This weekend we saw a different side of Crosby. While on a walk, a loose dog came running up on us. Crosby was not having any of that. He “defended our [Grace and myself] honor.” Another dog had gotten loose and came rearing up on us ready to attack and tried to until Crosby had a say.
That experience along with many others I have had while on walks with my dogs prompted this list.These are just a few things I believe you should consider when interacting with dogs.
1. If you own a dog, know your dog’s temperament. You as the owner will know their personality the best, and with that how to control them.
2. If you see another person walking their dog(s) be aware of how the dogs are reacting to each other. If I notice that either mine or theirs are getting worked up, I either stop to give way for them to pass and keep my dogs’ attention locked on me (I bribe them with treats I have stashed in my sweet runner fanny pack), or I push my dogs to a run to get far enough out of sight. It is really obnoxious when people just gaffe at you as you are obviously struggling to hurry your two dogs along at the nagging of the stranger dog. In my effort to become a professional dog walker I have gotten tangled up in leashes trying to get my two dogs away from another dog whose owner seemed to be oblivious to the fact that their tiny dog was egging mine on. You are not helping with your stares or slow walking. Although, I am sure one of these days I am going to see myself on America’s Funniest Home videos trying to untangle myself after the dogs have spun me around and twisted the leashes around the three of us. So if you are trying to win AFV money by secretly recording me, carry on my friends, just let me in on that prize.
3. I think it is great when I see kids walking their dogs. It teaches them responsibility and how to take care of things. However, if the kid cannot control the dog when they are at their energy peak, they have no business being alone on a walk with the dog.
4. If you have a dog, you need to be ready to physically control your dog if they get aggressive. The owner of the dog who ran up on us the other night was afraid to control him in that state. This just allows the dog to continue the aggressive behavior without any consequences. Dogs are animals, and they need to know who is in control, otherwise they will be.
5. Do not bark at a dog that is not yours. You do not know how they are going to react. This is something that kids and drunk people should really stop doing. They think it is cool for some reason. I don’t come up screaming at you, why would you do it to my dog?
6. Do not come running up on my dog without asking. I don’t know how many times people have tried to touch my dogs without asking. Again, you do not know that dog, and you do not know how they will react to strangers. Case in point, Grace stiffens up like a statue and Crosby goes berserk with his licking/scratchy gurgling (his barking attempts). Same owners-very different reactions. So ask before you approach. Also something that kids and drunk people should learn to do.
7. If your dog goes poop in a yard that is not your own, PICK IT UP. Someone in our neighborhood leaves their dog poop all over our front yard. This is so rude in my opinion. Believe me, I hate picking up Crosby’s cyclone poop (he poops in rapid circles) that fills two poop bags, but I do it because as his owner it is my responsibility to get it out of their yard. You don’t leave your kid’s diapers in someone else’s living room do you?
So there you have it. A few of my tidbits on how to be more courteous with your dog interactions.
Do you have any words of wisdom for dog owners and dog interactors?