Are you aware that there are a few dog leash etiquette rules you should be following?
With more and more people becoming dog owners, we thought it imperative to discuss proper leash etiquette when introducing your doggo to another while out and about. Most people come to us with questions on how to stop their dog from jumping on strangers, lunging at other dogs and or being vocal while on walks.
What should you do when someone wants their dog to say "Hi" to your dog while on walks?
Here are some of the most common mistakes!
There is a common misconception held by pet owners that their dog has to say "Hi," to every dog they meet while on walks to be deemed a social animal. More often than not, the dog pulling to say "Hi," is already overly excited and not all dogs respond well to that energy. It also indicates that the 'pulling dog' lacks proper leash manners.
These interactions not only place unwanted pressure on a dog but it can also create harmful scenarios. When you allow your dog to get in the face of another dog that's being walked on a leash, one of three things can happen;
If the dog being approached is nervous or insecure he can become more so by the other dog's intrusive approach.
If the dog being approached is reactive then it can most definitely start a fight.
The dog being approached doesn't mind and reciprocates the playful interaction.
If your dog's behavioral disposition falls into the third category, then that's accepted but still not preferred. However, if you have a nervous, insecure or reactive dog then you're in the right place.
Think about yourself... How comfortable would you feel with a stranger coming into your intimate space uninvited? If your answer is "not comfortable at all," then you can understand the same principle applies to dogs. When pet owners attempt to bring dogs together without observing their physical cues or their behavioral disposition, this is what we call "Forced Interactions". As pet owners we have a responsibility not to allow our personal wants to infringe on our dog's personality. We must always advocate for our dogs FIRST!
What Pet owners should be practicing.....
This simply means that dogs can coexist in the same place at the same time without having physical interactions.
At Benridge Canine Services we always advocate for this type of interaction with any dog that comes into our training programs, whether it be personal sessions or a Board and Train. This allows the dogs to coexist peacefully and without incident. To do this we teach the dog to practice stationary positions such as, "Down-Stay," with the use of an elevated place bed. Once the dog becomes proficient holding the "Down- Stay," this command can be made applicable to other aspects of our daily interactions.
Rules: No Intense or rude sniffing, mounting or bullying.
Physical interactions are to only happen if the dog has fairly good social skills.
When allowing these interactions:
Ensure there's an equal distribution of force between both dogs when playing. This means that both dogs should be able to match the intensity of each other's play
If there is a size disparity between the dogs, we want to always be mindful to ensure the bigger dog is not too rough with the smaller counterpart.
Ensure the handlers have good observational skills. This involves being able to read when one dog is being overwhelmed by the other.
The average dog being walked doesn't know how to respectfully engage with other dogs. By practicing the above methods, in keeping with proper leash etiquette, pet owners can protect their dogs from being severely traumatized by single event learning experiences.
Single Event Learning experiences is a whole topic on its own, which we will cover in a subsequent post.
Stay tuned for more from Benridge Talks, and remember "No Dog is Untrainable!!!"
Photography - Ocular Vision Media
Blog - Emmanuel Thornhill (Benridge Canine Services)