from the outset what the petting rules are;
    • be especially aware in case of children: they are unpredictable so stay close and prepared to act. No matter how well your dog normally behaves with children, things can always happen;
    • If your dog feels threatened or you can see that all the attention from the strangers is causing stress: call your dog to you and walk away from the situation.
  3. Picnics
    • call your dog and do not let him approach the picnicking people;
    • note; even if your dog does not ‘steal’ food; some picnickers may offer food and this could cause your dog to start annoying other picnickers with begging behaviour.
  4. Other points to keep in mind:
    • do not let your dog jump up against people;
    • do not allow a wet dog to lean against people;
    • make sure your dog does not bump into people during games;
    • if someone is visibly irritated by your dog, remove your dog from their environment.
  5. Approaching dogs who are on lead or who are told to follow their owners:
    • call your own dog and make him follow you;
    • if you are not sure your dog can do this without a hitch, put him on his lead;
    • like when passing joggers etc.: make sure you are between your dog and those approaching you.
  6. When your dog is overstimulated during a game with other dog(s):
    • call your dog, if necessary put him on lead and proceed with your walk;
    • if the other dog follows you, it is normal to ask the other owner to call off his dog – but usually it is enough if you tell the other dog to go away.
  7. Dog turds:
    • even if there is no local rule about it: clean up after your dog. You will be giving a good example and it will make your own future walks more pleasant as well.
  8. If something does go wrong:
    • If your dog has damaged other dogs, people or property normally your legal liability insurance will cover the damages. So always offer to pay for the damage and share your name and address details.